Sure Start Early Childhood Education Centre - 31/01/2018

1 Evaluation of Sure Start Early Childhood Education Centre

How well placed is Sure Start Early Childhood Education 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.


Sure Start Early Childhood Education Centre is located on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, Auckland. It is licensed to provide all day education and care for 27 children, including up to 12 aged under two years. The service operates from a converted house and a separate cottage. Infants and toddlers have their own separate indoor and outdoor play spaces. Most of the children attending are from Pākehā backgrounds.

The centre owner manages the centre. She works alongside another experienced teacher, providing leadership and mentoring for two other qualified teachers and two teachers in training.

The philosophy of the service is to provide a programme responsive to the interests of children that supports them to become lifelong learners. There is strong commitment to valuing the knowledge and cultural capital that children bring to the service. The special place of Māori in Aotearoa, New Zealand, is recognised. The team is focussed on personal and professional growth.

The 2015 ERO report highlighted the engagement of the children in the programme, and the caring relationships between adults and children. This report also identified numerous processes to develop or strengthen, including strategic and annual planning, self-review, programme planning, teacher appraisal and access for teachers to professional development. Significant progress has been made in response to ERO's recommendations.

The Review Findings

The philosophy of the service is evident in practice. Children move freely around indoor and outdoor environments, easily accessing the resources that support their play and learning. Many carefully presented photos and displays of children's work celebrate their involvement in the programme. Children are happy, well settled and have a sense of belonging in the centre.

The environment is very homely. Infants and toddlers benefit from good teacher to child ratios. Consistent caregiving enables teachers to build relationships and sensitively respond to each child's changing needs and preferences. Teachers' responsive practice supports children's engagement in the programme and their learning.

Some teachers model language well for children. Children are articulate and confident speakers. Some teachers are very skilled in their knowledge and use of te reo Māori, and consistently incorporate words and sentences into their interactions with children. Tikanga Māori is woven through the programme. Te ao Māori perspectives are starting to be considered in programme plans.

The teaching team support each other well. They model collaborative practice and support children's developing social competence. Older children are able to sustain their play in small groups or when playing on their own. A well balanced curriculum planned by teachers includes meaningful opportunities to engage in science, mathematics and literacy learning.

Assessment practices recognise children's interests, strengths and abilities, and enhance their identity as successful learners. There is a focus on holistic development. Teachers take time to reflect on the learning of individual children and how they might encourage more complex learning. They are actively investigating new strategies to gather and include contributions from parents and whānau in children's portfolios of learning.

The centre owner has established a framework of policies and procedures. A robust process of internal evaluation is supporting the development of an organisational culture of ongoing improvement. Strategic and annual plans have been developed and include useful goals to support centre direction. The appointment of an external mentor is supporting the centre owner in the ongoing development of teacher appraisal processes.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps for centre development include:

  • continuing to develop planning, assessment and evaluation processes and align these with the service's new philosophy statement

  • continuing to develop the teacher appraisal process with a focus on goal setting and teaching as inquiry

  • strengthening alignment between internal evaluation projects, teacher appraisal, annual and strategic plans.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Sure Start Early Childhood Education 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 Sure Start Early Childhood Education Centre will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

31 January 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


Manly, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

27 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 19 Girls 15

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2017

Date of this report

31 January 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2015

Education Review

June 2012

Education Review

June 2008

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.