Caterpillars to Butterflys Childcare - 23/01/2017

1 Evaluation of Caterpillars to Butterflys Childcare

How well placed is Caterpillars to Butterflys Childcare to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Caterpillar to Butterflys Childcare requires support to improve the quality of the programme and the management of the centre in order to better promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


Caterpillars to Butterflys Childcare is located in the North Shore suburb of Hillcrest. It is licensed to provide all day education and care for 35 children including 15 up to two years of age. The centre is organised into two main areas to cater for infants and toddlers, and older children. Children are from diverse cultural backgrounds, and are mostly Māori, Pākehā, Chinese or Indian.

The centre opened in 2008 and has had five ERO reviews since that time. It returned to a regular three year review cycle in 2013. The owner and manager have addressed some areas for improvement identified in ERO's 2013 report. They have developed strategic and annual plans to guide operations and have begun to use an appraisal process. The centre maintains a stable staff of qualified, registered teachers and teachers in training.

The Review Findings

Parents and children are warmly welcomed into the centre. Children appear to be happy and settled. They have affectionate relationships with each other and their teachers. Children know the centre routines well. Infants and toddlers benefit from mixed-age play in shared areas. Teachers' relationships with children are caring and nurturing.

Teachers are enthusiastic in their interactions with children. They are beginning to have meaningful discussions with them. Further engagement in one-to- one conversations should help to build children’s oral language skills and knowledge.

Teachers are trying to use te reo Māori mainly through songs. They should continue to model the use of te reo throughout the day. The inclusion of children’s cultures in the programme and learning environment would also be worthwhile.

Parents contribute to the curriculum through sharing children’s interests. Teachers make good links to the principles and strands of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, in some portfolios.

Teachers could now benefit from professional support to develop planning, assessment, and teaching strategies to extend learning through children’s interests. A useful next step would be to develop ways to more clearly document children's learning progress and development. This would also enable teachers to better evaluate the effectiveness of their practices in promoting positive outcomes for children.

The condition of the outdoor learning environment limits opportunities for children to learn and play. A review of the outdoor space in 2013 has not resulted in sufficient improvement. A more deliberate approach to the management of this environment is necessary to encourage children to explore, investigate and make choices about their learning.

The owner agrees that the centre's existing teacher appraisal system requires strengthening. She should consider using the Ministry of Education resource Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners, to build teachers awareness of cultural competencies.

A review of the philosophy, strategic and annual plans, policies and appraisal should be undertaken with the aim of better aligning these documents. The manager has identified that a shared approach to leadership could further help to build staff capability. Professional learning in this area has been planned for senior teachers in 2017.

The manager and teachers are continuing to develop internal evaluation. The manager has accessed professional learning courses for staff. More effective evaluation should help managers and teachers to make informed decisions and identify priorities for development.

Key Next Steps

The manager agrees that priorities for centre development include:

  • teacher's participation in professional learning to improve the quality of teaching practices

  • improving programme planning and assessment to strengthen provision for children's learning

  • reflecting on how well teachers support all children's languages and cultures

  • strengthening the rigour of internal evaluation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Caterpillars to Butterflys Childcare 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

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance during the review. To meet requirements the service needs to:

  • implement a curriculum that is informed by assessment, planning, and evaluation and that demonstrates an understanding of children's learning

  • support teachers to demonstrate an understanding of children's learning and development that is consistent with current research, theory and practices in early childhood education

  • ensure that all teachers are regularly appraised.

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, C2, C4, GMA7.

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service consult with the Ministry of Education and plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Caterpillars to Butterflys Childcare will be within two years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

23 January 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


Hillcrest, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

35 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 16 Girls 10

Ethnic composition





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

October 2016

Date of this report

23 January 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

June 2013

Supplementary Review

April 2012

Supplementary Review

November 2010

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.