DOT Kids Ltd - 06/04/2018

1 Evaluation of DOT Kids Ltd

How well placed is DOT Kids Ltd 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.


DOT Kids Ltd, is located in Martinborough. It caters for up to 45 children, including 10 up to the age of two years. Of the 48 children enrolled, 10 are Māori. Many children are from rural families in the surrounding district.

All members of the teaching team are qualified. The centre manager, with the support of the assistant manager, is responsible for day-to-day centre operations.

In August 2016 there was a change of ownership, to Provincial Education Group, which provides management and governance support. There is a commitment to the provision of high quality education and care.

The centre philosophy emphasises the importance of relationships with parents and whānau, community and the environment. It is underpinned by the principles of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. 

The February 2015 ERO report for DOT Kids Ltd identified key next steps for development. These included: continuing to strengthen strategic reviews; ensuring procedures were consistent with practice; developing alignment of strategic and annual planning; and providing for cultural inclusion as part of the appraisal system. The centre, with the support of Provincial Education Group, has made considerable progress in responding to these areas for development.

The Review Findings

Children learn in a positive, supportive environment that reflects the service's philosophy. Teachers know them and their families well. Strong friendships amongst children are evident.

Children follow their interests and lead their own learning. A wide range of resources encourages investigation and imagination, and enables children to be physically active. They show confidence and competence as learners and sustain their play for long periods. Early literacy, mathematics and science development is meaningfully integrated into learning contexts.

Group planning is responsive to children's emerging interests and themes within the centre. Teachers plan a range of activities and strategies to extend children's knowledge and skills. Children's voice is valued, regularly gathered and used to show what they know and can do. Teachers should continue to strengthen the identification of the learning that is occurring and how this will be extended over time for individuals and groups.

Portfolios are valuable records of children's engagement and participation in the programme. An online programme provides an opportunity for parents to contribute to their children's learning. Leaders and teachers are focused on developing learning partnerships with parents and whānau and are considering what this might look like in their community.

A vision statement identifies what the service values for children up to the age of two years. They are nurtured in a calm, peaceful environment where they can actively explore and investigate. Teachers are attuned to infants' non-verbal cues and respond sensitively to each child's needs and preferences. They find opportunities to model and support developing language. With the recent changes to the teaching team it is now timely to review the vision statement to ensure that there is a shared understanding of what is valued for this age group.

Children requiring additional learning support are well provided for through inclusive practices and positive relationships with parents, whānau and external agencies. Responsive planning supports their full participation in the programme alongside their peers.

Māori children experiencing success as Māori and what this means in the service is a strategic focus. Leaders and teachers are committed to their own learning and have actively sought a range of professional learning opportunities. This has strengthened their knowledge and understanding of te ao Māori and their relationship with local iwi. As a result, the curriculum is increasingly responsive to Māori children's culture, language and identity. Teachers have identified that this continues to be an area for further development.

Provincial Education Group has developed some useful systems and processes to support and monitor centre operations, management and teaching and learning. Ongoing monitoring enables governors and managers to identify where support is needed and to respond accordingly.

The revised appraisal process has been strengthened and provides a sound framework for teachers to reflect on and improve their practice through active inquiry.

The centre's 2017 - 2019 strategic plan identifies appropriate priorities and goals. Regular reflection on progress enables the centre to identify what is working well, or not working well, and why.

A collaborative culture is evident. Leaders and teachers are improvement focused. Internal evaluation is developing well as a means to measure the impact of processes and practices on outcomes for children. More clearly identifying indicators and expected outcomes for children should further strengthen this process.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre leaders agree that the centre's next steps are to:

  • strengthen assessment practices to extend children's learning in partnership with parents and whānau
  • review the centre vision for infants and toddlers
  • strengthen internal evaluation. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of DOT Kids Ltd 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 DOT Kids Ltd will be in three years.

Alan Wynyard
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

6 April 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 



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 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 26, Boys 22

Ethnic composition

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

February 2018

Date of this report

6 April 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 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 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.