Carrigane Childcare Centre - 10/07/2014

Evaluation of Carrigane Childcare Centre

How well placed is Carrigane 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.


Carrigane Childcare Centre is a long established service providing education and care for young children from Johnsonville and the surrounding suburbs. This and the adjacent Infant and Toddlers Centre, are owned by a family trust who make up the membership of the governing board. A member of the family manages both centres and has the day-to-day responsibility. The manager and the two head teachers make up the management and professional leadership team responsible for the quality of education provided for children. They meet on a regular basis.

This full day childcare centre is licensed for 28 children. At the time of the review there were 30 children, aged over two years, on the roll. The centre has a strong family focus, with a history of stable staffing. The majority of staff are qualified and registered. The centre and staff have long term established links with the local community. A sense of belonging and wellbeing is evident.

Since ERO's 2011 review there has been a focus on building a collaborative team approach. Both centres have been repainted inside and out, and some areas have been recarpeted. The centre has a positive reporting history with ERO.

The Review Findings

The philosophy, which underpins all aspects of operation at the centre, is focused on empowering children to learn and is evident in practice. Children are settled and take responsibility for their own learning. High ratios of adults to children allow opportunities for teachers to be involved constructively with individuals and small groups for considerable periods of time. The programme is clearly based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

Routines are unobtrusive and more flexible than previously. Children now take much of the responsibility for choosing activities and self care during the day. Within these routines teachers recognise and use learning opportunities well. They foster language development through conversations, open ended questions and giving children time to respond. Books and stories are popular. Children are confident, curious and self motivated learners.

A recent introduction has been the morning hui. It is child led, sets the scene for the day, te reo Māori is used naturally by adults and children, routines and happenings are discussed. Staff report children enjoy taking on the leadership role and that they are more settled knowing the routine of the day ahead.

When the weather is fine, both centres are opened up so that children can move freely between the two. Children explore and use the entire play area and all the resources as they choose. This allows for more in-depth relationships between the older and younger children, a greater familiarity with a wider range of equipment, and an opportunity to explore and challenge themselves within a safe environment. Transition between the centres is a smooth, relaxed, unhurried process led by the child.

Teachers are seeking ways to maintain children’s connections with their cultural identity. To varying degrees, they use te reo Māori in their interactions with children, many of whom understand and respond. They have also been looking at ways to make Māori culture more visible. Teachers should strengthen strategies and practices that maintain this focus on supporting Māori children to enjoy success as Māori.

An established assessment, planning and evaluation process guides the development of the curriculum. However, as a child may only become a focus once a year, staff should consider how they provide for and document the learning and progress of all children over time. The leadership team is currently exploring other assessment tools.

Self review, both planned and spontaneous, has been an area of development. Information gained is used to make changes to the environment and improve learning opportunities for children. Staff develop a set of indicators for each review undertaken. The process would be strengthened by the use of external research and best practices examples.

An appraisal process is well established. It includes elements of self and peer reflection and links to the registered teacher criteria. The process would be strengthened through a clearer focus on improvement, the inclusion of formal observations, a sharpening of the goals to make them specific and aligned with teaching practice.

Strategic, annual and management planning is well aligned. Planning is reviewed annually at the beginning of the year. The management team has identified that increasing parent contributions in learning is a next step.

Key Next Steps

The following areas should be strengthened.

  • The quality of appraisals. Leaders should clearly align professional development, teaching practice, appraisal and strategic outcomes.

  • The bicultural programme to support adults' and childrens' understanding of te ao Māori.

  • Assessment, planning and evaluation to better analyse children’s learning and show learning and progress over time.

  • Self review and the use of external research to support the development of best practice indicators.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Carrigane 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 Carrigane Childcare Centre will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

10 July 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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

28 children aged over 2 years

Service roll


Gender composition

16 girls, 14 boys

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā

Other Ethnic Groups




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

May 2014

Date of this report

10 July 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2011


Education Review

June 2007


Education Review

February 2005

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.