The Little Castle - 12/11/2019

ERO’s Judgement

Regulatory standards

ERO’s judgement



Premises and facilities


Health and safety


Governance, management and administration


At the time of the review, ERO found the service was taking reasonable steps to meet regulatory standards.


The Little Castle changed ownership in December 2018. The licensee is also the centre manager. She leads a team of five qualified teachers and three unqualified staff. Since the change of ownership, the two storied building has been significantly upgraded and remodelled to create more attractive and inviting indoor and outdoor learning environments.

Summary of Review Findings

Teachers provide a curriculum that respects and supports the right of each child to be a competent, confident learner in their own culture. Parents have regular opportunities to be involved in decision-making concerning their child’s learning. The design and layout of the centre includes quiet spaces, areas for physically active play, and spaces for a range of individual and group learning experiences. A philosophy statement and annual plan guide the centre’s operations. Self review helps maintain and improve quality of education and care.

Key Next Steps

Next steps include:

  • interactions between kaiako and children to encourage and support children’s critical thinking

  • strengthening documentation and practices that support a bicultural focus in assessment and evaluation.

Next ERO Review

The next ERO review is likely to be an Education Review.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services (Northern)

Northern Region | Te Tai Raki

12 November 2019

Information About the Service

Early Childhood Service Name

The Little Castle

Profile Number



West Harbour, Auckland

Service type

Education and care service

Number licensed for

45 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratio of staff to children under 2

1:4 - Better than regulatory standards

Reported ratio of staff to children over 2

1:8 - Better than regulatory standards

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 24 Girls 23

Ethnic composition

Māori 7
NZ European/Pākehā 30
other ethnic groups 10

Review team on site

November 2019

Date of this report

12 November 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review April 2016
Education Review March 2013
Education Review March 2010

General Information about Assurance Reviews

All services are licensed under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008. The legal requirements for early childhood services also include the Licensing Criteria for Education and Care Services 2008.

Services must meet the standards in the regulations and the requirements of the licensing criteria to gain and maintain a licence to operate.

ERO undertakes an Assurance Review process in any centre-based service:

  • having its first ERO review – including if it is part of a governing organisation
  • previously identified as ‘not well placed’ or ‘requiring further development’
  • that has moved from a provisional to a full licence
  • that have been re-licenced due to a change of ownership
  • where an Assurance Review process is determined to be appropriate.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

All early childhood services are required to promote children’s health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements. Before the review, the staff and management of a service 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.

As part of an Assurance Review ERO assesses whether the regulated standards are being met. In particular, ERO looks at a 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 certification; ratios)
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

As part of an Assurance Review ERO also gathers and records evidence through:

  • discussions with those involved in the service
  • consideration of relevant documentation, including the implementation of health and safety systems
  • observations of the environment/premises, curriculum implementation and teaching practice.