Midcity Childcare - 12/12/2017

1 Evaluation of Midcity Childcare

How well placed is Midcity Childcare 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.


Midcity Childcare is operated by a trust and is located in the central business district of Hamilton City. The service provides all-day education and care in three age-based learning environments. It is licensed for a maximum of 49 children, including up to 20 children who are under the age of two years. At the time of this review, 55 children were enrolled four of whom identify as Māori. Children from a variety of other ethnicities also attend. Since the 2014 ERO review the centre has had a change in leadership with a new centre manager appointed in 2016. The Midcity Childcare Trust continues to provide governance for the service.

The recently reviewed philosophy underpins the services commitment to:

  • learning through play

  • relationships and partnerships with whānau

  • bicultural practice

  • a safe and challenging environment

  • passionate and reflective teaching and learning.

The Review Findings

The centre manager provides effective leadership for centre operations. She has established strong relational trust and confidence at all levels. The centre manager has developed strategic and annual planning that gives clear direction. Policies and procedures are updated regularly and clear expectations and practices are embedded. Priority is placed on enabling children and their whānau to access quality care and education. Additional learning support and resourcing is provided to support children and their whānau.

Centre leadership provides a strong culture of collaboration and respect. Leaders work well together to develop a clear vision for learning. Team leaders build professional capability across the three learning areas. They have implemented an effective assessment, planning and evaluation format in response to the next steps identified in the last review. Learning stories reflect parent aspirations for their children and show how teachers are supporting children's growth and development during their time at the centre.

Leadership promotes teachers reflecting on their practice and encourages a culture of learning. Leaders foster emergent leadership in the teaching team. They draw on individual strengths to provide positive outcomes for all children.

The centre has undertaken significant self review to improve and develop operating systems. Leadership effectively led the centre and whanau in a bicultural review and engaged in professional learning and development with a focus on the Treaty of Waitangi in response to the next steps identified in the previous ERO review. There are robust planned, regular and emergent internal evaluation practices in the centre with a focus on improving outcomes for children.

The centre has recently joined the 'He waka eke noa' Community of Learning to support the pathways for transition for children into school. An effective performance management system contributes to the service achieving its goals.

The centre's curriculum provides innovative and rich learning experiences for children. Parents contribute to the learning programme, and feel welcomed, included and valued as partners in their child's learning. Learning outcomes for children are well displayed through-out the centre. There is a strong focus on building early literacy and oral language skills for children. A special feature of the learning programme enables positive opportunities for children to experience the wider community through a weekly planned nature programme and regular bush and garden trips. An established partnership with the Department of Conservation supports children to connect with, investigate and explore the natural world. Children are enabled to develop an understanding of kaitiakitanga, and environmental sustainability. A weekly gym programme encourages children to participate in fun ways to promote their health and well-being. Children experience a learning programme that supports their interests, strengths and abilities.

Teachers have warm, positive and respectful relationships with children. They foster social and emotional skills with positive guidance for children. Routines support children to settle and transition well between infants, toddlers and kindy learning spaces. Teachers set goals for individual children and scaffold prior learning through planned activities and learning experiences to build children's interests, strengths and dispositions.

Karakia kai, waiata and basic instructions in te reo Maori are promoted throughout the centre. Cultural diversity is promoted through celebrations and special events. Teachers are highly committed to developing their use of te reo and tikanga Maori and recognise this as their area to continue to strengthen.

Teachers in the infant's area promote a calm, slow pace where younger children have space and time to lead their learning. They transition infants well into their learning environment where children are settled and confident. Young children have a strong sense of belonging.

Teachers encourage regular use of sign language with children to support communication barriers and to enable second language learners and their whānau to participate more confidently with each other. In addition they plan and use intentional teaching strategies to support children with additional needs.

Key Next Steps

ERO and leaders agree that the centre area for development is to:

  • strengthen the assessment portfolios to capture the language, culture and identity for all children that is reflected in centre practice.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Midcity Childcare 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 Midcity Childcare will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

12 December 2017

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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

49 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 30 Girls 25

Ethnic composition



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

September 2017

Date of this report

12 December 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2014

Education Review

July 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 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.