Pipitea Childcare Centre - 30/04/2020

1 Evaluation of Pipitea Childcare Centre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


Pipitea Childcare Centre is a non-profit parent and teacher cooperative located in Thorndon, Wellington. The parent-elected management committee is responsible for governance. The convenor has recently been reappointed to the role.

The centre is licensed to provide all-day education and care for 29 children aged six months to five years. This includes 10 children up to the age two. At the time of the review, 34 children attended the service.

The day-to-day operation of the service is the responsibility of a centre manager, who was appointed in July 2018. Most teachers are long serving, and all are fully qualified. A part time office manager and cook are also employed.

The centre philosophy emphasises the concepts of inclusivity, collaboration, kaitiakitanga, and a placed-based curriculum where tamariki lead their own learning. The service is guided by Te Whāriki the Early Childhood Curriculum ,and aspects of the 'Resources for Infant Educarers', (RIE) principles.

The March 2017 ERO report identified key next steps for this service. These included establishing a clear and shared understanding of effective teaching practice for children aged over two years, assessment, planning and evaluation, self-review and appraisal.

Good progress has been made towards addressing these areas.

The Review Findings

Children are well supported to be curious, confident and capable learners. They have many opportunities to explore, create, investigate, have fun and take responsibility for the learning environment. Well-considered excursions into the local environment extend their learning.

Teachers work effectively alongside children to support and extend their interests. Sustained, individual and group focused play is highly evident and promotes learners' independence. Social competence is well promoted. Children demonstrate a strong sense of belonging. The centre philosophy is evident in practice.

Infants and toddlers experience a calm and unhurried environment. Teachers are highly attentive and responsive to their needs. They provide opportunities for infants and toddlers to be independent and lead their own learning.

Aspects of kaupapa Māori are evident in the learning environment. Children see, hear and experience te reo me ngā tikanga Māori through karakia, waiata and kapa haka. Bilingual conversations are highly evident between some teachers and infants and toddlers. The centre has identified a next step is to evaluate how effectively teachers' knowledge and practice of tikanga me te reo Māori is used across the centre.

Children with additional needs are identified and agencies are appropriately involved. Communication with families occurs and includes discussion about strategies that support children's learning and wellbeing.

Learning journals usefully show and record children’s interests, engagement and the intentional teaching to extend their learning and social competence. Parents' aspirations are regularly sought and enacted. Useful templates for gathering information for planning and for monitoring learning journals are in place. A key next step is to continue to strengthen documentation to:

  • demonstrate how teachers add complexity to extend children’s learning and show progress over time

  • make children’s cultures, language and identities more visible.

Well-considered transitions support children and whānau into and through the service. Local school visits and sharing of useful information support children’s learning pathways to school.

The appraisal process has recently been enhanced to grow and develop teacher practice. Teachers are expected to inquire into the effectiveness of their teaching. Useful mentoring and professional learning and development supports them to grow aspects of leadership and practice to support children’s learning and wellbeing.

Leaders are improvement focused. A useful internal evaluation framework is in place. The process would benefit from developing clearly measurable success indicators. Continuing to build the teaching team’s evaluative capability will enable them to better measure the impact of the learning programme on valued outcomes for children’s learning.

The committee has strengthened its knowledge and understanding of the stewardship role. Clearly documented high expectations promotes parent participation. The centre manager provides useful information to inform centre operations aligned to the strategic plan.

Leaders have a strong commitment to the delivery of high-quality education and care through enacting the philosophy. The dedicated team are well supported through teaching and leadership opportunities that focus on children’s learning and wellbeing.

Key Next Steps

ERO's evaluation confirms, and professional leaders agree, the key next steps are to continue to:

  • strengthen assessment, planning and evaluation

  • make children's cultures, languages and identities more visible

  • further build shared understandings of te ao Māori to better reflect the valued outcomes outlined in their philosophy

  • develop shared understandings of internal evaluation to better inform decision making and measure the impact of the programme on children's learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Pipitea 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.

Actions for compliance

At the time of the review ERO identified an area of noncompliance with regulatory standards that has since been addressed.

  • identifying and minimising hazards, including securing fixtures and equipment that could slide or topple and cause harm.

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Services 2008, HS6.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)

Southern Region - Te Tai Tini

30 April 2020

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

29 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Female 18, Male 16

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2020

Date of this report

30 April 2020

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

March 2017

Education Review

April 2015

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.