Crossways Community Creche - 05/04/2017

1 Evaluation of Crossways Community Crèche

How well placed is Crossways Community Crèche to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

This ERO evaluation identifies areas of practice that require urgent improvement. These include self review, appraisal, cultural responsiveness, assessment, planning and evaluation. Support from the parent committee, in relation to governance, requires strengthening.

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


Crossways Community Crèche has been operating for 38 years. It is licensed for 20 children, including five aged up to two years. Sessions are held five days a week. The crèche has recently extended its operational hours, which now run from 8:30am to 2:30pm for older children, and 8:30am to 1:00pm for those aged up to two years. Children attending the centre come from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds.

The crèche is governed by a committee of parents. Curriculum implementation is delegated to qualified teachers. Day-to-day operation is managed by the head teacher. Long-term volunteers support teaching staff. Parent help is regular and valued by staff.

The philosophy emphasises the important role of family in education and empowerment of the individual child through play-based learning. A review of the philosophy, in consultation with whānau and community, is planned for 2017.

The February 2014 ERO report, identified areas of practice requiring further development. These included bicultural practice, response to Māori learners, appraisal, and assessment, planning and evaluation. Limited progress has been made in these areas.

The Review Findings

Children participate in a wide range of activities that stimulate their creativity, curiosity and communication skills. A recent review has resulted in increased opportunities for children to engage in meaningful art exploration. 

The mixed-age setting is well managed. Teachers use a range of strategies to ensure that children aged up to two years can safely engage with the programme alongside their older peers. Respectful interactions support infants and toddlers to have time to investigate and to make choices about their day. Care routines are flexible to meet children's needs.

All staff promote a warm sense of community, in line with the crèche's philosophy. Relationships between staff, children and families are strengthened through regular parent interaction in the daytoday programme. The head teacher models positive, sensitive and responsive relationships with children and families.

The crèche's diverse ethnic community is valued by teachers. They know families well and are aware of the languages that are spoken and heard at home. Some effective strategies are used by the team to respond to cultural needs. More deliberate, planned actions should enable teachers to better support and evidence positive learning outcomes from these strategies. They should also consider how to draw on home cultures, and parents' cultural aspirations for their children, in the planning, assessment and evaluation of children's learning.

The value of learning through play is strongly promoted by teachers. Useful practices are in place for sharing information about the programme with families. This knowledge now needs to be more specifically applied to design a programme around the particular interests, strengths and abilities of the children who attend the crèche.

Planning, assessment and evaluation require significant strengthening, to:

  • show how staff plan for deliberate acts of teaching

  • reflect aspirations of parents for their children's learning

  • identify and assess children's progress over time

  • show clearly how children benefit from the crèche's curriculum.

Teachers acknowledge the value of bicultural learning for all children and agree that this area of the programme requires urgent attention. Children are not currently offered a range of experiences aligned to te ao Māori. Leaders and teachers also agree they need support to identify and implement specific strategies to engage Māori learners. Careful consideration should be given to sourcing appropriate external expertise in both of these areas.

Teachers are committed to using self review to continuously improve the quality of education and care. Recent reviews have resulted in positive change, drawing on a useful range of resources and research. It is now necessary to adapt the process to be more evaluative. Internal reviews should evaluate the impact of changes on individuals and groups of children.

The parent committee is actively involved in the running of the crèche. The committee should increase its effectiveness through more clearly defining delegated roles, including expectations for areas of responsibility. Increased monitoring of committee tasks is needed to ensure teachers are able to focus on their prime role of curriculum implementation. ERO identified a number of policies requiring review. These should be more closely monitored by the committee to ensure they are kept up to date.

Current appraisal of professional staff is inadequate. The committee must establish and oversee the implementation of a robust appraisal system for teachers, in line with the requirements of the Education Council.

Key Next Steps

ERO, leaders and teaching staff agree that in order to improve outcomes for children, the following areas require further development:

  • assessment, planning and evaluation

  • the bicultural programme

  • responsiveness to children's diverse cultures, languages and identities

  • promotion of educational success for Māori children

  • internal evaluation.

In addition, the committee must ensure:

  • governance and management roles are defined and enacted

  • the regular review of policies is undertaken

  • a robust appraisal of teaching staff is implemented.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Crossways Community Crèche 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. 

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to curriculum and governance. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following areas:

  • assessment, planning and evaluation

  • appraisal. [Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, Regulation 1(a), C2, GMA7]

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service consult with the Ministry of Education and plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Crossways Community Crèche will be within two years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

5 April 2017 

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

20 children, including up to 5 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 21, Boys 16

Ethnic composition





Cook Island

Other ethnic groups







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

January 2017

Date of this report

5 April 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

February 2014

Education Review

May 2010

Education Review

March 2007

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.