Inspiring Minds Early Learning Centre - 26/07/2017

1 Evaluation of Inspiring Minds Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Inspiring Minds 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.


Inspiring Minds Early Learning Centre located in rural Kerikeri, provides education and care for children up to school age. The centre is licensed for 40 children including 15 up to two years of age. A large deck and outdoor playground are key features of the centre.

The centre is managed by the owner and her daughters. They oversee the operational and administrative aspects of the centre. Most of the teachers are qualified and registered. The supervisor, who is also the curriculum leader, mentors a team of six teachers. Teachers have many opportunities to attend professional development.

The centre's philosophy outlines a commitment to promoting children’s positive image of themselves as learners, with an emphasis on respectful relationships. Te Tiriti o Waitangi is respected as the founding document of Aotearoa and centre practices honour that partnership.

ERO 2014 report identified some positive features of the centre, which have been maintained. These include provision of good quality care and nurturing of children’s interests and strengths, and trusting positive relationships with children and families.

The Review Findings

Teachers know the children and their families well. These strong partnerships support children's sense of belonging at the centre.

Infants and toddlers are well cared for and develop close relationships with their teachers and each other. They access a variety of resources and play areas, including the covered deck and outdoor areas. The programme for older children also provides a selection of resources and spaces for children to explore, and allows ready access to the outdoor play area. Teachers are building their capacity to include te reo and tikanga Māori in the programme.

Children are keen to engage in activities and conversations with teachers. They work together well to develop their play ideas. Their sustained engagement in learning is strengthened through a meaningful focus on technology, science and literacy.

Teachers demonstrate positive, respectful relationships with children. They provide good support for children’s play and learning and respond well to children's interests, strengths and capabilities. They could now consider ways to provide a more challenging programme and increase the complexity of children's play and learning.

The environment is attractive and teachers use natural resources to support children's play. Centre leaders have plans to upgrade the environment. The process to support children's transition into the centre is well established. Teachers support children and their families well when they move on to primary school.

Teachers and centre leaders have established some useful processes to understand and support children's learning and development. They are undergoing professional development to review and develop a more robust strategic plan that has clear guidelines to promote positive outcomes for children. They can further strengthen this by documenting the progress children make over time in relation to their culture, language and identity and how well they respond to parents' aspirations for their child.

Centre leaders also see the value of professional development in strengthening centre operations. This support could now be more targeted to increase the rigour of internal evaluation and establish systematic processes for ongoing improvement. It would be beneficial for leaders, in consultation with teachers and parents/whānau, to further develop and align strategic and annual action plans that document key actions to be taken in order to achieve the centre’s goals.

Key Next Steps

Teachers' key next steps include:

  • strengthening planning, assessment and evaluation practices
  • inviting parents' contributions to the curriculum and internal evaluation.

Key next steps for centre leaders include:

  • improving personnel policies and procedures, including teacher appraisal
  • clarifying the roles and responsibilities of the identified centre leaders
  • further developing strategic and annual actionplans. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Inspiring Minds 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.

To improve current practice the service must:

  • develop and implement an appraisal process to meet Education Council requirements
  • report to parent, whānau and the local community about the use of Government equity funding that the centre receives.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Inspiring Minds Early Learning Centre will be in three years. 

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

26 July 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 


Kerikeri, Northland

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 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls       20
Boys      17

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


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2017

Date of this report

26 July 2017

Most recent ERO report(s) 

Education Review

February 2014

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.