Devonport Methodist Childcare Centre - 29/03/2019

1 Evaluation of Devonport Methodist Childcare Centre

How well placed is Devonport Methodist Childcare Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Devonport Methodist Childcare Centre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Devonport Methodist Childcare Centre provides for up to 60 children, including 20 under two years of age. The centre is owned by the Devonport Methodist Centre Trust and governed by a board comprised of church, parent and community representatives.

Programmes are provided for children in three age groups. The caterpillar room offers learning programmes suited to babies and toddlers. The chrysalis room providing for two year olds, and the butterfly room for older children, have a shared outdoor area. The majority of teachers are qualified, and meals are prepared onsite by an experienced cook.

At the time of the 2015 ERO report, centre facilities including the bathroom and kitchen, had been upgraded and the centre had been relicensed for an increased roll. ERO's report noted positive respectful relationships that supported children's learning and progress, and recommended improving programmes, particularly in the areas of bicultural practices and transition to school.

In mid-2018, a new centre director and administrator were appointed. The new director, together with the long-serving head teacher, are undertaking an extensive review of centre operations.

The Review Findings

Recent programme changes are having a positive impact on children's learning experiences. Teachers' planning has become more responsive to children's interests, allowing opportunities for extended play and better access to resources. Teachers enable children to lead their learning and provide uninterrupted time for them to explore the environment and engage in creative and imaginative play.

Children's health and wellbeing are central to teachers' practices. Respectful relationships between children and adults support children to develop confidence and trust. Teachers nurture and cater for infants' and toddlers' individual needs. Older children enjoy friendships with others that enhance their social skills and oral language. They are physically active, engage enthusiastically, and understand teachers' expectations and centre routines.

Many families have had a long association with the centre. Teachers know the children and their families well and welcome information from home. Children's diverse cultures and home languages are valued. Teachers promote the use of te reo and tikanga Māori throughout the programme. In addition to written portfolios, new digital ways of documenting and sharing children's learning progress have been recently introduced.

The centre is currently undergoing a period of extensive internal review. The new director has prioritised the learning philosophy as a key area for consultation and evaluation. Teachers are reviewing the extent to which outcomes for children align with Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Professional development planned for 2019 should support teachers to implement improvements in centre procedures and practices.

Reporting to the board is becoming more systematic, particularly in relation to health and safety, and personnel management. Centre policies are being updated and rationalised. Plans for improving the main outdoor area are being progressed. The development of a long-term strategic plan would provide a framework for internal evaluation and a better guide for reporting in relation to the centre's annual goals.

Key Next Steps

The director and board chair have the capability to continue guiding centre developments. They agree that priorities for further improvement include:

  • continuing to explore the potential of Te Whāriki 2017 to support the development of a local, bicultural curriculum

  • rationalising the number of centre policies, and completing the review of policies and procedures to ensure consistency with the Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education & Care Services 2008

  • developing long-term plans that align with annual goals and systematic reporting expectations

  • conducting a staffing review and ensuring that there is a meaningful appraisal and performance management process for qualified and unqualified staff.


ERO recommends that external professional development be purposefully targeted towards improving assessment and programme planning practices, extending opportunities for more complex and challenging learning, and evaluating learning outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Devonport Methodist 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, the director should develop robust and systematic reporting processes to assure the board of Devonport Methodist Childcare Centre Trust that:

  • all staff have been safety checked in relation to the Vulnerable Children's Act, and unqualified staff have been systematically police vetted

  • health and safety regulations are being met and reported hazards are promptly addressed.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

29 March 2019

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


Devonport, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

60 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 48 Boys 31

Ethnic composition

other European
other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2018

Date of this report

29 March 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2015

Education Review

April 2009

Education Review

September 2006

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.