Creative Minds Childcare Centre - 17/06/2016

1 Evaluation of Creative Minds Childcare Centre

How well placed is Creative Minds Childcare 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.


Creative Minds Childcare Centre in Henderson provides full day care and education for up to 48 children from birth to school age. Children under two years are cared for in a separate but accessible area of the centre.

The centre philosophy promotes respect in a caring and safe setting. As noted in ERO's 2010 report, children from diverse ethnicities enjoy a secure environment that supports their learning, growth and development in a family-like atmosphere.

Teachers, including the owner/manager, operate as a well-functioning team. All teachers are either certified teachers, or partway through their professional early childhood education training. Teachers reflect children's diverse cultural backgrounds and ethnicities.

Teachers have responded positively to ERO's 2013 recommendations. Ongoing and relevant professional learning and development is enabling them to improve teaching and learning.

The Review Findings

Children are confident and creative learners. They demonstrate high levels of independence. Children have a clear sense of belonging at the centre and happily take responsibility for themselves, others, and the environment. They have fun and play well together for extended periods of time. Teachers are committed to respectful and caring relationships with children. They acknowledge children as capable individuals, and encourage children to discuss their ideas.

Infants and toddlers benefit from teachers' consistent caregiving. Teachers respond sensitively to each child's changing needs and preferences in a way that are appropriate to the children's stages of development. The learning environment for these younger children is quiet and peaceful, but promotes exploration and interaction with others. Flexible spaces encourage younger and older children to communicate and interact with each other.

Good work is being done to promote te ao Māori in the programme. Pacific children also know that their culture is valued and promoted. Their parents and grandparents contribute to the programme. Teachers are looking for effective ways to engage Māori parents and whānau. They are continuing to look for authentic ways to include a bicultural aspect to planning, assessment and evaluation.

The curriculum is child led and clearly based on children's interests. The planned and emergent curriculum is closely aligned with Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Learning stories in children's portfolios show their progress and development. Teachers are now ready to enrich learning stories by more deliberately including aspects of each child's culture.

Physical activity and food nutrition are key components of teaching and learning programmes. Staff value play as a vehicle for children's learning.

Centre staff are strengthening partnerships with parents and families. They are deliberately increasing parents' knowledge of effective early childhood teaching and learning. Parents have shared with ERO their appreciation of the quality of care their children receive at this centre. The centre's current focus on collecting and analysing parents' aspirations for their children is likely to increase parent involvement.

Teachers, including the owner/manager, operate as a well-functioning team and work collaboratively across all areas in the centre. Teachers have identified the need to continue to work together in responding to children's interests, strengths and needs, in planning a rich and relevant programme.

The '3 programme' provides dedicated time and space for older children to help prepare them to make the transition to school. The programme is run by different teachers in two week blocks. Teachers agree that this programme could be enhanced through:

  • including children in planning and evaluating the programme

  • deepening teachers' critical reflection to identify the impact of their teaching practice on children's learning and development

  • finding further ways to ensure that there is continuity in children's learning.

The centre leadership structure promotes a collective responsibility for children's learning and development. The centre owner/manager has built warm partnerships with parents and the community. She has also initiated closer relationships with primary schools to facilitate children's transition to school.

The centre's strategic and annual plans are focused on providing an environment of care, learning and development for children. Teachers recognise the value of effective internal evaluation and are increasingly able to reflect critically on their professional practice. The recently reviewed performance appraisal system encourages this reflection and is aligned with the requirements of the Education Council.

Key Next Steps

Teachers agree that it would now be beneficial to:

  • review the centre philosophy to more clearly document the centre's commitment to bicultural understanding and practice

  • evaluate the impact of professional learning and development and identify the extent to which it is resulting in sustainable good practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Creative Minds 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Creative Minds Childcare Centre will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

17 June 2016

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


Henderson, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

38 children, including up to 14 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 32 Girls 16

Ethnic composition








South African

Sri Lankan












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 2016

Date of this report

17 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

May 2013

Education Review

March 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.