Little Magpies Childcare Centre - 04/03/2020

1 Evaluation of Little Magpies Childcare Centre

How well placed is Little Magpies Childcare Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Little Magpies Childcare Centre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Little Magpies Childcare Centre, previously known as Village Kids Childcare Centre Napier, is licensed for up to 97 children, including 40 up to two years. The roll of 109, includes 48 Māori children. The centre provides three specific rooms for different age groups, from birth to five years of age.

The service is privately owned by the directors, who maintain a strong presence in the centre. The centre manager is responsible for day-to-day operation. There is a head teacher in each room.

The philosophy makes a commitment to the provision of 'an inviting and predictable environment where nurturing relationships between kaiako and children are the foundation for their lifelong learning'.

The February 2017 ERO report identified that the service needed to improve: assessment, planning, and evaluation processes; internal evaluation; and culturally responsive practice. Some progress has been made to address these areas.

The Review Findings

The service philosophy and vision are highly evident in practice. Children benefit from a well-considered environment that responds to their diverse interests and needs. Strong collaborative relationships between teachers, children, parents, and whānau promote a sense of belonging.

Infants and toddlers are well supported in a calm and nurturing environment. A wide range of sensory experiences promotes children's curiosity and exploration. A primary caregiver system enables these young learners to form close attachments with key teachers to foster their sense of wellbeing.

Transitions of children and whānau into the centre are flexible, personalised and responsive to their individual needs. Daily routines within shared learning environments provide children with structure and predictable areas to explore. Successful transitions within the centre help to maintain children's sense of security. The service accesses external agencies as needed to support the diverse learning needs of children.

Aspects of te ao and te reo Māori are evident through karakia kai, waiata, kōwhaiwhai design, resources and some use of basic greetings, words and phrases. Leaders identify building further understanding of te ao Māori and confidence in using te reo Māori as next steps for the service. Developing a localised curriculum that incorporates local Māori landmarks and stories of cultural significance should support this.

In partnership with whānau Māori, teachers actively seek out the learning aspirations they have for their tamariki. The use of pepeha acknowledges Māori children's whakapapa to support their sense of identity. A range of successful strategies enable whānau Māori to contribute to the operation of the service.

A useful assessment, planning, and evaluation process has been implemented. Individual learning plans support consistent and deliberate teaching strategies to progress children’s learning. Assessment shows children's participation and progression of learning across different areas of the curriculum. Leaders have identified continuing to embed the process as a next step. Further consideration should be given to making children’s language, culture, and identity more visible within their assessment for learning documentation.

A strong commitment to the philosophy, vision and goals of the service is evident in governance practice. Strategic and annual planning provide clear expectations and guidelines for quality teaching practice and curriculum delivery. Kaiako are well supported to take on leadership roles and implement a range of initiatives to improve outcomes for children.

Leaders and ERO agree, that a next step is to continue to build a shared understanding of effective evaluation for improvement. This should support teachers to identify what is working well, and who for, to inform future decision making aligned to achieving the strategic priorities.

Key Next Steps

At centre level the priorities are to:

  • embed the assessment, planning and evaluation process across the centre, and strengthen links to children's culture, language and identity

  • strengthen the understanding of te ao Māori and use of te reo Māori, reflecting this in practice and in the local curriculum

  • further strengthen the understanding and use of effective internal evaluation for improvement.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Little Magpies 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.

To improve current practice, the early childhood service management and teachers should:

  • ensure that parent acknowledgement is consistently gathered on the day that medication is given to their child.

During the onsite review, the service took immediate action to further minimise a potential hazard in the under-two's sleeping area.

Darcy Te Hau

Acting Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)

Central Region - Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

4 March 2020

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

109 children, including up to 40 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Female 51% Male 49%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups


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


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2019

Date of this report

4 March 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2017

Education Review

February 2014

Education Review

February 2011

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.