Imagine Kids Care Rotokauri - Early Learning Centre - 12/06/2018

1 Evaluation of Imagine Kids Care Rotokauri - Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Imagine Kids Care Rotokauri - Early Learning Centre 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.


Imagine Kids Care Rotokauri – Early Learning Centre is a privately owned and operated centre located in a semi-rural area of northwest Hamilton. It is licensed to provide all-day education and care for 35 children, including up to 10 under the age of two years, in a mixed-age setting. The current roll is 38, of whom 32 identify as Māori.

One centre co-owner manages the day-to-day operations and in conjunction with the second co-owner shares the business and governance role. Currently two of the five teachers are fully registered early childhood educators and one teacher is in training.

Since ERO’s last ERO review in June 2015 there have been some changes to the teaching team. Some of the key next steps identified in the 2015 ERO report about teaching and assessment practices are yet to be fully addressed.

The centre’s philosophy places priority on incorporating te ao Māori perspectives into the programme, and working in partnership with parents, whānau and the community to 'nurture the mana of every tamaiti through an environment full of aroha and manaakitanga'.

The Review Findings

The curriculum effectively promotes positive outcomes for children. Māori children's language, culture and identity is well supported by:

  • the inclusion of whakapapa as central to children’s learning

  • concepts of manaakitanga, kotahitanga and whanaungatanga as integral to everyday practice

  • valuing of tuakana teina relationships

  • teachers' meaningful integration of te reo and tikanga Māori into the day-to-day life of the centre.

The whānau based, home-like setting supports the transition of children and their whānau into the centre. Useful partnerships have been developed with local schools to support children's transitions.

Children have easy access to an appropriate range of good-quality equipment and resources. Centre-wide planning is well documented and linked to children’s prior learning. Children and whānau have access to well-presented individual portfolios. Leaders agree that further consideration needs to be given to strengthening assessment, planning and evaluation for individual children.

Children with special needs benefit from an inclusive approach. Leaders and teachers access external support to develop meaningful individual education plans that guide teachers to meet the child's learning and development needs.

Children under the age of two years enjoy respectful, caring and nurturing relationships with their teachers. Their individual care needs are well met through the implementation of flexible routines. Primary care-giving practices support infants and toddlers' sense of wellbeing and belonging.

There are some good models of teaching practice which promote positive learning outcomes for children. Practices observed by ERO include:

  • strategies that positively guide children’s behaviour and foster and promote social competencies and self-management skills

  • waiata, books and conversations to promote literacy and early mathematical knowledge

  • active participation of teachers alongside children in meaningful play.

Leaders acknowledge that priority should be given to extending and strengthening these teaching strategies across the centre.

Centre leadership is well informed. The co-owners utilise complementary strengths and work effectively in the best interests of teachers, children and whānau. They have effectively developed a shared commitment to the centre's philosophy within the team and community. The centre manager works in an open, respectful and collaborative manner with teachers and whānau. She has established a strong culture of care within the centre. High levels of mutual respect and collaboration contribute to children’s wellbeing and belonging.

The centre manager and teachers have a good understanding of the purpose of self review. They now need to implement and embed a more strategic approach to self review that reflects current research and best practice.

Effective systems, processes and frameworks guide centre operations. The centre manager consulted with whānau and teachers to review and develop the centre's philosophy. This philosophy is informing the centre's strategic direction for improvement. A comprehensive policy framework, including recently reviewed performance management systems, are in place. The service's vison and philosophy underpin the centre's commitment to positive outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders must now place priority on:

  • strengthening strategic planning

  • further developing the consistency of high-quality teaching practices, including assessment, planning and evaluation processes for individual children.

In addition, priority should be given to:

  • embedding self-review process aligned with the centre's strategic goals

  • developing a local curriculum that reflects the centre's context and the requirements of the revised Te Whāriki, early childhood curriculum.


ERO recommends that the centre access external professional learning and development for teachers to address the key next steps in this report.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Imagine Kids Care Rotokauri - Early Learning 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Imagine Kids Care Rotokauri - Early Learning Centre will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

12 June 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

35 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 20

Girls 18

Ethnic composition



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

April 2018

Date of this report

12 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2015

Education Review

March 2012

Education Review

February 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.