Rotorua SFYP Childcare Centre - 01/09/2015

1 Evaluation of Rotorua SFYP Childcare Centre

How well placed is Rotorua SFYP 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 School for Young Parents Childcare is an early childhood education and care service that specialises in supporting young teenage parents and their children. It is attached to the neighbouring School for Young Parents. This enables parents to maintain a close partnership with their child while they continue with education towards National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) qualifications. The centre caters for children from birth to school age and is licensed for a maximum of 58 children, including 28 aged under-two years. The service operates during school hours, Monday to Friday. A significant majority of the children are of Māori descent, most of whom whakapapa to Te Arawa.

The service is a non-profit organisation operating under the governance of a charitable community trust. The facilities for children are organised into three age-based areas, Te Whare Pepe, catering for babies, Pikopiko Nui for toddlers as they transition to Ngā Taonga Iti, which caters for older preschool children. The centre maintains teacher/child ratios in excess of Ministry of Education requirements and 90% of teachers have a recognised early childhood qualification and teacher registration status.

The centre's mission statement documents the intent to provide a nurturing and inclusive learning environment in recognition that:

  • whakapapa is embedded in the culture of the centre and its communities
  • tamariki bring with them the gifts of their whānau
  • tamariki are empowered and successful.

This report is the first Education Review report for the service after a significant period when aspects of the service’s operation were compromising the quality of education and care provided. The report makes reference to the improvements that have occurred since the last ERO review, and acknowledges that the service is now well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.

The Review Findings

Since the last ERO review in 2013, the service has made significant progress in addressing ERO’s concerns. The centre manager has worked hard, alongside trustees and teachers, to establish an organisational culture that supports positive outcomes for children. The trust board receives detailed information about the centre operations from the manager. This enables trustees to monitor the progress made against the strategic plan and make decisions that support children and parents. Having established an approach to strategic planning that contributes to centre viability and sustainability, the trust is now focusing its planning processes more firmly on improving the quality of education and care for children. Trustees have a very good understanding of the importance of promoting positive outcomes for Māori whānau, Te Tiriti o Waitangi and Māori as tangata whenua. They bring an extensive range of experiences to their governance roles and are highly supportive of teachers’ professional learning.

Leadership in the service has been effective in supporting and guiding improvements to the service since 2013. The team leader has successfully led the service through a time of significant change and improvement. During this time, teachers have undertaken professional development that has increased their individual and collective capacity to provide quality education and care. In addition, professional development has improved teachers’ understanding of effective self review and the associated improvements to the service for children and whānau. Good structures are now in place to support self review across the centre.

Teachers work effectively together to promote children’s learning and wellbeing, and show a strong sense of commitment to supporting these young parents. Together they understand each child in the context of the whānau and wider community. Leaders and teachers show a real interest in the mothers’ and children’s whakapapa, home lives, interests and wellbeing. They have established a strong partnership with parents and whānau. This is evidenced through the way parents are welcomed into the centre to spend time with teachers talking about their children, and the challenges and successes they are having in their roles as new parents.

Children’s behaviour is managed positively and sensitively through the use of strategies based on respect and choice. Teachers manage children’s care routines sensitively and effectively, and make good use of these routines to promote meaningful learning. Teachers in Te Whare Pepe are highly attuned to babies’ rhythms and are responsive to children’s verbal and non-verbal communications.

The manager and teachers share a strong commitment to bicultural practice. The centre environment, programme and teaching interactions are characterised by use of te reo Māori and the inclusion of aspects of tikanga that affirm and celebrate the way Māori children are succeeding as Māori. Teachers integrate local history, sites of significance and kawa into the programme. This helps to reinforce a sense of identity and belonging for children and whānau.

Learning environments throughout the centre are well prepared to engage children. An upgrade of the outdoor area is planned to further enhance opportunities for children’s play and exploration. The environment for older children includes widespread and effective use of natural materials to support their play. The organisation of the environment also promotes communication between the three age-based areas and the tuakana/teina concept where children of different ages are able to support one another in their play and learning. Learning areas allow children to explore their emerging ideas about literacy and mathematics and teachers effectively integrate early reading, writing and numeracy concepts into the centre programme. There is a well-managed approach to transitioning children into the centre and within the centre as they progress from Te Whare Pepe to Ngā Taonga Iti.

Teachers gather detailed information about children’s learning and development based on discussions with parents and observations of children. They use this information to plan a programme based on children’s interests and preferences. Regular interviews with parents also enable teachers to include a whānau voice when making decisions about the centre programme. Information about children’s learning is gathered and presented in individual children’s portfolios, which provide a valuable record of each child’s participation in the centre programme, and further strengthen the partnership the centre has established with whānau.

Key Next Steps

ERO and the centre agree that useful next steps for the service are for leaders and teachers to:

  • continue to deepen their understanding of assessment processes

  • maintain involvement with ongoing professional development about self review and reflective practice.

The trust continues to seek whānau representation on the trust board.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Rotorua SFYP 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 board of trustees should ensure staff are police vetted in accordance with regulatory requirements.[GMA7]

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

1 September 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

58 children, including up to 28 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 23

Boys 19

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

July 2015

Date of this report

1 September 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Supplementary Review

November 2013


Supplementary Review

December 2012


Supplementary Review

December 2011

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.