Rotorua Childcare Centre - 25/02/2016

1 Evaluation of Rotorua Childcare Centre

How well placed is Rotorua 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.


Rotorua Childcare Centre is a community owned and operated service offering all-day education and care for children from birth to school age. The centre is governed by the Rotorua Childcare Centre Incorporated Society that is responsible for employment, finance, property and strategic planning. It also specifies the policy framework that guides compliance with legislative requirements. Since the 2012 ERO report, there have been significant extensions and refurbishment of facilities in the babies and toddler areas, and to the outdoor play spaces.

The centre is licensed for 60 children, including a maximum of 10 children up to two years of age. Currently the roll includes 69 children, of whom 15 are identified as Māori.

An experienced and long-serving centre manager continues to provide the operational management and leadership of the centre. She is supported by an assistant manager and team leaders, who share responsibility for the three age-group areas. The centre retains a high proportion of qualified staff, many of whom have given long-service.

The centre philosophy and vision statement places emphasis on providing assurance for parents that their children are happy and safe, and a high quality care and education that supports children to be successful learners.

The centre has a positive reporting history with ERO. Centre leaders and teachers reviewed the recommendation in the 2012 ERO report, relating to the need to increase the empowerment of older children to lead their own learning. Centre leaders report that minimal changes have been made in this area of practice, and that this decision was in response to their parents’ preferences.

The Review Findings

Children enjoy affirming and supportive relationships with adults. They learn and play in well-prepared environments that offer a wide variety of activities and experiences. Equipment and resources are readily available for children to explore and investigate. Children play actively in the outdoor areas, developing their physical skills, coordination and confidence. Teachers model high quality spoken language for babies and toddlers, and engage children in conversations about their learning.

Babies and toddlers play in safe and calm environments. They experience caring and sensitive interactions with adults who are responsive to their physical and emotional needs. Teachers work in partnership with parents to settle children in their new environments and maintain close consistency with home routines. Children and their families are supported when babies are ready to make a positive transition to the toddler area. They continue their learning journey, increasing their communication skills and independence.

Children and their families bring an increasingly diverse range of cultures into the centre. An inclusive culture supports and values the identity and language of all children. The programme includes appropriate celebrations and there are displays and items from different countries. The bicultural aspects mentioned in the 2012 ERO report have been retained. Māori staff contribute their knowledge and understanding of te reo and tikanga Māori, and this benefits the wider staff and the children. It would be beneficial for the teachers to review how the language, culture and identity of each child is reflected in their personal portfolios.

Teachers meet monthly to plan for each age-group area. The teachers in the babies’ area use their ongoing observations to plan their daily programme to respond to their interests and preferred activities. Teachers plan similarly for toddlers, including a balance of teacher-led programmes to introduce new ideas and challenges, and unstructured play. In these areas, literacy, mathematics and science are naturally included in the programme through children’s play and experiences.

In the top centre for older children, the programme has a greater emphasis on teacher-led group projects and activities. Centre and team leaders have specified the social and curriculum skills necessary to prepare children of the older age group for transition to school. These skills are deliberately taught and influence the routines, teaching and assessment processes for these older children.

Teachers record information about children’s engagement in learning in individual portfolios. Extensive use of photographs and learning stories enable children and parents to revisit the learning and recognise children’s progress and development. Parents’ feedback and contributions to portfolios are welcomed.

Teachers have taken active roles in reviewing children’s use of imagination in the centre programmes. They have approached this topic innovatively, and recognised how they can notice, affirm and develop children’s creativity. Teachers use individual evaluative questions and educational readings to inform developments to their programmes and practice.

Centre managers and teachers have worked hard to build trusting partnerships with parents, who in turn give strong support for centre activities and events. Each year the centre identifies a community charity to support through fundraising and positive actions. Parents and their children are well supported at times of transition, both within and from the centre.

Key Next Steps

Empowerment of older children as self-managing learners remains a significant area for further review and development. ERO recommends that centre leaders seek external advice and guidance to support this review, and to implement changes consistent with current best practice in early childhood education.

ERO identified, and centre leaders agree, that there is an urgent need to strengthen processes related to annual appraisals and the endorsement of practising teaching certificates. Currently the centre has insufficient evidence to validate the decisions they have made.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Rotorua 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.

During the review, ERO identified an area of non-compliance related to annual appraisals and endorsement of practising teaching certificates.[Part 13 Education Act 1989]

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Rotorua Childcare Centre will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

25 February 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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

60 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 37 Boys 32

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

December 2015

Date of this report

25 February 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2012


Education Review

February 2009


Education Review

February 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.