Grow ECE Limited - 31/08/2018

1 Evaluation of Grow ECE Limited

How well placed is Grow ECE Limited 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.


Grow ECE Limited is a privately owned stand-alone, all-day education and care service, located in Papamoa. It caters for children from birth to school age in three separate, flexible, age-based rooms, named after whales from a local Māori legend. It is licensed for 100 children, including up to 25 aged under two years. The current roll of 114 children, includes 13 who identify as Māori.

The centre philosophy aims to nurture and empower children in a positive learning environment, fostering their sense of belonging and self management. Through play and exploration children are encouraged to drive their own learning journey to becoming resilient, independent and confident learners in a setting that values te ao Māori.

The owner/directors share responsibility for the management of finances, marketing, human resources and health and safety in the centre. One director is the licensee and takes overall responsibility for the service. The centre manager is responsible for day-to-day management and the senior teacher is responsible for pedagogical leadership. Team leaders manage their respective rooms. There is an experienced team leader in the under two area and a new appointment has been made to provide leadership in the area for children over two years.

This is the first ERO review for Grow ECE Limited. The centre opened January 2017, and since then has grown rapidly. The owners have maintained generous staffing ratios and a high proportion of qualified, fully-registered staff.

The Review Findings

Children are empowered to make choices about their learning and engage in periods of sustained and uninterrupted play. Their independence and self management are actively encouraged through responsive and flexible routines. Regular trips into the local and wider community enrich children's learning. Early literacy, mathematics and science are naturally integrated into children’s learning experiences. Aspects of tikanga and te reo Māori are included in the daily programme, affirming the language and culture of Māori children and their whānau.

A planning process to support individual children's learning is still in development. Children's participation in the programme is documented in both digital and centre-based portfolios, enabling children to revisit their learning and celebrate their success. These practices relating to assessment, planning and evaluation need to be strengthened.

Children up to the age of two years benefit from nurturing teaching interactions in a caring and calm environment. The separate area for these children allows them to freely explore, which promotes their curiosity and independence. Teachers are reading and responding appropriately to children’s cues. Well-established communication processes between teachers and parents support a sense of security and wellbeing for these young children.

Flexible and inclusive approaches underpin the effective transition of children and whānau into and throughout the centre. Teachers work inclusively alongside children with identified needs, their whānau and specialist agencies. This has resulted in positive progress and outcomes for these children.

Teachers' interactions are focused on providing positive learning outcomes for children. They use a range of positive guidance strategies to promote social problem solving. This promotes children's dispositional development. The centre is highly responsive to children, their parents and whānau and welcoming to all.

Leaders are committed to the philosophy and vision of the service. Professional relationships formed between leaders and staff support the centre’s core values. Leaders are building teacher capability and empowering staff through the appraisal process. Teachers are well supported and valued through the provision of professional learning and development. Leaders recognise the need to further refine the appraisal process to strengthen and embed high-quality teacher reflection about their practice.

The directors are successfully establishing a service that is focused on equity, social justice and the provision of positive outcomes for children. Senior leaders work collaboratively to support continual improvement. Key service documents provide clear guidelines for centre operations to support positive outcomes for children. Self review informs decision making at all levels. Directors and leaders need to continue to evaluate the learning environment, including the placement and availability of resources. Sound governance and shared leadership are enabling the centre to develop and embed effective systems and practices in this establishment stage.

Key Next Steps

Through the centre's ongoing internal review practices, leaders and directors need to continue to monitor and support the quality and consistency of:

  • learning environments, including the availability and amount of resources to support children's learning and development

  • learning and teaching practices

  • agreed expectations for implementing Te Whāriki in a local context

  • assessment, planning and evaluation practices to ensure these processes include and reflect:

    • intentional planning for individuals and groups of children
    • dispositional learning
    • the parent partnership in learning
    • the progress of children's learning over time
    • the value of each child's language and culture.

          Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

          Before the review, the staff and management of Grow ECE Limited 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 Grow ECE Limited will be in three years.

          Adrienne Fowler

          Director Review and Improvement Services

          Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

          31 August 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

          100 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

          Service roll


          Gender composition

          Boys 54% Girls 46%

          Ethnic composition



          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

          July 2018

          Date of this report

          31 August 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.