Carrigane Infant Centre - 10/07/2014

Evaluation of Carrigane Infant Centre

How well placed is Carrigane Infant 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 Infant Centre is a long established service providing education and care for young children from Johnsonville and the surrounding suburbs. This and the adjacent Childcare 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.

Carrigane Infant Centre is licensed for up to 23 children, including 20 up to two years old. The philosophy is based on empowering children to learn. Staff from both services work closely as a team. The teaching team at this centre is well established.

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

Carrigane Infant Centre focuses on children aged from birth to approximately two and a half years old. Children enjoy responsive and respectful interactions with teachers. High ratios of teachers to children provide many opportunities for one-to-one interactions. The programme is clearly underpinned by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

Teachers know children well and promote their wellbeing. They recognise that consistency and continuity of care are important in establishing a secure foundation for young children’s early learning. The centre’s philosophy is evident in practice.

Teachers respond to verbal and non-verbal cues of children and actively foster their language development. Routines within the centre allow children to feel secure. Within these routines, teachers recognise and use learning opportunities well. A calm, slow pace is maintained to allow children to lead their own learning.

The environment provides opportunities for children to explore and develop. Comfortable spaces are available for children who are not yet mobile and for those who are crawling and learning to walk. A good range of activities and equipment is available that provides challenge for children.

Teachers work together as a team. Children with special needs are well included in the programme. Where appropriate teachers seek support from external agencies. Transition from the Infant Centre to the adjacent Childcare Centre is a well structured process, undertaken at the child’s pace allowing for continuity of care and learning. Children’s independence is supported.

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. They are responsive to the priorities identified by whānau and have identified ways to support Māori children to enjoy success as Māori. Teachers should strengthen strategies and practices that will ensure this is maintained as a priority.

An established assessment, planning and evaluation process guides the development of the curriculum. The process effectively uses parents' aspirations to plan and document a ‘focus child’s’ learning. Teachers should consider how this can be extended to show the learning and progress for all children over time.

Information from self review is used to make changes to the environment and to improve opportunities for children. The process would be strengthened by the use of external research and best practices examples. This should assist teachers to develop evidence-based indicators of practice to better evaluate their own practices.

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

A similar process is in place to support provisionally registered teachers. This too could be strengthened by having more regular formal observations and including feed-forward for the teacher.

Strategic, annual and management planning is well aligned. A cycle of policy reviews is undertaken and parents have opportunities to contribute. The centre is exploring ways to further improve communication between parents and families. 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 Infant 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 Infant 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

23 children, including up to 20 aged up to 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 14, Girls 11

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā







Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements


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.