Melrose Centre - 17/06/2015

1. Evaluation of Melrose Centre

How well placed is Melrose 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.


Melrose Centre is privately owned and operates in a converted villa in Devonport. Two qualified teachers provide education and care for up to 20 children from two years to school age. The centre has been a longstanding part of the local community. It aims to develop a strong sense of partnership with the families that attend. The small number of children helps teachers focus on individuals and their families.

Since the 2012 ERO review, a new head teacher and teacher have been appointed. They work very well together to ensure that the centre operates smoothly. The centre owner has used this opportunity to make changes to improve outcomes for children. The centre’s opening hours have been extended to better meet the needs of working families.

The Review Findings

Children and their whānau demonstrate a strong sense of belonging in the centre. Children have respectful relationships among themselves and with their teachers. They settle quickly upon arrival and freely make choices in their play. In the small group they play well together and form friendships with one another.

Children have access to good quality learning resources and thoughtfully prepared environments. Literacy, maths, science, art, dance and drama concepts are well embedded in the programme.

Since the last ERO review, the head teacher and teacher have focused on providing a child-centred programme where children’s strengths and interests are the starting point for planning. Children enjoy learning about a wide range of topics stemming from these interests.

Teachers support children’s learning by fostering their thinking and problem solving skills. Children benefit from flexible routines and are encouraged to be independent. Older children demonstrate tuakana roles as they care for younger children.

Teachers have developed detailed group planning that clearly shows how teachers intend to support learning. They have reviewed their bicultural practice and have begun to use te reo Māori more during the programme. They have identified the need to increase their understanding of te ao Māori and to include these perspectives across the curriculum.

Children’s portfolios capture many learning moments. Teachers should link these learning stories to better show progress over time. They are also considering ways of including parent contributions in these assessment portfolios.

The head teacher has a clear vision for the centre and ensures that there are robust systems for the operation of the centre. She and teachers work well together. They are making good use of self review to regularly reflect on and improve their practice. The centre owner has developed strategic and annual planning to guide centre development. It is now time to review the philosophy to ensure that it is evident in practice and includes a commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi.

Key Next Steps

Next steps to enhance provision for children’s learning include:

  • continuing to refine processes for individual children’s planning and assessment
  • using the Ministry of Education resources Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success 2013-2017 and Tātaiako-Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners to strengthen teachers’ focus on bicultural practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Melrose 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Melrose Centre will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

17 June 2015

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


Devonport, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

20 children, over 2 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 12

Boys 12

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā



Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children


Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2015

Date of this report

17 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 2012


Education Review

March 2009


Education Review

June 2006

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.