Gumdrops Early Learning Centre - 17/02/2017

1 Evaluation of Gumdrops Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Gumdrops Early Learning Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Gumdrops Early Learning Centre is not well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


Gumdrops Early Learning Centre has a long history of poor reporting and making little progress to improve outcomes for children. The ERO reporting history is as follows:

  • supplementary reviews in 2008, 2009 and 2010
  • 2014 review recommended a two year return time
  • December 2015 progress report visit identified sustainability concerns.

After discussions with the Ministry of Education (MoE) and centre leaders, ERO scheduled the review for August 2016. This was to give the centre leaders time to show that the new systems and practices were sustainable, and that the leaders were building capability and capacity. Before the planned August review, the centre leaders requested that ERO delay the review until the end of 2016 because they needed more time to show progress. During 2016, the centre had a number of changes in leaders and teachers.

Since 2008, the MoE has been working with centre leaders to help them improve performance. The centre has had provisional licences in 2013 to 2016. The MoE has provided considerable support and professional development to the centre during this time. This has included monthly monitoring from January through to September 2015. After the 2015 ERO progress report, the MoE resumed monitoring the centre in May 2016. They found the new systems and practices in place at the time of the December progress report had not been maintained. They also identified a number of areas of non-compliance. They have been working with the centre until the time of this review to address these issues.

The Review Findings

Systems and practices that were developed alongside the MoE in 2015 have not been completed, fully implemented or maintained. However, the leaders have developed new:

  • strategic plans
  • programme planning procedures
  • team values.

They have also strengthened policies and procedures to support new staff.

The centre leaders must now implement and embed the following measures to ensure the health and wellbeing of the staff and the care and education of children:

  • revisit the philosophy to align it with the newly-developed team values
  • identify clear roles and responsibilities for staff and leaders
  • develop and implement a robust appraisal process for the centre owner and teachers that meets the Education Council requirements
  • develop and implement a sustainable and effective process of internal evaluation
  • continue to develop and fully implement procedures for assessment and programme planning that consistently support high quality learning and teaching for all children
  • develop a greater understanding of bicultural practices that promote understanding about Māori culture, identity and language.

Since the on-site stage of the review, the service provider has provided copies of job descriptions and procedures for appraisal.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Gumdrops Early Learning Centre completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have not 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.

Actions for compliance

ERO does not have confidence the centre can provide the standard of care and education required under the Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008.

ERO found significant areas of non-compliance in the service related to:

  • police vetting requirements
  • ensuring the fire evacuation scheme is current
  • the governance and management of the service.

[319 D,FE, The Education Act, Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, HS4,47(1)(a) (GMA6), (GMA7), (C5)]

Recommendation to Ministry of Education

ERO recommends that the Ministry reassess the licence of Gumdrops Early Learning Centre. ERO will not undertake a further education review of this service until the Ministry of Education is satisfied that the service meets licensing requirements.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Gumdrops Early Learning Centre will be decided in consultation with the Ministry of Education.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern/Te Waipounamu

17 February 2017 

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

30 children, including up to 8 aged under two

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 23; Boys 12

Ethnic composition



Cook Island


Other ethnicities






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

December 2016

Date of this report

17 February 2017

Most recent ERO reports 

Education Review

April 2014

Supplementary Review

May 2010

Supplementary Review

March 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.