Lots of Hugs Childcare Centre - 20/03/2020

1 Evaluation of Lots of Hugs Childcare Centre

How well placed is Lots of Hugs Childcare Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Lots of Hugs Childcare Centre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Lots of Hugs Childcare Centre is licensed to provide education and care for 60 children. This includes 16 children up to the age of two. At the time of this review, there are 76 children enrolled and 21 identify as Māori. Children progress through the two learning areas based on age and learning readiness.

The service is located close to the central business district of Palmerston North. It is one of two local centres owned by Kids World Limited whose staff provide administrative and governance support. A newly appointed area manager supports the local operation of four centres in the Manawatu/Rangitikei area. A manager leads the teaching team, assisted by two team leaders.

The centre philosophy promotes partnership with parents and empowering children's confidence and competence in their learning.

The March 2017 ERO report identified areas for development in relation to teacher appraisal, internal evaluation and the curriculum. Teachers have made progress in strengthening these.

The Review Findings

The philosophy is evident in practice. Children engage confidently in a curriculum that responds to their diverse cultural backgrounds. Their achievements and progress are celebrated.

An emphasis on developing strong relationships between children, teachers and whānau promotes consistency of care. Parents are valued for the knowledge they bring to the service. Relationships are warm and responsive.

Children and families are well supported for their move to school. Teachers assist older children to plan their own learning and help them to further develop the skills and dispositions to aid their smooth transitions.

The curriculum is responsive to children's interests and promotes successful outcomes. On-going observation of children in everyday activities builds a picture of what they are interested in and can do. Teachers use this information well to plan activities and experiences to successfully extend children's learning. Increasing the use of children's cultural languages in their learning stories is a key focus for leaders.

Infants and toddlers have time and space to explore at an unhurried pace. Teachers are responsive to their rhythms and needs. A calm settled environment fosters children's sense of wellbeing.

Māori children have many opportunities to connect with their language, culture and identity. Kupu Māori is woven throughout their learning stories. Te ao Māori is reflected in the environment, activities and resources. Manaakitanga is highly evident.

Children requiring additional support are promptly identified, planned for and well supported in their learning and wellbeing. Teachers work collaboratively with parents to create purposeful and achievable goals. External support is accessed appropriately.

A clear vision sets direction for the service and guides long and short term planning. Teachers engage in systematic, on-going evaluation that is responsive to service priorities. This has led to improvements in the environment and teaching practice. Maintaining a clearer focus on promoting positive outcomes for children should further strengthen internal evaluation.

Regular appraisal effectively supports the development of teacher capability. Professional learning opportunities are ongoing and informed by teachers’ goals and service priorities. There is a strong focus on continual improvement through inquiry. Collaborative leadership is encouraged. Leaders agree that strengthening observation of teacher practice should include opportunities for constructive critique. Senior leaders should ensure that the newly appointed area manager is appraised against the Standards for the Teaching Profession.

Key Next Steps

Leaders and ERO agree that teachers at Lots of Hugs Childcare Centre should continue to strengthen internal evaluation and teacher appraisal.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Lots of Hugs 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.

Darcy Te Hau

Acting Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)

Central Region - Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

20 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


Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

60 children, including up to 16 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Female 41, Male 35

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


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2020

Date of this report

20 March 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2017

Education Review

April 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.