Hopscotch Early Learning Childcare Centre - 18/07/2019

1 Evaluation of Hopscotch Early Learning Childcare Centre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Hopscotch Early Learning Childcare Centre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Hopscotch Early Learning Childcare Centre is a privately-owned, full-day education and care service located in Otorohanga. It is one of two Hopscotch centres in the town and has had a positive reporting history with ERO. The centre is licensed for 35 children aged from three months to approximately three-and-a-half years and includes 12 up to the age of two years. There are two age-based settings that cater for under two's and toddlers. The roll is currently 57, including 11 children who identify as Māori.

The centre's philosophy is to nurture learning through quality interactions, meaningful relationships and a challenging environment. The dual heritage of New Zealand is acknowledged and celebrated alongside the multicultural diversity of the community.

The centre owner and licensee have oversight of the service. Two head teachers are responsible for daily operations. Most of the teachers are qualified and registered early childhood teachers. An office manager has recently been employed.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from a strong sense of belonging underpinned by the centre's philosophy. The wellbeing and learning of children is nurtured in an inclusive and positive environment. Teachers are responsive and caring, taking time to listen to children and foster emerging communication and social development. All children have opportunities to make choices, explore their environment and experience challenge and success. Teachers respect children's decisions about the management of daily care routines which are well managed and used as contexts for authentic learning, such as building independence and taking responsibility. Children learn waiata, karakia and some te reo Māori, and tikanga Māori is promoted. Recent development of the centre's outdoor environment reflects its unique place-based whakapapa. Leaders agree, establishing direct links with the local marae would strengthen the centre's approach to promoting bicultural practice.

Children up to the age of two years are well cared for. They enjoy a calm, slow pace where they have open access to an environment that encourages exploration and experimentation. Young children are valued and trusted as capable learners. Teachers are responsive to their subtle cues, modelling and encouraging oral language and social development.

The curriculum effectively promotes positive outcomes for all children. Teachers know their children well and meet regularly to plan programmes in response to their interests and strengths. Children are able to take risks and experience physical challenge in closely monitored settings. They are able to choose from a range of resources to use their imagination, explore their ideas and test their working theories. Literacy and mathematical concepts are integrated across the curriculum and supported through a range of play-based activities and experiences.

Leadership is enacting the philosophy and vision of the centre. Relationships are collaborative and based on respect, trust and reciprocity. Evidence-based self review is contributing to improved outcomes for children. Leaders agree that the appraisal process needs to be fully implemented across the centre for all teaching staff including those without an early childhood qualification.

Key Next Steps

The key next steps for the centre are to:

  • establish links with the local marae to strengthen bicultural practice, and the language, culture and identity of Māori children

  • develop a centre-wide approach to teacher professional development to promote a shared understanding of Te Whāriki

  • fully implement all aspects of the appraisal process, including formal observations of practice for all teaching staff.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Hopscotch Early Learning Childcare Centre 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.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

18 July 2019

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

35 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Male 30 Female 27

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā


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

May 2019

Date of this report

18 July 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2016

Education Review

June 2012

Education Review

May 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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.