The Orchard Child Care & Preschool - 11/06/2018

1 Evaluation of The Orchard Child Care & Preschool

How well placed is The Orchard Child Care & Preschool 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.


The Orchard Child Care & Preschool is a privately owned service situated on two hectares of rural land on the outskirts of Ngongotaha, Rotorua. This is the second ERO review for the service since opening in September 2013. The service provides a mixed-age programme and is licensed for 30 children, including up to 10 under two years of age.

The centre's philosophy states their values for education are to promote 'positive relationships underpinned by Christian principles of love, kindness and empathy'. The service's documented beliefs state 'children learn best in a holistic, home-like, natural environment where they can explore and learn through their interests and play'. Emphasis is given to empowering children to develop their self confidence and courage to become competent, confident learners.

Since the last ERO review in 2015, the centre owner and teachers have continued undertaking professional development to grow their practice. Internal evaluation systems are now embedded and focus on positive outcomes for children. In particular the service's bicultural programme has been further developed. Professional support networks between the centre owner and other early childhood professionals have been sustained.

The Review Findings

The service is welcoming to all children, parents and whānau. Partnerships are based on genuine attitudes of acceptance, respect and reciprocal sharing. The centre philosophy is highly evident in practice. Children enjoy the family/home-like environment. Transitions into the centre are responsive to the needs and preferences of individual children and families. The mixed-age setting fosters tuakana teina relationships between children who learn from each other. Children and families demonstrate a strong sense of belonging.

Children learn in a culture of acceptance and relational trust. Teaching practice incorporates the partnership, participation and protection principles of The Treaty of Waitangi. Programmes include Māori concepts, knowledge, skills, reo, customs and beliefs. Teachers value the skills and expertise that Māori whānau contribute to learning for staff and children. Infants and toddlers are trusted by teachers as capable learners. Teachers work closely with families of these young children to ensure personalised care routines align with home. Opportunities for four year olds to take their interests to a deeper level support learning pathways and their transition to school. Strengths of the programme include opportunities for children to learn about:

  • sustainable practices and kaitiakitanga, learning to care for the natural and living world

  • their community and wider community through outings, such as marae visits

  • assessing risk confidently, such as climbing trees and problem solving through exploring natural areas that encourage creativity and imagination

  • literacy and mathematical concepts in meaningful contexts of children’s interests and play.

Teachers are skilled in using intentional strategies. They notice, recognise and respond to opportunities to engage and extend children’s learning. Through positive interactions they support children's problem solving and critical thinking. Children's oral language, social competencies and communication are purposefully extended by teachers. Children have fun while learning in a social context, and develop a respect for themselves and others. Teachers work with families and other specialist services to meet the needs of children who need additional learning support.

Children’s identity as successful learners is strongly reinforced. Assessment and planning is integral to teaching and learning. Children and parents regularly access child portfolios and revisit prior learning. These individual assessment portfolios affirm children’s identity, culture and home languages. Learning summaries acknowledge and celebrate children's strengths, confidence and capabilities. Ongoing documented observations build a picture of what children know, and show the complexity and deepening of learning overtime.

The centre has effective governance and leadership processes and systems. It operates an inclusive leadership model where all teachers are empowered to take responsibility for aspects of centre operations. Internal evaluation leads to improvement, and centre priorities and goals reflect a commitment to high-quality early childhood education for all children.

Key Next Steps

The centre's next steps are to use internal evaluation processes to review its philosophy and inquire into the revised document Te Whāriki to continue developing the localised curriculum.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of The Orchard Child Care & Preschool 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 The Orchard Child Care & Preschool will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

11 June 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


Ngongotaha, Rotorua

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 26 Boys 21

Ethnic composition



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

April 2018

Date of this report

11 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2015

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.