Seven Dwarfs Childcare Centre - 01/11/2017

1 Evaluation of Seven Dwarfs Childcare Centre

How well placed is Seven Dwarfs 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.


Seven Dwarfs Childcare Centre is a community early learning service operating in Hastings. A centre manager oversees the operation of the centre with the support of the head teacher and a parent board. Since the November 2014 ERO report, a new head teacher has been appointed. The service is licensed for 20 children, including eight up to the age of two years. Of the 29 children on the roll, nine are Māori.

The Rudolf Steiner philosophy underpins the programme. The outdoor area is an integral part of the programme, where care and respect for the living environment are practised by children and adults together.

The previous ERO report identified the need to strengthen leadership to support ongoing improvement, assessment, success for Māori and Pacific learners, and internal evaluation. The centre has responded well to these areas.

The Review Findings

The centre's philosophy is suitably reflected in the programme. Regular daily rituals foster children's sense of belonging and security. Respectful teaching and learning practices promote children's curiosity, exploration and imagination. There are many opportunities to develop literacy and mathematical skills, knowledge and language in the context of play.

A calm and nurturing atmosphere is evident. Families are welcomed and their contributions are valued. Children are viewed as capable and competent learners who actively seek out challenging experiences. They are well supported to develop their social and selfmanagement skills.

Programme provision for very young children is focused on nurturing their wellbeing and sense of belonging. Caregiving is responsive and consistent. Care routines are unhurried and an integral part of learning experiences. Opportunities are fostered for these learners to be active communicators and explorers. Tuakana teina relationships are encouraged.

The centre's assessment framework is increasingly responsive to individual and group interests. Teachers' regular reflection and evaluation contribute to planning for teaching and learning and ongoing improvements, aligned to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

The curriculum effectively integrates bicultural values and practices in authentic ways. Parents' and whānau aspirations for their children's learning are sought and used to guide daily practices. Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are integrated throughout the programme.

Self-review processes have been used to improve teachers' knowledge and understanding of what success for Māori looks like in this learning community and to contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. The language, culture and identities of Māori children are valued. Strengthening and embedding understanding of the purpose and use of internal evaluation for improvement to teaching and children's learning outcomes, is a next step.

A well-considered transition process supports children and their families into the centre and on to school. This includes information sharing and reciprocal visits and is responsive to individual needs.

Leaders are building a collaborative and collegial teaching team. Involvement in professional learning to develop leadership skills has assisted in establishing shared expectations for teaching practice. Leaders seek external opportunities and make use of relevant research to support decisions about future developments.

A sound appraisal process is aligned to the centre's strategic teaching and learning priorities. There are clear links to the Practising Teacher Criteria and a focus on regular inquiry into practice.

A clear vision is in place that sets direction for the service and acknowledges the importance of high quality early childhood education. The strategic plan has been developed by leaders in consultation with the board, teachers, parents and whānau.

Parent and staff surveys are used to affirm practice and identify possible areas for improvement. Practices are focused on promoting sustainable high quality teaching. The introduction of regular meetings between the board and leaders to provide strategic support and contribute to the development of policies is a next step.

Key Next Steps

The centre's next steps are:

  • strengthening and embedding understanding of the purpose and use of internal evaluation for improvement to teaching and to children's learning outcomes

  • for the board to provide better strategic support and contribute to the development of centre policies

  • deepening the quality of reporting between staff and trustees.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Seven Dwarfs 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 Seven Dwarfs Childcare Centre will be in three years.

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

1 November 2017

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

20 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 18, Boys 11

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2017

Date of this report

1 November 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2014

Education Review

June 2012

Education Review

July 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 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.