McKenzie Centre - 22/04/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

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

This service is very well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.


The McKenzie Centre is located in Hamilton West and operates under the McKenzie Centre Trust. The trust’s mission statement is to ‘help children under six with special needs, to realise their potential by providing an early intervention service that is child-centred, play based and family/whānau focused’. The centre has a roll of 91 children including 21 who identify as Māori.

Family, whānau and caregivers attend weekly sessions with their child. While attending the McKenzie Centre children also attend other early childhood services. A team of administration, education and health professionals works collaboratively in the best interests of children and families. The centre has had a positive ERO reporting history.

Since the 2010 ERO review trustees have implemented a planned approach to policy review and a formalised subcommittee structure to maximise the skills of individual trustees. There has been a positive response to the area for review and development identified in the last ERO report related to performance management. In addition a new management structure has been established that includes team leaders overseeing specific learning areas.

Policies and procedures are in place to assist with the provision of a safe physical and emotional learning environment for children.

Review Findings

Trustees contribute highly relevant skills and expertise to their governance roles. They engage in effective self review, set a clear strategic direction and are focused on centre improvement. They have identified the importance of continuing to look at the levels of involvement of Māori families and identifying barriers to their participation.

A knowledgeable centre director provides professional leadership through coaching and mentoring. She promotes a collaborative leadership style, has introduced team leaders and developed a robust performance management process. A team approach to the many services provided by early intervention specialists, and an inclusive learning culture, ensures children and parents receive high-quality intervention at all levels. Staff feel valued and well supported.

Effective teaching practices observed by ERO included staff and parents:

  • working with children through observation and guiding them when appropriate
  • modelling language and social interactions
  • providing affirming and positive feedback about children’s efforts and contributions.

Te Whāriki (The Early Childhood Curriculum) provides a clear framework for the curriculum experienced by children and families. Individual plans for each child are developed in collaboration with parents, specialist personnel and key workers. These plans are well implemented and regularly evaluated. Annual assessments show children’s progress and learning over time. There is a deliberate focus on supporting and empowering parents to assist them in their advocacy role for their child.

Children benefit from a purposeful, fun and inclusive learning environment that provides opportunities for children to participate in groups or independently. Dedicated early intervention specialists work in partnership with parents to encourage and support individual children. The positive, respectful learning atmosphere promotes reciprocal and responsive adult/student interactions and relationships. There has been an increase in the use of technology as a learning tool. Classrooms are well resourced and there is a strong promotion of parents as partners and the importance of the family unit in the centre programme.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of McKenzie 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.

Dale Bailey National Manager Review Services Northern Region

22 April 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service


Hamilton West

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Sessional Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

35 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 68 Girls 23

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā












Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements


Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2013

Date of this report

22 April 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2010

July 2007

May 2004

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.