Before Six Early Educational Childhood Centre - 20/11/2013

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 provides education and care for children of the rural and seaside communities surrounding Mangawhai. The centre is licensed for 50 children, including up to 15 under two, and has 81 children on the roll. Most children are New Zealand European/Pākehā or Māori.

Babies and children up to the age of two have a separate programme in the Pohutukawa room and outdoor play area. Older children are in the Kauri room. Each area of the centre has a supervisor. The Pohutukawa and Kauri rooms and the playground are designed so that younger children can communicate with and sometimes join their older friends and siblings.

The centre changed ownership in October 2012. The current owner recently employed a new manager who has extensive experience in early childhood education. The owner, the manager and four other staff are registered teachers. Several of the staff have worked at the centre since it opened in 2006. A cook is employed to provide nutritious meals for children.

ERO’s 2010 report noted many positive aspects of the centre. The new owner and manager have been addressing development areas that were identified in 2010 and adapting practices to align with their philosophy of teaching and learning. 

The Review Findings

Children are well cared for by teachers who prioritise their wellbeing and education. Teachers know the children well and their interactions with them are positive and affirming. Teachers take time to talk with whānau and share information about the children’s experiences at home and at the centre.

The purpose built premises are well designed, maintained and resourced. Teachers are thoughtful in the way they organise and make resources available to children. Children enjoy a wide range of learning opportunities and older children help decide on the layout of play areas.

The programme enables children to make choices about their play. Teachers help them access equipment and support their learning through conversation. Older children have opportunities at morning hui to reflect on the previous day and plan their play with teachers. Teachers have begun changing the way that children’s learning is assessed and how the learning programme is planned and evaluated.

Teachers are working together successfully to build their capacity and confidence to incorporate te reo and tikanga Māori into the programme. Some teachers are leading this centre-wide initiative. The positive impacts for children are very evident through their participation in related learning activities.

Transitions into the centre and between the Pohutukawa and Kauri rooms are well managed. New parents and children have opportunities to get to know the people at the centre and become familiar with the environment. The process of moving children to the Kauri room is gradual, at a pace that suits the child. By the time they transition they know the teachers and the children in the older age group. The centre has a goal to strengthen the relationship that they have with the local primary schools to better support children’s transition to school.

Centre operations and developments are guided by the owner’s and manager’s sound knowledge of good practice in early childhood education, and leadership and management processes. Centre leaders used this knowledge to review the operation of the centre and make changes where appropriate. Changes are made in consultation with staff and at an appropriate pace. Centre managers are exploring ways to record self-review processes and strategic planning and to tracking progress towards meeting strategic goals.

Teachers are committed to improving programmes for children and value opportunities for professional learning. Staff appraisal processes are being strengthened by making the appraisal system more improvement focused and by providing professional development that supports staff to work towards common goals.

Key Next Steps

ERO agrees with centre managers that they should continue to develop:

  • teaching and learning philosophy with staff and use this to evaluate and guide future teaching and learning developments
  • self review and strategic planning processes.

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.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

20 November 2013

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 47

Girls 34

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā


Other European (Dutch, German, French)









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

October 2013

Date of this report

20 November 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)


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.