Sunnynook Community Creche - 25/03/2015

1. Evaluation of Sunnynook Community Creche

How well placed is Sunnynook Community Creche 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.


Sunnynook Community Creche has provided education and care for children on Auckland’s North Shore for the past 22 years. The crèche is governed by a management committee which reports to a Community Board. It operates on a sessional basis with children attending either morning or afternoon sessions. Almost 100 children attend one of the available three-hour sessions. The centre is open during school terms.

A supervisor has responsibility for the daily management of the centre. She leads a team of five teachers, many of whom have been appointed in the last year. All full-time teachers are qualified and registered. There is one part-time teacher who holds early-childhood education qualifications.

In 2012 ERO identified many positive features, including a well developed culture of planning and self review and an environment that supports a wide variety of learning experiences for children. ERO recommended teachers should extend play opportunities to challenge children and develop greater consistency of teaching practices. The centre has responded positively to these areas for improvement.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from a settled and nurturing environment. They are very well supported to settle into the programme at their own pace. Children are encouraged to make choices about their play and the resources that interest them. They are relaxed and confident to try new experiences. Indoor and outdoor environments invite exploration and promote children’s independent learning.

The centre’s philosophy is highly evident in the programme. Teachers work very skilfully alongside children. Their gentle and respectful approaches support children’s wellbeing and participation in the programme. Teachers use open-ended questions to extend children’s experiences. They respond to younger children’s non-verbal language and are highly responsive to their individual needs. Teachers have identified the need to focus on including more bicultural practices and increasing the use of te reo Māori in the programme.

As a new team, teachers are committed to developing a shared team culture. They plan to review the centre philosophy so it reflects the current team’s priorities. Regular professional development supports teachers to enhance their practice.

Teachers thoughtfully record children’s learning in individual portfolios. They agree that next steps to develop planning, assessment and evaluation of the programme should include:

  • planning how teachers can add value to children’s knowledge and learning
  • making links between assessment records to show children’s progress over time
  • evaluating the programme to show the impact of teaching practices and curriculum experiences on improved learning outcomes for children.

There is a strong sense of community in the centre. Parents spoken to by ERO indicated a high level of satisfaction with the programme and teaching practice. Parents/whānau have opportunities to provide feedback in surveys and through regular informal conversations. Teachers are responsive to parents’ suggestions for improvement.

The supervisor is an effective leader who promotes continuous improvement in all areas of centre operations. Some teachers are highly skilled at coaching and guiding colleagues to extend their teaching practice. Self-review systems are well developed and used to make positive changes that benefit children. The teacher appraisal process encourages teachers to reflect on ways to improve their teaching within a supportive team environment.

Key Next Steps

The supervisor and ERO agree that next steps include:

  • improving the quality of assessment and programme evaluation records
  • reviewing the philosophy and strategic plan to reflect the current aspirations of teachers and families
  • enhancing the teacher appraisal process with reference to the Registered Teachers Criteria and Tātaiako, cultural competencies for teachers of Māori learners.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Sunnynook Community Creche 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 Sunnynook Community Creche will be in three years.

Dale Bailey Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

25 March 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


Sunnynook, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 54 Girls 45

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā



other Asian






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


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2015

Date of this report

25 March 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2012


Education Review

July 2009


Education Review

November 2005

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.