Royal Oak Childcare Centre - 01/09/2016

1 Evaluation of Royal Oak Childcare Centre

How well placed is Royal Oak 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.


Royal Oak Childcare Centre is a well-established centre that has been owned and managed by the same family group for fifteen years. It caters for babies and toddlers in a renovated bungalow at the front of the property, and for children until they are about three and a half years old in an adjoining facility behind the main house. When children are ready, they move on to the neighbouring preschool centre owned by the same group.

The centre's philosophy promotes respectful and nurturing approaches where children have the freedom to play and learn at their own natural pace. It highlights the value teachers place on play and their vision for children as capable and competent learners. Teachers operate a primary caregiver system for children in each of the three rooms.

The owner and manager have worked together in the centre for a long period of time. They are joined by a team of well qualified teachers, most of whom who have completed respectful infant care training with a well-known early childhood specialist. The centre's 2013 ERO report recognised many strengths including respectful interactions within the calm, nurturing environment. Some next steps identified in the report included focusing more on children's emerging interests, and increasing the use of bicultural practices. ERO is satisfied that the mangers and teachers have addressed the development priorities identified in the 2013 ERO report.

The Review Findings

Children experience a peaceful and calm environment in which to play and learn. This reflects the centre philosophy. Children have friendly, caring and respectful interactions with adults and other children. Older children move freely between the indoor and outdoor spaces, accessing resources independently to support their play needs.

Throughout the centre, rooms are uncluttered and well organised. Children's work and photographs of them learning are well displayed in the environment and in portfolios. These good records allow children, parents and teachers to revisit and celebrate children's learning successes.

Babies and toddlers benefit from teachers' affectionate, gentle and nurturing approaches. Teachers are skilled in designing learning experiences that support the personal needs of each child. They value parents as their children's first teachers, and work in partnership with parents, aligning the centre's programmes to children's rhythms and home routines. Children's portfolios highlight the focus that teachers place on children's thinking and interests, and show the learning progress that children make over time.

Teachers support children's oral language development with lots of conversation, through music and song and reading together. Teachers are highly responsive to the questions older children have about their learning and the world. Some teachers are also able to support children's home language development.

Teachers are increasingly confident in enacting a bicultural curriculum and in their use of te reo Māori in the programme. Relevant professional learning is building teachers' and leaders' bicultural competencies. The centre's practices align well with the Māori concepts of whanaungatanga, manaakitanga and ako.

Teachers design learning programmes based on children's interests, preferences and dispositions. They observe children's play carefully, intervening only when necessary to extend learning or to ensure children's safety. They use resources and equipment to promote children's imaginative play. These good approaches allow children to collaborate with others and to play uninterrupted for significant periods of time.

Centre managers are committed to the child-centred principles that underpin the centre's philosophy. They invest in relevant professional learning for teachers and ensure that it is strategically aligned to the centre's philosophy and to improving outcomes for children. Internal evaluation focuses purposefully on ensuring that professional practice has a positive impact on children's learning.

Teachers and leaders are reflective, value each other's strengths and work well as a team. In addition, centre leaders promote opportunities for parents to learn about child-centred principles, and to enhance peaceful and nurturing practices for their children.

Centre managers are continuing to review and improve the teacher appraisal system and align it to the Practising Teacher Criteria.

Key Next Steps

Centre managers agree that key next steps include:

  • reviewing the centre philosophy so that it reflects the centre's commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi
  • identifying specific indicators of expected good practice aligned to the centre's philosophy. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

1 September 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 


Royal Oak, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

47 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys      24
Girls       24

Ethnic composition

South African
other Asian
other European


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 2016

Date of this report

1 September 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

October 2013

Education Review

November 2010

Education Review

July 2007

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.