Southside Kids Childcare Centre - 01/08/2018

1 Evaluation of Southside Kids Childcare Centre

How well placed is Southside Kids 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.


Southside Kids Childcare Centre is a privately owned service near Wellington Hospital. The centre is licensed to provide education and care for 35 children, including 10 aged up to two years. A maximum of 25 children per day are enrolled. Children, teachers and families reflect a diverse range of cultures.

The centre is divided into two age-related groups. Infants and toddlers have allocated indoor space and resources separate to those of older children, while outdoor areas are shared. All teachers spend some time working with both groups.

The service is managed by the owner, who also teaches within the service. She is supported by two head teachers, as well as a mix of qualified and in-training teaching staff. Some teachers are long-serving and support the learning of newer members.

Leaders and teachers have been responsive to the next steps outlined in the September 2015 ERO report.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from positive relationships with teachers who know them well. Their learning is celebrated throughout the home-like environment. An emphasis on creative arts is evident. Science and mathematics learning are woven into play-based contexts. Routine times are used well for meaningful learning and discussion. Open-ended questioning supports and enhances children's thinking. A recent success for the service has seen a range of very useful strategies embedded to promote literacy and oral language. This is a centre strength.

Infants and toddlers explore confidently alongside teachers who prioritise their wellbeing and follow their lead. Children's sense of place and belonging is actively promoted. A wide range of suitable resources are available for children to explore at their own pace. Unhurried care routines are aligned with home practices, and used well as learning and relationship building opportunities.

Teachers prioritise inclusive practices. Children with diverse learning needs are well supported to engage with the programme and their peers. Their families are supported and outside agencies accessed as appropriate.

Teachers share a wide range of useful information with families and seek their input on the service's curriculum and operation. Leaders agree that a more robust range of strategies, focused on reciprocal learning partnerships, would enable more meaningful ongoing engagement. Establishing the service's priority learning outcomes for children, in consultation with families, is a useful next step. This should assist in strengthening the goals within the service's strategic plan, to guide improvements.

Aspects of te reo and kaupapa Māori are appropriately evident in the curriculum. Teachers have established a shared understanding of sites of significance to Māori in the local area. Leaders and teachers continue to develop their knowledge and understanding of te ao Māori perspectives across the programme. Teachers should also build a greater understanding of what success looks like for the service's whānau Māori, as well as for Pacific families.

Teachers are attuned to children’s interests and use these, alongside the early childhood curriculum Te Whāriki, as the foundation for assessment and planning. Children's portfolios record observations and show children's progress over time. The communication and cues of individual children are strongly reflected. A next step for the service is to clearly show how these observations are used to inform specific teaching strategies, to extend and challenge children. Teachers should consider how documentation could show:

  • the use of individual development plans for children with diverse learning needs

  • the impact of culturally responsive teaching, tailored to specific children

  • the impact of the bicultural curriculum for all children

  • how children’s learning has benefitted from partnerships with parents

  • how assessment of learning, and evaluation of teaching strategies, contributes to future plans for each child.

Children and their families are well supported to settle into the centre and transition between rooms, with a range of inclusive and flexible strategies. Consideration of children’s readiness for school is appropriately aligned to social competence and confidence as learners. The service agrees that a next step is to consider ways to share useful information about individual children with school staff.

The teaching team collaborate on improvement-focused reviews. Very useful professional research contributes to changes in the programme and practice. Parents are consulted and kept well informed. However, documentation of the impact of these improvements on children’s learning needs to be strengthened. Indicators should be measurable and focused on children’s outcomes. In addition, introducing a monitoring component to emergent evaluations is required, to support teachers to know the success of smaller programme changes.

Appraisal processes should have a stronger focus on children’s outcomes. The manager acknowledges the need to align to current Education Council requirements. This is a key next step for the service.

Members of the teaching team work well together, and take on appropriate areas of leadership based on their strengths and interests. A commitment to making ongoing improvements for the benefit of children is clearly evident.

Key Next Steps

ERO and leaders agree that priority areas for development are:

  • assessment, planning and evaluation

  • practices to promote parent and whānau partnership

  • appraisal.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Southside Kids 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 Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

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

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

1 August 2018

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

35 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 15, Boys 14

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


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

June 2018

Date of this report

1 August 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2015

Education Review

September 2012

Education Review

June 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.