Apples Childcare & Learning Centre - 04/04/2018

1 Evaluation of Apples Childcare & Learning Centre

How well placed is Apples Childcare & Learning Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


Apples Childcare & Learning Centre Stanmore Bay is licensed for 70 children, including up to 25 under the age of two. The centre is organised into four spaces providing for different age groups. Full day and sessional options are available for families.

The centre has a new owner since the 2014 ERO review, and is now operating under the wider Apples Early Childhood Education Limited organisation. A new centre manager was appointed in 2017 and works alongside the management team, administrator and the staff.

The centre philosophy places value on growing each child as a competent and confident learner, and building connections with families, community and nature. Apples Education is currently reviewing their overarching philosophy as an organisation. An outcome of this review will include developing a vision for each centre.

Progress has been made by the centre against the priorities identified in the 2014 ERO report. These areas include strengthening and embedding a new planning format, and the centre's bicultural practice.

The Review Findings

Children and families are warmly welcomed when they arrive at the centre. Parents report high levels of support and communication about their children's development and learning. Children play confidently, choosing areas of play that interest them. They enjoy revisiting and talking about their learning. The redesigned outdoor area uses natural resources that promote opportunities for children to explore.

Infants and toddlers experience good quality care. They have kind and caring relationships with teachers, and learn in an unhurried and calm atmosphere. The environment for infants and toddlers is well resourced, and encourages children to explore and become fully involved in a wide variety of activities.

Teachers regularly write learning stories that reflect children's interests and strengths. Portfolios are available to children so that they can revisit their learning and share their learning with others. A planning framework is in place that supports teachers to respond to children's interests. Teachers are continuing to strengthen assessment and planning to extend children's learning over time.

Centre managers have a commitment to continual improvement and strengthening bicultural practice. Māori concepts, values and tikanga are increasingly evident throughout the programme. The centre uses a range of natural materials that enhances the learning environment.

Centre managers and teachers work collaboratively to build the quality of teaching and learning. There is a strategic approach to professional development, and opportunities are increasingly available for all staff. Policies and procedures are established, and continue to be developed to align to current best practice. Internal evaluation is resulting in positive outcomes for children. Useful strategic and annual plans support the centre's future direction.

Key Next Steps

The management team agrees that next steps are to continue:

  • reviewing and adapting the environment to provide challenge and interest for children to explore and extend their learning
  • strengthening assessment and teaching practices to promote the language, culture and identity of all children
  • developing and implementing an appraisal system that meets the Education Council's new requirements.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Apples Childcare & Learning Centre completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • curriculum
  • premises and facilities
  • health and safety practices
  • governance, management and administration.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s systems for managing the following areas that have a potentially high impact on children's wellbeing:

  • emotional safety (including positive guidance and child protection)
  • physical safety (including supervision; sleep procedures; accidents; medication; hygiene; excursion policies and procedures)
  • suitable staffing (including qualification levels; police vetting; teacher registration; ratios)
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

All early childhood services are required to promote children's health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Apples Childcare & Learning Centre will be in three years.

Julie Foley
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

4 April 2018 

The Purpose of ERO Reports

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the government department that, as part of its work, reviews early childhood services throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. ERO’s reports provide information for parents and communities about each service’s strengths and next steps for development. ERO’s bicultural evaluation framework Ngā Pou Here is described in SECTION 3 of this report. Early childhood services are partners in the review process and are expected to make use of the review findings to enhance children's wellbeing and learning. 

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service 


Stanmore Bay, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

70 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys      44
Girls       33

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2018

Date of this report

4 April 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2014

Education Review

May 2011

3 General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

ERO’s Evaluation Framework

ERO’s overarching question for an early childhood education review is ‘How well placed is this service to promote positive learning outcomes for children?’ ERO focuses on the following factors as described in the bicultural framework Ngā Pou Here:

  • Pou Whakahaere – how the service determines its vision, philosophy and direction to ensure positive outcomes for children
  • Pou Ārahi – how leadership is enacted to enhance positive outcomes for children
  • Mātauranga – whose knowledge is valued and how the curriculum is designed to achieve positive outcomes for children
  • Tikanga whakaako – how approaches to teaching and learning respond to diversity and support positive outcomes for children.

Within these areas ERO considers the effectiveness of arotake – self review and of whanaungatanga – partnerships with parents and whānau. 

ERO evaluates how well placed a service is to sustain good practice and make ongoing improvements for the benefit of all children at the service.

A focus for the government is that all children, especially priority learners, have an opportunity to benefit from quality early childhood education. ERO will report on how well each service promotes positive outcomes for all children, with a focus on children who are Māori, Pacific, have diverse needs, and are up to the age of two.

For more information about the framework and Ngā Pou Here refer to ERO’s Approach to Review in Early Childhood Services.

ERO’s Overall Judgement and Next Review

The overall judgement that ERO makes and the timing of the next review will depend on how well placed a service is to promote positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed – The next ERO review in four years
  • Well placed – The next ERO review in three years
  • Requires further development – The next ERO review within two years
  • Not well placed - The next ERO review in consultation with the Ministry of Education

ERO has developed criteria for each category. These are available on ERO’s website.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews are tailored to each service’s context and performance, within the overarching review framework. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.