Dinsdale Early Learning Centre - 19/11/2018

1 Evaluation of Dinsdale Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Dinsdale Early Learning 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.


Dinsdale Early Learning Centre is situated in Hamilton city, in the suburb of Dinsdale. It is an all-day education and care centre licensed for 45 children including up to 15 aged under two years. It operates two age-based rooms catering for infants, toddlers and young children. At the time of this review there were 49 children enrolled, mostly of Māori and Pākehā descent and including a small number of other nationalities.

The centre's philosophy aims to enable child-directed play, children having the freedom to explore, choose and discover at their own pace. The centre has a positive ERO review history. Since the last ERO review in 2015 a new centre manager has been appointed and staffing has remained stable. The centre has responded to ERO’s recommendations and developed leadership processes and systems.

The centre operates under the governance and management of Central North Island Early Education Services Trust and the Central North Island Kindergarten Association Trust, community not-for-profit organisations. The overarching philosophy is to provide centres that enable children to reach their full potential, and learning through play, supported by passionate professional people.

This review was part of a cluster of four reviews in the Central North Island Early Education Services Trust.

The Review Findings

Children and their families are welcomed into a homely environment. Relationships are positive, trusting and respectful. Children develop close friendships and their social and emotional competencies are strongly fostered by teachers who affirm their efforts and contributions. Children's belonging and wellbeing are fostered.

The curriculum is highly inclusive and promotes equitable learning for children and contributes to them developing as capable and confident learners. Particular strengths of the curriculum include:

  • the natural integration of literacy, mathematics, aspects of te reo and tikanga Māori into children’s interests and play
  • well-supported individualised transitions into the centre, between rooms and on to school that supports the emotional wellbeing of each child
  • effective assessment, planning and evaluation processes that successfully identify progress and continuity of learning
  • well-monitored individual education plans for children who have been identified as needing additional support programmes.

Children engage in sustained and complex self-directed learning. Intentional teaching skilfully promotes children's creative thinking and problem solving. Teachers actively listen and have learning conversations that motivate children to investigate and problem solve.

Leadership of the centre is effective. Well-established sustainable systems and processes include:

  • a shared understanding of centre philosophy, vision and goals
  • a collaborative team culture
  • a professional learning culture that grows staff capability and capacity
  • internal evaluation and decision making that supports ongoing improvement and leads to positive outcomes for children and their families.

Governance and management have comprehensive, well-established systems and practices to enable the organisation to monitor, evaluate and plan for improvement for its early learning centres. Clear guidelines and expectations for centre practice and curriculum are strongly fostered by the leadership team and trust. The vision and values support positive outcomes for children's learning, wellbeing and that of their whānau.

Key Next Step

The key next step is to continue to build systems, process and practices such as assessment to be more responsive to children’s language, culture and identity, particularly Māori.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Dinsdale Early Learning 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 Dinsdale Early Learning Centre will be in three years.

Adrienne Fowler

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

19 November 2018

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


Dinsdale, Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

45 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 26 Boys 23

Ethnic composition

South East Asian


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2018

Date of this report

19 November 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2015

Education Review

July 2012

Education Review

August 2009

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.