New Plymouth YMCA Childcare Centre - 30/08/2017

1 Evaluation of New Plymouth YMCA Childcare Centre

How well placed is New Plymouth YMCA 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.


New Plymouth YMCA Childcare Centre is administered by the YMCA, a not-for-profit, community-based organisation. There are 55 children currently enrolled at the service, including 11 Māori children.

The YMCA board has overall responsibility for governance. The manager of the centre is responsible for day-to-day operations and programme development. She reports to the YMCA chief executive (CE) who reports to the board. The CE, centre manager and the two curriculum leaders have been appointed since ERO's June 2015 evaluation.

The four values of caring|atawhaitia; respect|whakanui i te tangata; honesty|te whakapono; responsibility|te awenga atu are integral in centre practices. These align to the YMCA's vision of 'strong kids, families and communities'.

The June 2015 ERO review found significant improvement was needed across most areas of centre operation including governance and management processes. Since that time, the centre has received targeted support through a Ministry of Education funded programme, Strengthening Early Learning Opportunities (SELO). The centre has recently made considerable gains and is continuing to respond suitably to the key next steps identified in the previous ERO report.

The Review Findings

Children settle into activities of interest well and are confident to involve others in their play. Purposeful resourcing allows them to make choices and play independently. ERO saw older children supporting younger learners. Relationships are encouraging and warm. Children enjoy the company of their peers and develop friendships. Opportunities for sustained play are fostered.

The service's youngest children experience a curriculum that responds to their interests, needs and special characteristics. Interactions are unhurried and responsive. 

Staff share information with families about local schools. Teachers meet regularly with other early learning services and schools to promote and enhance links.

Teachers have begun to incorporate practices that reflect te ao Māori perspectives. This remains an ongoing focus. The centre is improving its response to those learners requiring additional support. Staff work with external agencies and families to set learning goals to meet children's needs.

Leaders and ERO agree that further consistency in the quality and understanding of the purpose of assessment and planning is needed. Children's portfolio books show their participation and involvement in learning experiences over time. Families share knowledge of their children and their interests that contributes to programme ideas and activities. To support an improved approach, staff should consider how well the priorities for children's learning are reflected in these centre practices.

The revised appraisal process provides a sound framework to support teachers and managers to develop their practice. Some aspects require further strengthening, including the quality of feedback and forward, goal setting and better alignment of the evidence gathered in relation to the Practising Teacher Criteria.

Centre leaders are strengthening processes that assist staff to know about teaching and learning expectations. Connections and information sharing between the board and the centre have improved. Closer links and regular reporting are now in place. Extending reports so that trustees are better informed about the quality of the centre's performance in relation to the curriculum and operations is needed.

The centre's 2016-2020 strategic plan identifies priorities and goals. Further alignment of processes is needed to support managers to show progress towards meeting these goals and achievement of the centre's vision.

Self-review practices are becoming established and are beginning to lead to decisions for improvement. Improving internal evaluation is required so that teachers and managers can measure actions taken to improve outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

ERO, managers and leaders agree the key next steps are to:

  • grow knowledge and understanding of the purpose and use of assessment, planning and evaluation
  • more clearly show how the priorities for children's learning are reflected in centre practices
  • implementing strategies that promote educational success for Māori children
  • improve understanding of internal evaluation for improved outcomes.


The service will provide ERO with an action plan that shows how the priorities for improvement will be addressed. ERO will request progress updates. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of New Plymouth YMCA 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of New Plymouth YMCA Childcare Centre will be in three years

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

30 August 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 


New Plymouth

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 19 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 30, Boys 25

Ethnic composition

Other Pasific Peoples
Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2017

Date of this report

30 August 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

June 2015

Education Review

August 2011

Education Review

February 2008

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.