Creators Christian Childcare Centre - 28/05/2020

1 Evaluation of Creators Christian Childcare Centre

How well placed is Creators Christian Childcare Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Creators Christian Childcare Centre is very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Creators Christian Childcare Centre is located in the suburb of Forest Lake, Hamilton. The centre caters for children from birth up to the age of six. It provides full day education and care for children in three areas - nursery, toddlers and kindy. The centre is licensed for 62 children, including 25 up to the age of two years. A small proportion of the students identify as Māori.

Nine qualified teachers are employed at the centre, with an additional three teachers completing their training.

The not-for-profit Trust centre is part of an organisation with three centres in the Waikato and home-based care that operates nationally. Since the May 2015 ERO report, the executive management team and the board has changed. There are three independent trustees on the board, and this includes the chief executive officer.

One of the centre's four pillars is the Reggio Emilia approach and they aim to be a 'world-leading' example in Aotearoa, New Zealand. The other underpinning pillars are ‘love and connection, play and values-based learning'. The core values are strong connected relationships, education and community. The centre purpose states: ‘Because children deserve our very best’ and ‘We recognise children as contributors to society’.

The key initiatives for 2019 are: property project; staff appraisal; sustainable practices and resources; and increased engagement through an online assessment platform for parents.

The centre has responded well to the areas for development identified in the previous ERO report to review and develop management, reporting and quality assurance systems.

The Review Findings

Children are nurtured in a culture of care and respect that fosters their sense of belonging. Teachers know the children well and form responsive and reciprocal relationships with parents and whānau. Children up to the age of two years benefit from warm, nurturing interactions with teachers, in a calm and caring environment. Children with additional needs are catered for respectfully within the centre programme. Transitions into, through and out of the centre are flexible and responsive to individual needs.

The environments are well-monitored, calm and settled. They provide a range of opportunities for learning and development through exploration and play. The all-weather outdoor approach encourages all children to freely explore, promoting curiosity and independence.

A broad, rich curriculum supports children’s interests and learning. The responsive curriculum allows children's interests to be acknowledged and followed. A wide range of activities provides choice, opportunities and challenges. Children are supported to make decisions about their own learning and they have ready access to individual portfolios. These are also available in an on-line format where parents are encouraged to make comment and give feedback.

Te ao Māori is woven across the curriculum. Enrichment programmes such as regular forest walks are a feature to foster, respect and care for the natural environment. Respectful cultural practices and protocols are integrated within a Christian context.

Collaborative, cohesive leadership supports teachers to develop their professional capability. The executive leadership team places priorities on wellbeing of children and staff, and professional development for teachers. Strategic resourcing supports future direction to develop curriculum, teaching and learning. Reflective practice is a vital part of internal evaluation that has strengthened systems and processes across the centre at all levels. This is leading to positive changes that are benefitting children.

Key Next Steps

To further improve practice leaders and teachers should continue to develop consistent practice with learning stories, in line with documented guidelines.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Creators Christian 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.

In order to improve practice management needs to ensure that all fixtures and equipment should be secured for earthquake safety.

Darcy Te Hau

Acting Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

28 May 2020

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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

62 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 31 Boys 38

Ethnic composition



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

August 2019

Date of this report

28 May 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2015

Education Review

March 2012

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.