CountryLife Educare Ltd - 29/10/2020

ERO’s Akanuku | Assurance Review reports provide information about whether a service meets and maintains regulatory standards. Further information about Akanuku | Assurance Reviews is included at the end of this report.

ERO’s Judgement

Regulatory standards

ERO’s judgement



Premises and facilities


Health and safety

Not meeting

Governance, management and administration


At the time of the review, ERO identified non-compliance with health and safety standards that must be addressed.


CountryLife Educare Ltd is a privately owned service in a rural setting in the Takapu Valley. The owners purchased the service in October 2017. The centre is licensed to provide education and care for up to 35 children, including five under two years. The owners manage the day-to-day operation of the service.

Summary of Review Findings

The service curriculum is consistent with Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Strategies are in place to involve parents and whānau in their children’s learning. Teachers are responsive to individual children’s interests and preferences and promote their developing social competence. Collaboration with external agencies to support children is evident.

The design and layout of the premises support the provision of different types of indoor and outdoor experiences. Consistent implementation of health and safety practices is required to meet all aspects of regulatory compliance.

Actions for Compliance

ERO found areas of non-compliance in the service relating to:

  • a current fire evacuation scheme approved by the New Zealand Fire Service
  • identifying, eliminating, minimising or isolating hazards, including the fixing of equipment that could topple and cause harm
  • a written emergency plan includes a list of safety and emergency supplies and resources sufficient for the age and number of children and adults at the service, and details of how these will be maintained and accessed in an emergency. Evidence of review of the emergency plans on, at least, an annual basis and implementation of improved practices as required
  • an evaluation of the drills to inform the annual review of the service’s emergency plan
  • the analysis of accident and incident records to identify hazards and appropriate actions are taken
  • evidence of parental permission and approval of adult: child ratios for special excursions
  • assessment and management of risk when children leave the premises on a regular or special excursion
  • records of all food served, showing the type of food available for inspection for 3 months after the food has been served.

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Services, 2008, HS4, HS6, HS7, HS8, HS12, HS17, HS19.

Since the onsite visit the service has provided ERO with evidence that shows it has addressed the following non-compliances:

  • equipment not stored safely
  • stretchers not made of or securely covered by a non-porous material
  • the designated sleep space not designed to minimise fluctuations in temperature
  • monitoring the temperature of warm water delivered from taps to children
  • ensuring rooms are kept at a comfortable temperature no lower than 16 degrees at 500 mm above the floor
  • the availability of the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008 for parents and visitors to access.

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Services, 2008, PF8, PF30, PF37, HS13, HS24, GMA1.

Recommendation to Ministry of Education

ERO recommends the Ministry follows up with the service provider to ensure that non-compliances identified in this report are addressed promptly.

Next ERO Review

The next ERO review of CountryLife Educare Ltd will be in consultation with the Ministry of Education.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)

Southern Region | Te Tai Tini

29 October 2020

Information About the Service

Early Childhood Service Name

CountryLife Educare Ltd

Profile Number




Service type

Education and care service

Number licensed for

35 children, including up to 5 aged under 2

Percentage of qualified teachers


Service roll


Gender composition

Male 14, Female 18

Ethnic composition

Māori 5
NZ European/Pākehā 16
Other ethnicities 11

Review team on site

September 2020

Date of this report

29 October 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

First ERO review of the service.

General Information about Assurance Reviews

All services are licensed under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008. The legal requirements for early childhood services also include the Licensing Criteria for Education and Care Services 2008.

Services must meet the standards in the regulations and the requirements of the licensing criteria to gain and maintain a licence to operate.

ERO undertakes an Akanuku | Assurance Review process in any centre-based service:

  • having its first ERO review – including if it is part of a governing organisation
  • previously identified as ‘not well placed’ or ‘requiring further development’
  • that has moved from a provisional to a full licence
  • that have been re-licenced due to a change of ownership
  • where an Akanuku | Assurance Review process is determined to be appropriate.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

All early childhood services are required to promote children’s health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements. Before the review, the staff and management of a service 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.

As part of an Akanuku | Assurance Review ERO assesses whether the regulated standards are being met. In particular, ERO looks at a 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 certification; ratios)
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

As part of an Akanuku | Assurance Review ERO also gathers and records evidence through:

  • discussions with those involved in the service
  • consideration of relevant documentation, including the implementation of health and safety systems
  • observations of the environment/premises, curriculum implementation and teaching practice.