Care-A-Lot Childcare Centre - 21/02/2014

1 Evaluation of Care-A-Lot Childcare Centre

How well placed is Care-A-Lot Childcare 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.


Care-a-Lot Childcare Centre is a small centre in Devonport, Auckland. The centre provides all day education and care for children over two years old and is licensed for up to 21 children. The centre recently celebrated its provision of 25 years of early education service to the community.

The centre has two rooms where children learn in age-appropriate groups at certain times during the day. The Kiwi group is for children aged from two to three and half years old. The Tui group is for children from three and half to five years of age.

The teaching team remains unchanged since the 2011 ERO report. Most teachers are qualified and provisionally registered. The owner is a fully registered teacher who provides the teaching team with a useful programme of advice and guidance. Very good financial resourcing supports teachers’ ongoing professional learning and development.

The 2011 ERO report commented positively on children’s play opportunities; the rich, responsive curriculum; high quality teaching; and collegial professional leadership. Recommendations included developing learning partnerships with parents and further promoting Māori language and culture. Some good work has been done in these areas.

The Review Findings

Care-a-Lot Childcare Centre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children. Children play and learn in a peaceful and settled learning environment. Their wellbeing and sense of belonging are nurtured through positive interactions, respectful relationships and good care routines. These effective practices help children as they make transitions into and through the centre.

Children are confident, self-managing learners. In accordance with the centre philosophy, children are supported to play and learn within a curriculum based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. The centre programme allows children to initiate their own learning through play and their own interests.

Children move freely around the well resourced centre and are consistently engaged in play activities. They have opportunities to explore as independent learners or to collaborate with their peers. Teachers work alongside children and support them in their play. Most teachers use openended questions skilfully to promote children’s thinking.

Learning experiences that support children’s transition to school are integrated into the programme. Teachers have begun to develop some useful processes to support children in the move to school.

Teachers have begun developing a curriculum based on identifying learning possibilities that are of interest to children, and are starting to plan processes that support this focus. Teachers involve parents in learning discussions about their child. Individual plans are formulated and the information is used in the programme.

Portfolios are good records of children’s participation in the programme. Learning stories feature important events at the centre and show the learning that takes place in play. Parents’ contributions to these records of learning are becoming increasingly evident. Teachers could consider exploring how they might reflect children’s language, culture and identity in portfolios.

Self review is becoming established with clear procedures to guide ongoing improvement. The owner keeps comprehensive documentation, including a significant amount of long-term planning that supports self review. Currently teachers are reviewing the extent to which bicultural practices are used in the programme. Teachers are undertaking te reo Māori training to improve their knowledge and enhance their confidence so that they can use te reo Māori as part of the programme.

Key Next Steps

ERO, the centre owner and teachers agree that the key next steps for review and development could include:

  • showing the progress made in implementing strategic goals
  • identifying children’s interests in planning and providing continuity in, and extension of, their learning
  • reviewing how effectively teachers document and respond to children’s learning and next steps
  • continuing to develop a curriculum that is responsive to children’s culture, language and identity.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Care-A-Lot Childcare 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 Care-A-Lot Childcare Centre will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

21 February 2014

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


Devonport, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

21 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 25

Girls 8

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā





Latin American










Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2013

Date of this report

21 February 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2011


Education Review

January 2008


Education Review

August 2004

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.