New Shoots Sunnynook - 23/06/2016

1 Evaluation of New Shoots Sunnynook

How well placed is New Shoots Sunnynook 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 Shoots Sunnynook has been operating from its purpose built facility since June 2012. The service is licenced for 80 children, including 35 up to two years of age. Children experience education and care within one of five age-specific rooms. Paua and Pohutukawa, the two nursery rooms, cater for babies and toddlers from three months until around two years of age. Older toddlers and children move through Koru, Puawai and Punga rooms until they are ready to attend school. All children share a large outside play area and have regular access to a neighbouring parkland. They are provided with healthy and nutritious meals.

The centre philosophy promotes practices and approaches inspired by Emmi Pikler and Magda Gerber, and are based on principles of respect, and of trust in children as capable, competent learners. In line with this philosophy, the indoor spaces are home-like and aesthetically pleasing. Soft lighting, seating and floor coverings promote a sense of calm for children and families. Management employ more teachers than are required so that children have increased opportunity for individual support and interaction.

The owners of New Shoots Sunnynook are actively involved in the centre, and support the centre director with day to day management. They receive governance and management support from the New Shoots Group. This is the first ERO report for New Shoots Sunnynook.

The Review Findings

Children are settled and relaxed in their rooms. They experience gentle, positive and respectful interactions with teachers. Teachers ensure that the outdoors is secure and engaging for babies and toddlers. They encourage them to explore their surroundings. Teachers actively encourage tuakana-teina relationships, and children enjoy opportunities to play with and alongside children of varying ages, including their siblings. This approach, alongside the strong connections teachers have with parents, supports children's wellbeing and learning.

Babies and toddlers are very well cared for and nurtured by their skilled and capable teachers. Teachers communicate regularly with parents and follow children's home routines. They interact affectionately with children and are responsive to their needs and learning interests. Parents comment positively on teachers' trustworthiness, skills and professionalism.

Teachers plan learning programmes that are responsive to children, and are increasingly focused on children's emerging interests and preferences. Children have choice during the day to access activities and areas of play that interest them. Teachers value and respond to children's and parents' contributions to the design of the programme, including aspects of children's languages and cultural backgrounds. They foster children's language development and promote older children's cooperative play. Teachers are increasingly using te reo Māori and elements of tikanga in the programme.

The New Shoots Group has recently designed a comprehensive curriculum document to guide teaching and learning programmes throughout the New Shoots group of centres. Managers are looking forward to introducing this new curriculum model to teachers and to supporting them with their understanding and enactment.

Part of this plan includes supporting teachers at New Shoots Sunnynook to be more intentional in their teaching practices, and deepen children's learning experiences and outcomes. Managers would also like this plan to include strengthening bicultural curriculum concepts.

Centre management work together as a collaborative team and lead the centre effectively. They plan strategically for continual improvement and are very well supported and guided by the New Shoots Group to promote a high quality service. Self review is very well understood, and used at all levels of the service as a tool for improvement. Managers value their teachers as professionals, highlight their strengths and successes and have high expectations for them to critique and reflect on their own practice.

The teachers' appraisal system is well aligned in practice to the requirements of the New Zealand Education Council. Managers are now planning to provide professional support to team leaders to build their skills in managing teacher appraisals, and to review and refine policy and procedures. In addition managers recognise the importance of continuing to enhance staff leadership capabilities and plan to do so by using coaching and mentoring approaches.

Key Next Steps

Centre management and ERO agree that key next steps for the centre include continuing to:

  • promote teachers' skills in designing and delivering programmes that enhance the complexity of children's thinking and learning

  • coach and mentor staff and grow their leadership skills.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of New Shoots Sunnynook 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 Shoots Sunnynook will be in four years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

23 June 2016

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


Sunnynook, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

80 children, including up to 35 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 52% Girls 48%

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

April 2016

Date of this report

23 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports

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.