Polyhigh Community Childcare Centre - 23/04/2015

1 Evaluation of Polyhigh Community Childcare Centre

How well placed is Polyhigh Community 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.


Polyhigh Community Childcare Centre is located on the campus of Wellington High School and Massey University of Wellington. The centre operates 10 hours a day and is licensed for 50 children, including 20 aged up to 2 years. It is governed by a parent committee.

The ethnic diversity of staff contributes to meeting the needs of the multicultural community, including the 10 Māori children on the roll. Children come from the wider Wellington region.

Most of the teachers are fully registered and qualified. Many are long serving. The high ratio of teachers to children supports opportunities for individual attention to be given to children.

All food is provided. The centre supports healthy eating and is working towards a Healthy Heart Award.

The philosophy has recently been reviewed and is clearly evident in practice. The Resources in Infant Education (RIE) and the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education are promoted within the programme.

Polyhigh Community Childcare Centre has a positive ERO reporting history. It has achieved the next steps identified in the July 2012 ERO report.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from a very well planned and implemented programme. The centre’s three learning areas support children to develop at their own pace. The thoughtful and well-managed transition programme enables smooth and effective progress from one room to the next. Children have opportunities to play with siblings. Teachers across all areas communicate very well.

Children are actively engaged in a wide range of learning experiences. Interactions among them and with the teachers are very positive. Conversations are constant and authentic, supporting the growth of children's literacy skills. Children are seen as capable learners and they are treated with respect. They are encouraged to be independent and self managing.

Teachers worked closely together and involved the parent community in the recent review of the centre philosophy. This review, which emphasised the importance of place-based learning, has impacted positively on the programme. It has led to teachers and children researching their physical and historical environment, with community support.

A strong bicultural programme is supported by a positive relationship with the on-campus marae, Kuratini. The children have tangata whenua status and now actively welcome children from other centres on to the marae. The bicultural approach is highly evident in the environment with displays, extensive use of natural materials and resources. Te reo Māori is used by the teachers and children, in waiata, karakia and pepeha. Children have visited other marae, including Te Papa Tongawera marae, and various local landmarks.

Programme planning effectively supports group needs and interests. Teachers prepare plans for each child in consultation with families. The impact of the programme is evaluated and documented leading to informed decisions to maximise learning. Teachers strongly support children to grow their literacy, mathematics and science knowledge. Children with high needs are very well integrated into the programme and involved in all activities. All children settle well in an environment that recognises their needs. They explore, create and play in an unhurried, respectful atmosphere.

Parent and whānau involvement in planning, assessment and review encourages partnerships for learning. Parents access children's learning stories through a secure electronic portal with their families. This facilitates considerable response and conversation.

Children leave the centre to go to schools across the wider Wellington region. The centre programme enables children to be very well prepared to enter the school environment. Increasingly close relations are being developed with local schools.

The parent committee and manager provide very effective governance for and administration of the centre. The manager provides strong and knowledgeable leadership that effectively supports three assistant supervisors and staff to capably undertake their work.

Sound governance and leadership has assisted in establishing a collaborative staff culture. Staff receive suitable professional development opportunities. The teaching team is enthusiastic about providing high-quality care and education for all children at the centre.

Practices are in place to support sustained practice. Key elements of centre operations and the programme are regularly reviewed. The information from this self-review programme is gathered from a range of sources including research and community views. It is a well-established model that is evidence based. Outcomes are effectively used to inform decisions about improvements in practice and organisation.

Key Next Steps

This is an improvement-focused centre. Leaders are constantly identifying development steps to provide better quality experiences for each child.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Polyhigh Community 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 Polyhigh Community Childcare Centre will be in four years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

23 April 2015

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

50 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 37, Girls 30

Ethnic composition




Other Asian

Other ethnic groups






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

March 2015

Date of this report

23 April 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

July 2012


Education Review

June 2009


Education Review

August 2006

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.