Rotorua Childcare Centre - 28/03/2019

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

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

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


Rotorua Childcare Centre is a community owned and operated service located in Rotorua. It caters for children from birth to school age in three age-based play areas. The centre is licensed for 60 children, including 10 up to the age of two. At the time of this ERO review 67 children were enrolled, including 14 Māori and 14 of Chinese descent.

The centre’s philosophy aims to provide high-quality care and education in a secure and stimulating environment, acknowledging cultural values, customs and practices of individuals.

The centre is governed by the Rotorua Childcare Centre Board who are responsible for the centre's vision, finance, property and strategic planning. There have been significant changes at both governance and management level with five new trustees elected and the appointment of a new centre manager. The teaching team remains stable with minimal changes. Three team leaders are responsible for the management of their respective areas. Under the leadership of the new centre manager the centre has responded well to the key areas for development in the February 2016 ERO report.

The Review Findings

A positive shift to valuing learning through play is empowering children to make choices about their learning and engage in periods of sustained and uninterrupted play. Children’s independence and self management is actively encouraged through responsive and flexible routines. Early literacy, mathematics and science are beginning to be more meaningfully woven through the programme supporting children's skills and knowledge. Appropriate furniture, equipment and natural and open-ended resources effectively promotes imaginative and creative play. Risk and challenge are offered through the large outdoor environment.

Children up to the age of two years benefit from respectful and nurturing relationships. A well-resourced, dedicated space for younger children allows them to freely explore their environment. This promotes their curiosity and independence. Well-established communication processes between teachers and parents support children’s sense of security and wellbeing. A family orientated approach supports the flexible transitioning of children and whānau into, through and beyond the centre.

Parents and families are well informed about their child’s learning. They have access to well-presented digital and hard-copy portfolios that capture children’s engagement in the life of the centre. Children experience a curriculum where they are listened to and are encouraged to become confident and successful learners and explorers. Further consideration needs to be given to strengthening assessment, planning and evaluation for individual children.

Teachers build positive and caring relationships with children and their families. Thoughtful conversations between teachers and children promote rich oral language development. They positively encourage and acknowledge children's efforts and successes. Teachers use a range of positive guidance strategies to promote social and emotional competence supporting children's growing dispositional development. Leaders and teachers work collaboratively with outside agencies to support children with additional needs.

There is some integration of tikanga Māori and use of te reo Māori by teachers. Further strengthening teachers' knowledge and use of bicultural practice will enhance Māori children's educational success.

The newly appointed centre manager is effectively leading positive change. She has a reflective and strategic approach to her leadership, building a collaborative and respectful working environment. A useful teacher appraisal process is now in place. Meaningful professional learning and development occurs for teachers. Useful self-review practices contribute to positive change and improved outcomes for children.

The community board is in a phase of rebuilding. The board has accessed external advice and guidance to support the process. The constitution, vision, strategic plan and budget are all under review to ensure sustainability of the service and the provision of good-quality education and care. There is an increased focus on being a good employer. Leadership would benefit from clearly defining and documenting governance and management roles and responsibilities.

Key Next Steps

The key next step for leaders is to build the consistency of teaching practices to reflect best practice and current theory. Priority should be given to:

  • strengthening assessment, planning and evaluation processes
  • the meaningful inclusion of te ao Māori to promote Māori learners success
  • strengthening incorporation of all children's language, culture and identity in the curriculum.

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.

To improve current practice, the early childhood service's governance should ensure consistent implementation of:

  • centre manager's annual appraisal.

To improve current practice, the early childhood service's management should ensure consistent implementation of:

  • health and safety procedures related to excursions and emergencies.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

28 March 2019

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

Boys 45 Girls 22

Ethnic composition



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 2019

Date of this report

28 March 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2016

Education Review

September 2012

Education Review

February 2009

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.