Otago Childcare Centre Inc - 13/06/2018

1 Evaluation of Otago Childcare Centre Inc

How well placed is Otago Childcare Centre Inc to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Otago Childcare Centre Inc is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


Otago Childcare Centre Inc is a not-for-profit community-based early childhood service in Dunedin. It provides full-day education and care for up to 35 children from birth to school age.

Recent changes to the service include the appointments of a new centre manager/head teacher and an assistant head teacher. There is a long-serving board and teaching staff. The centre manager/head teacher has focused on the development of operational systems and building a collaborative teaching team. There has been significant roll growth including an increase in the numbers of culturally diverse families.

The service has made good progress on addressing the areas for improvement identified in the March 2015 ERO report.

The Review Findings

Children at Otago Childcare Centre Inc benefit from a learning environment where their language, culture and identity are valued. The leaders, with the support of external agencies, have introduced new and effective systems and processes for the daily operation of the service. The board, leaders and teachers have reviewed the philosophy. The next step is to consult with parents and whānau and include their views. The service is well supported by an experienced and capable board.

Positive relationships are evident amongst children, and between children and adults. Children are well settled and engaged in the programme. Each child's interests, needs and preferences are well known by teachers. Teachers use this knowledge to plan activities and routines, and to adapt the learning environment to support children's learning and development.

The curriculum is responsive to the strengths, needs and interests of children. Early literacy and numeracy are well supported by teachers, with a strong focus on building oral-language skills for children. There is a warm, inviting culture that supports inclusive learning opportunities and a sense of belonging for all children. The physical environment offers challenges and interests that invite children to explore and become fully involved in a wide variety of activities. Daily care routines are well managed by adults and understood by children.

Leaders and teachers have strengthened partnerships with families and whānau. There has been an intentional shift for teachers to know the children and their families/whānau well. Teachers maintain open and ongoing communication with parents in order to know about children's changing needs. Parents and whānau are involved in their child's learning through the effective use of learning portfolios.

Careful consideration is given to supporting children getting ready to go to school to develop the social and self-management skills they need to adapt well to a new environment. This is contributing to a successful transition-to-school process. Programmes include Māori concepts, practices, customs, values and beliefs. For example, kaupapa Māori concepts such as manaakitanga, wairuatanga, whanaungatanga and kaitiakitanga are strongly evident. This is supporting Māori children to know their language and that their culture is valued.

A deliberate focus on developing collaborative relationships amongst teachers has resulted in increased opportunities for shared leadership. Leaders and teachers are improvement focused. They plan programmes that link well to children's lives and build on children's interests. Teacher capability has benefitted from ongoing professional support from external agencies.

Key Next Steps

The board, the leadership team and ERO agree, that the key next steps to improve outcomes for children are to:

  • urgently implement a robust appraisal system that meets the requirements of the Education Council

  • strengthen the strategic plan to better reflect the centre's goals and priorities

  • develop an annual plan to manage the pace of change that aligns with the strategic goals and to identify activities for the year's strategic direction

  • strengthen internal-evaluation processes to evaluate the effectiveness of the valued outcomes, learning programmes, and strategic and annual plans.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Otago Childcare Centre Inc 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 Otago Childcare Centre Inc will be in three years.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

13 June 2018

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

35 children, including up to 16 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls: 26

Boys: 18

Ethnic composition



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

April 2018

Date of this report

13 June 2018

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

March 2015

Education Review

August 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.