Sunshine Childcare on Vickery - 12/11/2019

1 Evaluation of Sunshine Childcare on Vickery

How well placed is Sunshine Childcare on Vickery to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Sunshine Childcare on Vickery is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


Sunshine Childcare on Vickery is located in the Hamilton suburb of Te Rapa. It provides full day education and care. The service is licensed for 50 children with a maximum of 15 up to two years of age, catered for within two aged-based learning areas. There is a diverse range of cultures within the centre, including 19 Māori children and a range of other ethnicities.

Two directors, one of whom is a qualified teacher, provide governance and professional leadership to the service. They own another centre nearby, 'Sunshine on Sunshine', and the two centres work closely together sharing professional development opportunities. A new centre manager has been internally appointed to the role since the last ERO review. Two qualified team leaders support the manager and teachers, many of whom are qualified.

The mission statement prioritises the promotion of real wonder, real adventure and real engagement. Through the philosophy teachers aim to empower children and support them to develop a sense of security, resilience, self-worth, exploration and to lead their own learning. Teachers aim to extend children's interests and view them as being precious and unique.

The Review Findings

A broad and rich curriculum provides meaningful learning experiences for children. The ‘Kiwi backyard’ outdoor environment supports exploration, safe risk taking, sensory learning and physical development. Literacy, science, music and mathematics are well integrated into children's play and intentionally planned, with many activities provided based on children’s interests. Children are able to freely access resources and loose parts and are empowered to make choices and explore their interests. Social competence is well supported. Regular trips into the local community enriches the programme. Children are actively engaged in play and learning.

Teachers seek, value and acknowledge parents and whānau aspirations for their children. These are documented in the assessment and planning processes. Children’s individual goals are developed, reported on and regularly evaluated. Their learning journeys and successes are captured in rich individual portfolios. Children are viewed as confident and competent learners.

Strong relationships between children, whānau, teachers and leaders support positive learning outcomes. The multicultural diversity within the centre is reflected in the teaching team. Several home languages are spoken, and events and celebrations planned for, including those of Pacific nations. Te reo, tikanga and te ao Māori are naturally integrated into daily teaching and learning. A localised curriculum has been developed and would be further strengthened by researching and including local Māori history and stories. Teachers are reflective and share professional knowledge. Children develop a strong sense of belonging.

Routines that are predictable and unhurried support infants and toddlers to settle and learn in a calm environment. Teachers take time to talk, read and sing with the youngest learners, promoting their oral language. Transitions into and within the centre are individualised and responsive to their needs. A well-designed transition to school process captures individual children's skills and strengths in preparation for their next stage of education. Children with additional learning needs are sensitively supported with inclusive teaching practices and external agencies are accessed where required.

A distributive and collaborative leadership approach effectively builds capability within the centre. The new centre manager has successfully transitioned into her leadership role with professional development and support from the organisation. Leaders effectively mentor, coach and support their teaching team. They know their team strengths and encourage each other to share professional knowledge and provide leadership opportunities. They have high expectations for team members and provide clear roles and responsibilities. Leaders value the teaching team.

Strong systems and processes guide centre operations. The directors are actively involved in the service, strategically appointing teachers who will fit in with the team and centre philosophy. Management invests in growing the capacity of teachers with regular and targeted professional development opportunities. The performance management system successfully contributes to the service achieving its vision and goals. Strengthening the alignment of curriculum goals to the annual plan will further support the centre to meet its strategic aims. Highly effective internal evaluation is regular, planned and strategic, in response to parent surveys and feedback. Management and leaders are focused on providing positive learning outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

The key next steps for Sunshine Childcare on Vickery are to:

  • continue the development of a bicultural curriculum with a focus on integrating local Māori history and knowledge

  • align curriculum strategic goals to the annual plan with measurable timeframes and indicators.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Sunshine Childcare on Vickery 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.

Since the onsite visit the service has provided ERO with evidence that shows it has addressed the following non-compliances:

  • parents signing of excursions
  • parental acknowledgement of medication administered.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

12 November 2019

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

50 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Male 33 Female 22

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups


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

September 2019

Date of this report

12 November 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2016

Education Review

July 2013

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.