Lower Hutt City Childcare Centre - 15/02/2018

1 Evaluation of Lower Hutt City Childcare Centre

How well placed is Lower Hutt City Childcare 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.


Lower Hutt City Childcare Centre is a long-established, community-based early childhood service. It operates as a not-for-profit centre supported by a charitable trust.

A management committee made up of families and the supervisor undertakes a governance role. The supervisor is also responsible for daily operation. The service is licensed for a maximum of 47 children, including 15 children aged up to two years. Renovations to the inside and outside areas have recently been completed.

The centre philosophy reflects the values of members and families. It supports new teachers to the service to know the teaching team beliefs.

In the 2014 ERO report, next steps included improving teaching and learning, considering success for Māori children as Māori, and developing programme planning. There has been improvement in these areas.

The Review Findings

Children show a strong sense of belonging. They are empowered to take ownership of their learning by making decisions and choices. Children and adults are respectful of each other. A positive tone prevails. Children are seen as competent and confident learners. They are given space to develop their learning and time to play at their own pace.

Assessment, planning and evaluation processes have been revised since 2014. Clear expectations have been developed to guide teacher practice. An improved focus on outcomes for children and how teachers notice, recognise and respond to learning is evident.  Children's interests are central to the planning and implementation of the service's curriculum.

A wide selection of numeracy and literacy experiences is available. Children engage independently and with teachers to enjoy these opportunities. Routines are flexible to respond to individual needs. Group times are well-considered.

The newly renovated area for up to 2 year olds promotes an environment that is responsive to the needs and attributes of the youngest learners. Teachers deliberately support children's learning and well-being through taking time to learn about their home routines and family expectations.

The service's response to cultural inclusion is ongoing and well considered. Teachers establish a culture in which children are valued, celebrated and affirmed. Significant improvement in the bicultural curriculum is evident and supports all children to grow as New Zealanders in Aotearoa. Leaders agree continuing to develop a shared understanding of a programme that focuses on te ao Māori and reflects the local community is a next step.  

Teachers' strengths are acknowledged and they are encouraged to use their expertise for the benefit of the service. A next step is for leaders to further promote and provide opportunities for leadership to be built, shared and distributed.

The centre manager seeks opportunities to professionally interact with other early learning service providers. A priority for the governance team is to review the appraisal system to support teacher development and to meet the Education Council requirements.

Understanding and use of self review and internal evaluation should be strengthened to further promote high quality outcomes for children. 

Key Next Steps

ERO has identified through its external evaluation that the service manager and trustees should continue to:

  • review all aspects of the teacher appraisal system that support development and meets accountabilities
  • build leadership for teaching and learning
  • develop processes that support trustees to clarify their roles and responsibilities. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Lower Hutt City 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.

Actions for compliance

ERO found an area of non-compliance in the service related to governance and management. The service provider must ensure:

  • that the service is effectively governed and managed in accordance with good management practices, including all staff are appraised with a robust system for development of management and teaching roles and that meets the Education Council requirements

[Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA 7].

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Lower Hutt City Childcare Centre will be in three years.

Alan Wynyard
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

15 February 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


Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

47 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 25, Girls 21

Ethnic composition

Other ethnicities


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

December 2017

Date of this report

15 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2014

Supplementary Review

April 2011

Supplementary Review

February 2010

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.