Country Creche Childcare Centre - 20/12/2012

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

The service is very well placed to successfully promote positive outcomes for children.


Country Creche is a privately owned centre located in an attractive setting on 2.5 hectares of rural land in Matangi, between Hamilton and Cambridge. It provides high-quality education and care for children from birth to school age. A feature of the programme is the opportunity for children to experience the natural world through observing and interacting with a wide range of animals such as pigs, chickens, turtles, rabbits and birds.

The tone in the centre is positive and calm. ERO observed children interacting positively and learning happily alongside their peers and teachers.

In 2011, the preschool and the areas for babies and toddlers were combined and relicensed under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008. Prior to 2011, both licenses had a very positive reporting history with ERO. The centre now has a maximum roll of 72 children, including 15 under two years. There are six Māori children attending. The centre is made up of three separate buildings that each cater for a different age group of children.

For the past eight years, the owner/manager has provided stability and a positive sense of direction for staff and families. Many teaching staff enjoy a long term association with the centre. Managers and teachers are passionate about providing high-quality education and care, and committed to maintaining and improving the service for children and families.

The centre philosophy states the ‘young children learn best through play, exploration and social interaction’. The programme is planned in response to children’s strengths, interests and ideas. It is based on Te Whāriki (the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum).

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Areas of strength

The centre programme

The centre programme provides many opportunities for children to explore the natural world in a large, well-maintained and closely supervised outdoor area. Learning areas are set up by teachers to challenge children’s developing physical skills and build confidence to participate in interesting activities. The programme allows them to make decisions about their learning that are supported and extended by teachers. The separate age-group areas allow children to experience a programme that is developmentally appropriate and nurtures their individuality.

Leadership and management

The centre is effectively managed by an experienced, professional and well-regarded owner/manager. She provides well-documented and structured systems to guide all aspects of centre operations and professional practice for staff. The owner/manager has successfully established collaborative relationships and a shared sense of purpose amongst teachers. She is supportive of teachers’ professional learning and has recently reviewed and strengthened teacher performance management systems.

There are high levels of team work and trust within the leadership team, which is made up of the owner/manager and the supervisor for each age-group area. Together they provide clear guidelines and high expectations for the service. They work alongside teachers to ensure consistency of practice in the delivery of high-quality education and care.

Teaching and learning

Teachers skilfully notice opportunities to engage with children and support their learning. They manage relationships between and amongst children sensitively and appropriately. Teachers are responsive to children’s social, emotional and physical needs. This is particularly apparent during the times when children arrive at the centre, move between age-specific areas and transition to school. Literacy and mathematical experiences are well integrated throughout the daily programme. Teachers meet regularly to plan the programme and share information about children’s interests. Detailed, well-illustrated individual child portfolios provide a visible record of learning for parents.

Areas for development and review 

Centre leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, on the following areas for development and review:

  • the way leaders and teachers plan and implement self review to bring about further improvements to centre operations and teaching practice
  • the way the service fosters New Zealand’s bicultural heritage.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Country Creche 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.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services Northern Region (Acting)

20 December 2012

Information about the Early Childhood Service



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

72 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 56 Boys 52

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

NZ Māori




Other European







Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Exceeds minimum requirements


Over 2


Exceeds minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2012

Date of this report

20 December 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports 

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

  • 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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.