DOT Kids Ltd - 23/02/2015

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, located in Martinborough, is one of two all-day early childhood centres owned and operated jointly. It caters for children from infants to school age. Most of the children are New Zealand European/Pākehā and 25 % identify as Māori.

The centre is licensed for 45 children, including 10 aged up to two years. The children up to two years old have a separate, well-designed space and designated caregivers.

The March 2012 ERO report was the first under the new ownership. All of the issues identified in the previous report have been addressed. There is ongoing improvement to the physical environment to continue to challenge and stimulate children’s interests.

The Review Findings

The centre’s philosophy is highly evident in practice. It is regularly reviewed through community consultation. There is a strong commitment to connecting with local context and this is supported through iwi collaboration. The philosophy is firmly based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

The programme and stimulating physical environment enable children to be engaged, active, and confident learners. Children move freely between the range of learning areas and are often engaged in sustained play.

The centre is well led. Teachers informally integrate early mathematics and literacy learning into the curriculum. The service recently reviewed the way it supports children to become confident, capable mathematical learners. The outcome confirmed the value of their approach and identified some useful next steps.

The centre is well resourced to assist children's language development. A well-considered art area enhances children’s skills and facilitates good conversations. Teachers interact well with children and skilfully use resources such as books to extend language. Children's thinking and language should be further enriched with more open-ended questioning by teachers.

The centre is inclusive. Many deliberate strategies have enhanced learning opportunities for children needing additional support. Examples include:

accessing outside agenciesfunding a support teacher for children under the age of threeall children learning sign languageproviding a translator for parents of children with English as another languageteaching te reo Māori to all childrenenabling all children to participate fully in the centre programme.

The owners have a strong commitment to iwi consultation to facilitate positive learning experiences for Māori children and implement an authentic bicultural programme. A next step is for the owners and teachers to consider using Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners as part of the appraisal system.

Teachers of children aged up to two years have developed a vision statement. Teachers “endeavour to provide a peaceful environment which focuses on calm, respectful routines and rituals while also promoting a child initiated programme, extending and enhancing children’s interests.” These practices are clearly evident.

Teachers have a collaborative approach that enables them to share and develop their practice and increase their responsiveness to the needs of individual learners. Portfolios describe children's participation in many activities and these are freely accessed and enjoyed by the children. Teachers acknowledge the next step is to show a closer link between planning and the programme. Learning for children with complex needs is clearly documented and development over time is celebrated.

Families are confident to visit, talk with staff, ask questions, offer information about their child and participate in assessing and planning for learning. Transition into and within the centre is responsive to individual needs. Regular newsletters, informal conversations and centre events are valuable opportunities for parents to meaningfully contribute and actively participate in their child’s learning.

The centre has well-developed processes to support parents and their children as they prepare for school. Teachers have a good relationship with staff at the local primary school and carefully manage each child’s transition.

DOT Kids is a self-reviewing centre. All initiatives are regularly reviewed to affirm or to improve practice. Using researched indicators to judge the quality of outcomes is a next step.

Key Next Steps

The centre is improvement focused. Next steps identified by the centre owners and ERO include:

  • developing alignment from the strategic plan through planning and assessment and teacher appraisal
  • ensuring procedures such as appraisal, appointments and police vetting are consistent with practice
  • making the strategic reviews more evaluative
  • providing for cultural inclusion as part of the appraisal system.

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.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

23 February 2015 

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 29,

Boys 24

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


Meets minimum requirements


Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2014

Date of this report

23 February 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

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.