Huntly Early Childhood Centre Inc. - 23/06/2015

1 Evaluation of Huntly Early Childhood Centre Inc.

How well placed is Huntly Early Childhood Centre Inc. 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.


Huntly Early Childhood Centre Inc. is located in the Kimihia area of Huntly and provides sessional and all day education and care programmes for children aged from two years to school age. The centre is licensed for up to 40 children. At the time of this ERO review, 70 children were enrolled, 25 of whom identify as Māori, nine as Pacific, and four of other ethnic groups.

Staffing since the last ERO review has remained stable with some additional teacher appointments made. The centre has a high number of qualified teachers, and operates adult-to-child ratios that exceed minimum requirements. The centre has a positive ERO reporting history and has responded well to all areas for review and development identified in the 2012 Education Review.

Huntly Early Childhood Centre is a community-based, non-profit making incorporated society and operates under the governance of a management committee comprised of experienced and dedicated parents. The strategic direction of the centre is guided by an overarching vision of all children developing as confident and competent learners.

The service is committed to providing a high quality, sustainable programme that effectively meets the diverse educational needs of all children attending. It also provides strong outcomes that supports children’s ongoing learning.

The Review Findings

The centre is very well placed to promote positive learning and care outcomes for children and their family/whānau. This is because there is:

  • highly effective governance and management structures providing clear policy direction and ongoing professional development for educators
  • experienced and shared leadership
  • a positive and well-qualified teaching team which is committed to tikanga practices and the development of effective learning partnerships with all children and family/whānau members
  • a child-centred curriculum guided by a clear and well-defined philosophy that is evident in practice.

The centre continues to benefit from highly competent professional leadership from the manager, and dedicated and hardworking staff. Teachers have a very sound understanding of their roles and work as co-learners alongside children. They are continually empowered to share leadership roles and extend their own professional learning and development as teachers. Clearly documented guidelines and expectations for practice and highly effective self-review and assessment processes for monitoring and evaluating the quality of education and care are integral components of centre operations.

The centre design layout is very well organised, providing high quality and vibrant interior and exterior environments. These environments include multiple child spaces and areas that provide specific equipment, resources and physical and educational challenges to support children’s learning.

Children and their parents are highly engaged and actively involved in decision making about their learning. Teachers demonstrate high levels of respect for the rights of each child and promote a positive self image of children as successful learners. A centre feature is the close reciprocal relationships between children, staff, families and whānau. Teachers are very responsive to children’s interests, care and dispositions for learning. A well-organised extension programme for four year olds and positive relationships with nearby schools assists children and their parents during the preparation for transition to school.

The centre curriculum is comprehensive, well documented and aligned to both the rich and meaningful centre philosophy and Te Whāriki (the early childhood curriculum). Parent and teachers work closely together across a range of priorities. Key curriculum strengths include:

  • extensive use of community resources
  • language, culture and identity of Māori as tangata whenua
  • well-planned teaching and learning programmes operating at multiple levels including teacher and child initiatives and interests
  • thorough and extensively documented assessment processes
  • effective integration of literacy, mathematics and science
  • environmental sustainability and the extensive use of technology to enhance teaching and learning practices.

ERO is confident that the current highly effective management and teaching practices within the centre are sustainable. Effective, collaborative strategic long term and annual planning, and self- review practice should enable the service to continue to identify their own next steps for ongoing development. Regular appraisal processes for staff are undertaken and linked to the registered teacher criteria where appropriate. This appraisal process has been strengthened with the development of a formal approach where teachers inquire into their own practice to further enhance their professional knowledge and skills.

Key Next Steps

ERO and the centre management agree that further consideration be given to:

  • expanding the use of dispositions and key competencies in their assessment practice
  • using additional computer software to document and share children’s learning with families and whānau.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Huntly Early Childhood Centre Inc. 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 Huntly Early Childhood Centre Inc. will be in four years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

23 June 2015

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

40 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 37

Girls 33

Ethnic composition




Other ethnic groups





Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2015

Date of this report

23 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2012


Education 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.