Discoveries Educare Prictor St Papakura - 13/03/2018

1 Evaluation of Discoveries Educare Prictor St Papakura

How well placed is Discoveries Educare Prictor St Papakura 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.


Discoveries Educare Prictor St Papakura is a new, purpose-built service, licensed for 100 children, including up to 25 under two years of age. Children are able to attend half-day sessions or full-day care. Children are grouped, according to age, in three rooms. The infants and babies have a separate, fenced outdoor area with a gate into the older children's playground. The toddlers and preschool children share a playground.

The centre is one of 14 Discoveries Educare centres. The Discoveries owners fulfil the roles of CEO and director of the company, and oversee the strategic vision and direction of the organisation. The management team includes the owners and two curriculum managers. A new centre manager oversees day-to-day operation. There is a head teacher in each room, and the majority of teachers hold early childhood qualifications.

Families using the centre come from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds, with the largest group from Indian cultures. Staff working with children also come from a variety of cultural backgrounds. In some cases, staff are able to communicate successfully with parents in their home languages.

This review was part of a cluster of four reviews in the Discoveries Educare organisation.

The Review Findings

Children and their families are warmly welcomed into the centre. Teachers have responsive relationships with families and know them well. Children enjoy trusting relationships with teachers. They play together in friendly groups, and show their enjoyment of their time in the centre.

Children are transitioned into and through the centre well. Parents are encouraged to visit and to get to know the teachers with their children before they start attending. Teachers are starting to reflect parents' aspirations for their children in their assessment and planning, and to use children's interests as a starting point for programme planning. Teachers are working on supporting children and families to transition to school successfully.

Teachers inform parents about their children's participation in learning using both formal and informal strategies. They chat to parents at drop off and collection times, record learning stories using an online portal, and maintain portfolios about each child's participation. Teachers have identified the need to strengthen this aspect of their practice, to more strongly reflect individual children's development and learning, and their own teaching. They also plan to encourage more parent comment about and contribution to the curriculum.

Teachers need to review and improve their practices. There are parts of the programme that engage children well, such as the shared music time. At other times of the day children are less engaged in activities that interest them. Pre-set activities do not appear to be helping children to make decisions about their play. Teachers could also talk more frequently with children to help them to choose, design and extend their play. They could use internal evaluation to examine whether their teaching is effective in fostering positive learning outcomes for children.

Teachers are highly inclusive of children and strive to recognise and celebrate families' cultures, use children's home languages and celebrate cultural events. Children understand and respond positively to teachers' inclusion of te reo and tikanga Māori in programmes. Teachers are committed to promoting and building their own and children's knowledge of te ao Māori and bicultural practices.

The Discoveries managers support teachers' professional practice well. The teaching teams in this centre are still forming. They have identified aspects of quality provision and are also actively engaging in review to determine next steps in improvement. Once the teams are more settled, it would be a positive step to review and develop philosophies that describe teachers' ambitions for teaching and learning in their rooms, in collaboration with parents.

The Discoveries Educare organisation provides a sound framework of operational policies and procedures to support the day-to-day management of centres. The management group is strongly focused on improving the quality of the service within a safe, nurturing environment for children, and also on excellent support for families. The organisation provides regular opportunities for teachers to engage in professional development, and gain support from the curriculum managers.

Key Next Steps

Managers agree that teachers should continue to:

  • develop high level internal evaluation to help build teachers' understanding of teaching practices that contribute to positive learning outcomes

  • co-construct the planning and presentation of the programme with children to further extend their thinking and engagement

  • strengthen respectful, responsive interactions with children

  • promote and support leadership at all levels, including children and parents.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Discoveries Educare Prictor St Papakura 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 Discoveries Educare Prictor St Papakura will be in three years.

Julie Foley

DeputyChief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

13 March 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


Papakura, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

100 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 45 Boys 45

Ethnic composition

Cook Island Māori
Middle Eastern
Sri Lankan


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

December 2017

Date of this report

13 March 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports

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.