Paddingtons Early Childhood Centre - 13/06/2017

1 Evaluation of Paddingtons Early Childhood Centre

How well placed is Paddingtons Early Childhood 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.


Paddingtons Early Childhood Centre, is located in Hamilton West, Hamilton. It is an all-day education and care service licensed for 64 children, including 20 up to two years of age. Since the last ERO review in 2014, the centre has had a change of ownership. It is now one of many early childhood education facilities owned and operated by the private company, Evolve Group Limited. During this time the centre's licence has been extended to include a service for children up to two years old that operates on the same site. There have been significant upgrades to outdoor play areas.

The centre has also experienced changes in management. The area manager employed by Evolve is new to her role and is working collaboratively with the centre manager to review expectations and systems. Evolve managers are currently in the process of evaluating guidelines for centre practice, with a focus on further developing strategic planning and internal evaluation processes.

Positive findings from 2014 ERO review continue to be evident. The centre manager and the majority of centre staff are long-serving qualified teachers. Recent developments have included adopting a cluster support network for centre managers, introducing on-line child assessment portfolios, and up-dating appraisal systems to meet the revised requirements of the Education Council. Teachers have reviewed their centre philosophy.

The centre's vision is to be a centre that is 'fun, enjoyable and celebrates children, love and laughter'. Teachers aim to create a place that plants a seed for a love of learning. There is a strong focus on providing a natural environment that inspires sense of wonder, curiosity and discovery. The centre's philosophy focuses on families, celebrating culture, team work, self esteem and belonging. The vision and philosophy are reflected in a family-like atmosphere and settled tone throughout the centre.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from respectful, reciprocal, inclusive and responsive relationships with and amongst children, teachers and families. They have many opportunities to develop and share their own knowledge and theories. Teachers tune in to children’s interests and thinking. They promote a strong focus on artistic expression, story reading, and problem solving. Intentional teaching promotes a balance between child and teacher-led learning. Children are confident, capable learners who demonstrate sustained engagement in learning and play activities of their choice.

High quality welcoming learning environments encourage, wonder and creativity. Indoor and outdoor play areas include a range of resources for integrating early mathematics and literacy learning within social and dramatic play. Children's learning is celebrated and made visible in wall displays. Attractive natural environments promote exploration and care of living creatures, and the natural world. Resources, including books, natural materials and every-day equipment, are easily accessed by children.

The programme is continually based on children’s recognised interests along with the aspirations of parents. Children have opportunities to participate in inquiries and projects to extend their interests and knowledge, and challenge their thinking. Teachers continue to develop their understanding of te ao Māori within the context of the centre's community and incorporate information from whānau about children’s iwi and hapu within the programme. Children’s engagement and learning are regularly evaluated in order to continually improve outcomes for young learners.

Teachers effectively maintain a focus on addressing children’s diverse learning, care and behaviour needs. They plan additional experiences for older children with well-considered activities and experiences that will encourage inquiry, and present further learning challenges. When necessary, teachers work effectively with external agencies to ensure that children's special needs are identified and effectively addressed. Children and their families from a range of cultural backgrounds are welcome and appreciated. Teachers work with them to find out about their culture and language. Several teachers, who are speakers of other languages, are able to provide particular assistance to ensure that all children quickly develop a sense of belonging at the centre.

High quality education and care for infants and toddlers is warm and nurturing. Children’s individual rhythms, needs and interests are recognised, responded to and respected. They benefit from consistent relationships with key teachers who recognise and use learning opportunities for communication and oral language development within play and care routines. The indoor play area and natural outdoor environment promote exploration, intellectual stimulation, and social support for young children. Teachers encourage daily communication with parents/caregivers. They maintain a calm, slow pace in which children have space and time to lead their learning.

Assessments are regular and clearly identify children’s learning. Bicultural perspectives in learning narratives are being strengthened through ongoing professional development. Parents are well informed about learning and centre activities through a digital programme, which provides opportunities for immediate comments and consultation to inform centre review. Children’s sense of belonging and emotional wellbeing are nurtured during and after transitions into and within the centre, and when going to school. Assessments indicate that Māori children experience success. 

Centre leadership continues to be effective in promoting positive outcomes for children. The centre manager fosters collaborative leadership and enthusiasm for promoting creative arts and imaginative play. Effective leadership in infants’ and toddlers’ area results in positive practices and outcomes for young children. Appraisal is well implemented and aligned with professional development, programme planning, internal evaluation and teachers' individual inquiries. A well-documented review of the centre’s philosophy in 2016 included consultation with parents and relevant research.

Centre leaders work collaboratively with Evolve management and service leaders. Regular meetings support a professional learning culture where teachers reflect on practice, and how centre systems can contribute to positive outcomes for children. Evolve managers provide support for strategic planning, professional development, mentoring and coaching, performance appraisal, and leadership development.

Key Next Steps

ERO and the centre manager agree that next steps are to:

  • review and revise routines in order to continually promote children’s uninterrupted and sustained engagement in learning and play

  • ensure that increasing learning complexity, personal cultural heritage, and the development of early literacy and mathematics skills and concepts are explicit in learning narratives.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Paddingtons Early Childhood 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 Paddingtons Early Childhood Centre will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Waikato/Bay of Plenty

13 June 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

64 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 46 Girls 32

Ethnic composition






Other European







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

May 2017

Date of this report

13 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

June 2014

Education Review

February 2011

Education Review

March 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.