Auckland Girls Grammar School Childcare - 25/01/2018

1 Evaluation of Auckland Girls Grammar School Childcare

How well placed is Auckland Girls Grammar School Childcare 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.


Auckland Girls Grammar School Childcare is located in the grounds of Auckland Girls Grammar School in central Auckland. The service is licensed to provide all day education and care for 32 children including up to 12 aged under two years. Infants and toddlers have separate indoor and outdoor play spaces. Families of this increasingly culturally diverse community have the option of enrolling children for full or half days.

The Auckland Girls Grammar School board of trustees and principal have responsibility for the governance and management of the centre. They have recently appointed a mentor from an external early childhood agency to support the centre manager in the delivery of the curriculum. These two leaders work alongside five other qualified teachers who make up the teaching team.

The service's philosophy supports a play based programme that is inclusive of all children. There is commitment to promoting the bicultural nature of Aotearoa, New Zealand, and to working in partnership with parents and whānau.

The 2014 ERO report recommended strengthening strategic planning, continued development of teachers' assessment practices, and a review of centre management systems. There has been some growth in these areas.

The Review Findings

Children are curious and confident explorers and investigators. They are conversational. The play based programme engages them well, and they are developing friendships as they explore together. Older children are starting to take increased responsibility for the wellbeing of others and the environment.

Infants and toddlers have good teacher to child ratios. Flexibility around centre routines allows children to move between the separate play spaces. This freedom of movement supports them to make successful transitions when they move to join the older group.

A good range of challenges are available in the two separate outdoor playgrounds to support children to develop, and gain confidence in, their physical strength and abilities. Teachers allow good space for older children to engage in sensory and creative experiences. It is time now for teachers to review the layout of the indoor areas and the level and quality of resources provided for children to encourage critical thinking and wonder.

A regular visitor to the centre skilfully role models effective use of te reo Māori and use of waiata. Words in te reo are starting to appear in learning stories, and some planning documentation includes links to a te ao Māori worldview. Artefacts that reflect children's different cultures are visible in the environment and accessible to children.

Teachers have established programme planning processes that show good links to Te Whāriki. In the area for the older children, plans are responsive to children's group interests and specify how teachers will respond. This process continues to develop. Planning for infants and toddlers could be more responsive to children's developing interests and strengths.

Children's portfolios of learning are individual to each child. Teachers use photographs well to support the narrative around children's learning. There has been good development of portfolios over 2017. Some show good continuity and developing complexity of learning, and learning dispositions are becoming a focus for teachers.

Centre leaders have recently established a framework for longer term internal evaluation projects. This is still in the early stages of development. Some spontaneous self review is occurring and being documented. Leaders have also developed strategic and annual plans to guide centre direction. Stronger alignment of all of these processes and documents would allow more cohesion in centre operations.

Managers need to ensure that the framework of centre policies and procedures meets the licensing criteria and current legislation. Access to hand washing facilities for infants and toddlers needs to be considered and an effective procedure implemented in the interim. Cleaning schedules also need to be developed, monitored and maintained centre-wide for the building and children's resources.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders agree that key next steps in centre development include:

  • reviewing resourcing of the indoor environment to extend children's learning

  • continued refinement of programme planning processes that respond to the interests, strengths and abilities of all children

  • continuing to develop and embed internal evaluation that results in positive outcomes for children

  • building meaningful partnerships with parents and whānau that include and respond to their aspirations for the learning of their children.

Centre leaders have developed a comprehensive action plan to enable leaders and teachers to address these key next steps.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Auckland Girls Grammar School Childcare 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.

Centre leaders need to establish suitable human resources management practices which include a system of regular appraisal for all teachers. Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Services 2008, GMA7.

A systematic and prioritised review plan needs to be established to ensure centre policies and procedures continue to meet current legislative requirements.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Auckland Girls Grammar School Childcare will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

25 January 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


Newton, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

32 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 19 Girls 12

Ethnic composition

Middle Eastern
other European


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2017

Date of this report

25 January 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2014

Education Review

February 2011

Education Review

February 2008

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.