Christopher and Robin Early Childhood Centre - 19/12/2019

1 Evaluation of Christopher and Robin Early Childhood Centre

How well placed is Christopher and Robin Early Childhood Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Christopher and Robin Early Childhood Centre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Christopher and Robin Early Childhood Centre provides full-day care and education for 75 children, including up to 25 aged under two years. Children are grouped according to age in two separate learning spaces. About a third of enrolled children are of Māori heritage.

The centre is privately owned by a company. A director of the company provides governance support. The teaching team has been through a restructure. New centre leaders have recently been appointed and include a manager and two head teachers. They lead a team of six other qualified teachers, two teachers in training and a teacher aide.

The philosophy is underpinned by Christian values. The focus is on empowering children to take ownership for their learning in partnership with teachers and whānau. The values of generosity and community-mindedness are encouraged.

The 2015 ERO report highlighted the calm and settled environment and positive interactions between children and teachers. Bicultural practice was recognised as a strength. These good practices have been maintained. Areas for review and development included strategic planning to promote Māori success and expectations of high-quality leadership and teaching practices. Strategic planning is an area for continued development.

The Review Findings

Children experience positive respectful interactions with adults. They confidently approach adults for conversation and support, and have opportunities to lead their play and learning. Children care for each other and have developed strong friendships.

Teachers provide individual care for infants and toddlers. A 'key teacher' system enables teachers to build deeper relationships with children and their whānau. Key teachers ensure each child's care needs are met, which promotes children's wellbeing and sense of belonging in the centre. The infants and toddlers teaching team has benefited from specialised professional learning that has prompted reflective thinking and evaluation about the impact of current processes and practices on outcomes for younger children.

Te ao Māori is evident in centre practices and documentation. Two teachers are supporting the team to strengthen bicultural practices. Leaders and teachers have identified as a key next step, the development of kaiako and tamariki pepehā and mihi whakatau.

Leaders have recently established a centre-wide approach to programme planning based on teachers' observations of children's learning dispositions, strengths and interests. Each child has an individual assessment portfolio. Parents' aspirations for their children's learning are becoming more evident in portfolios. Teachers have started using Te Whāriki (2017), the early childhood curriculum, to promote continued review and improvement of programme planning processes.

Indoor learning environments are well set out by teachers and invite children's exploration. Outdoor areas are currently under review. Leaders and teachers need to ensure outdoor play surfaces are fit for purpose and provide protection from injury. A comprehensive centre-wide audit of equipment and learning resources needs to occur to ensure children can choose from a wide range of resources, experience challenge, and engage in more complex play for sustained periods of time.

Leaders and teachers are currently undertaking a review of the centre's philosophy to ensure it reflects the beliefs and practices of the current teaching team. An organisational culture of ongoing improvement is becoming established. The new leadership team is promoting deeper thinking about quality outcomes for children through robust internal evaluation. The team could now consider ways to bring more cohesion to the service's guiding documents through closer alignment of strategic goals, annual plans, appraisal goals and internal evaluation projects.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps include:

  • reviewing and extending the range and quality of learning resources across the centre to promote children's sustained, complex play and learning

  • continuing to provide professional learning opportunities to develop the capacity of the leadership team.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Christopher and Robin Early 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.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services (Northern)

Northern Region - Te Tai Raki

19 December 2019

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


Raumanga, Whangarei

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

75 children, including up to 25 aged under 2 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 48 Girls 28

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2019

Date of this report

19 December 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2015

Education Review

September 2011

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.