Before Six Early Educational Childhood Centre - 10/05/2017

1 Evaluation of Before Six Early Educational Childhood Centre

How well placed is Before Six Early Educational Childhood 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.


Before Six Early Educational Childhood Centre changed ownership in 2016. The new owner also has three other centres. She has employed a registered teacher with management experience, to be responsible for the day-to-day running of the centre. The team of qualified teachers has been retained.

The centre is licensed to provide full-day sessions for 50 children including up to 15 under two years of age. While most children are either Māori or Pākehā, the roll is becoming increasingly diverse and the roll is growing. Many of the older children transition to the local kindergarten before beginning school.

The centre's philosophy is based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. It values and promotes partnerships with parents in children's education. The staff want children to have positive learning experiences and to view themselves as leaders of their own learning.

The purpose-built centre provides for children in two age-related rooms, each with an outdoor area. Younger children are located in the Pohutukawa room and they transition into the Kauri room at about two years of age. Children from the two areas spend some time together during the day.

The 2013 ERO report identified the need for staff to re-familiarise themselves with the centre's philosophy and ensure that their practices were consistent with effective practice in early childhood education. It also suggested that internal evaluation be better used to inform strategic planning. Good progress has been made in these areas. 

The Review Findings

Children enjoy positive and caring relationships with centre staff, who help them develop a sense of belonging and wellbeing. Teachers take time to listen to children and encourage them to contribute their ideas to conversations. They value children's contributions to decision making.

Children under two years of age are well cared for. Teachers have regular contact with parents, and endeavour to follow care routines that are consistent with what happens at home. They promote children's oral language through respectful conversations that take place during play and care routines. Teachers encourage children's independence and self-help skills.

The centre is well designed and resourced. Teachers make good use of walls to display and celebrate children's learning, and communicate with parents. They are including children in discussions about ways to improve outdoor learning areas.

The programme is increasingly responsive to children's interests. Teachers are planning the programme more collaboratively in response to what they observe about individuals or groups of children. Teachers are considering ways to encourage greater parent/whānau involvement in the programme.

Teachers provide good support for children’s transitions into and in the centre, with a focus on developing children's sense of belonging. Teachers work with local schools to support children going to school, and are exploring ways to improve support for children moving on to kindergarten.

Teachers encourage parents to share information about children's interests. They are considering how they can record their planning and information about children's learning. Parents are responsive to information that they receive about their children's learning shared through electronic communication systems. This communication is helping to develop effective partnerships that support children's learning.

Appraisal processes encourage teachers to identify and work towards professional goals that will strengthen their teaching. Where appropriate they are encouraged to work collaboratively towards their goals. Relevant professional learning and development is provided. Performance management systems are being strengthened.

Managers regularly review policies, and are developing strategic planning and internal evaluation practices. They understand the role that strategic planning has in ongoing improvement, and are considering how strategic goals can help to focus attention on the centre’s key next steps for development.

Key Next Steps

Centre managers have identified appropriate areas for development that include:

  • continuing to build effective partnerships with parents
  • strengthening assessment and planning for children's learning
  • building teachers' confidence to include te reo and tikanga Māori more regularly in the programme.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Before Six Early Educational Childhood 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 Before Six Early Educational Childhood Centre will be in three years. 

Steffan Brough
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

10 May 2017

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 


Mangawhai, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys      52
Girls       39

Ethnic composition

Middle Eastern
other European


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2017

Date of this report

10 May 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

November 2013

Education Review

December 2010

Education Review

October 2007

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.