Kids Cottage Childcare Centre - 12/03/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

The service is well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.


Kids Cottage is a stand-alone, privately owned centre in Silverstream, Upper Hutt. It has provided early childhood education and care since 1987, with a positive ERO reporting history.

The vision and philosophy of the centre reflect the importance of children learning through free play. The commitment of the staff to this principle is evident in their daily practice. Teacher-child ratios are consistently higher than the required minimum, and low teacher turnover contributes to stability and consistency over time.

Most of the children attend the centre full-time. They play, explore and learn in a purpose-built environment that is well equipped and thoughtfully laid out. Children under two have a separate area that is appropriately furnished to meet their needs. Movement between the two areas is encouraged, to maintain a sense of family or whanaungatanga.

Regular outings into the community and the wider area are a key feature of the learning programme.

The Review Findings

Children receive high quality education and care in an environment where interactions are calm and respectful. They benefit from a wide range of age-appropriate activities and engage freely in sustained creative, physical and dramatic play. Children are actively and meaningfully involved in ongoing projects, such as the gardens.

Children hear and use te reo Māori regularly. Tikanga Māori and Pacific cultural elements are highly evident in the environment and daily routines. Children with individual special needs are fully included and effectively supported in partnership with their parents and whānau.

Transition from the under two section to the over two area is smooth and flexible. Children know all staff and are familiar with the layout in both areas. Transition to school is carefully managed, with well-considered preparation and liaison with local schools.

Teachers’ reflective journals are a highly effective tool for continuous improvement in their practice. Useful feedback from peers and leaders contributes to a supportive collegial approach. Teachers’ strengths are valued and their interests are incorporated into the programme design.

Teachers observe children closely, noting emerging abilities and interests. They monitor children’s learning and development and plan programmes that respond to individual and group patterns and trends. Learning is purposefully recorded and celebrated in portfolios.

Parents and whānau are warmly welcomed and well informed. Teachers value and foster caring relationships with families.

Centre managers recognise the need to continue to support teachers’ focus on:

  • developing their confidence in and knowledge of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori
  • further strengthening planning for individual children.

The roles and responsibilities of managers and team leaders are clearly defined and well understood. Sound systems for communication and decision-making underpin the positive, reflective culture in the centre. Resourcing for staff professional development is generous.

Agreed next steps for managers and leaders in promoting positive outcomes for children are to:

  • enhance the evaluative purpose of self review to inform strategic and annual planning
  • align strategic priorities, annual development plans, appraisal and professional development.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kids Cottage 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.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

12 March 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service


Silverstream, Upper Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education and 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

Female 19, Male 11

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā


Other ethnic groups




Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Exceeds minimum requirements


Over 2


Exceeds minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2013

Date of this report

12 March 2013

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

April 2010

February 2007

February 2005

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

  • 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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.