Magic Garden Care and Education Centre - 24/01/2020

1 Evaluation of Magic Garden Care and Education Centre

How well placed is Magic Garden Care and Education Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Magic Garden Care and Education Centre is very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.


Magic Garden Care and Education Centre is licensed for 105 children, with a maximum of 29 children under two years of age. The centre operates as three rooms, each catering for different age groups. The previous three licences for the site have been merged since the last ERO evaluation. This is ERO's first review of the merged service.

The centre is situated in a culturally diverse community. Staff have been employed to reflect the cultures of families, where possible, to ease communication and forge strong partnerships. The centre philosophy emphasises the aim of reciprocal relationships that guide teachers' work with children and families.

The appointment of a new manager in 2018 has resulted in a change in systems and emphasis, matched with the philosophical approaches already established, including Reggio Emilia and Magda Gerber/RIE (Resources for Infant Educators). Some staff have been employed in the centre for many years.

The Review Findings

Magic Garden Care and Education Centre continues to provide high quality care and education for children. Children are settled, trusting and engaged. Each room has its own way of working to complement the group of children.

The infant and toddler room is divided to provide space and quiet for younger infants to feel safe. Older toddlers are encouraged to be independent, to care for each other and to explore a suitable range of resources. Teachers' quiet and kindly interactions with children build sound relationships and support children's confidence to try new play experiences.

The room for children between two and three years of age is set up to encourage curiosity, self- management and independence. Children frequently work together in small groups to share imaginative games and to play out experiences from their home life.

The older children engage well in programmes developed to use ideas from Reggio Emilia. This creates a strong focus on creativity, children's choices and the environment as a source of inspiration. Children have long periods for developing play and exploring their interests. The programme is frequently guided by children's ideas.

Throughout the centre, teachers focus on supporting and encouraging children's language and communication skills. This gives children increased confidence as they transition through the centre. Transitions are well managed and ensure that children are able to fit into a new age group with confidence. Teachers work together to communicate and build partnerships with parents.

Centre environments are carefully planned to provide high quality resources and materials for children to choose from. Resources are accessible and arranged to be attractive and inviting. There is a free flow from each room to its outdoor area. Flexible routines enable children to make decisions about their play.

Teachers are working to improve their use of te reo Māori with children. They receive support from a fluent Māori speaker who also promotes respectful tikanga practices. Kapa haka provides leadership opportunities for children. Tikanga Māori, including tuakana/teina relationships, is part of centre expectations.

Management of the centre is efficient and effective. A new health and safety manual developed by staff and managers, includes changes to regulations. Appraisal processes link well to Teaching Council expectations, and teachers are able to access relevant professional development and learning.

A continuing management focus is on growing staff capability through study and internal evaluation. Time is provided for teachers to explore new ideas through reading and research. High levels of academic exploration and thinking nurture teachers' sense of themselves as competent professionals.

Key Next Steps

Managers and teachers agree that a next step is to include in children's portfolios:

  • further acknowledgement of children's cultures and parents' aspirations for children

  • clearer links to demonstrate children's learning over time.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Magic Garden Care and Education 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.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services (Northern)

Northern Region - Te Tai Raki

24 January 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


Northcross, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

105 children, including up to 29 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 53% Boys 47%

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā




other ethnic groups







Percentage of qualified teachers


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

24 January 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2015

Education Review

May 2012

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.