Tic Tac Toe Educare Tots n Toddlers - 02/11/2018

1 Evaluation of Tic Tac Toe Educare Tots n Toddlers

How well placed is Tic Tac Toe Educare Tots n Toddlers 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.


Tic Tac Toe Educare Tots n Toddlers is a privately owned full-day education and care service located in Huntly. The centre is licensed for 49 children including up to 25 under the age of two years. At the time of the review 38 children were enrolled including 20 who identify as Māori. A range of other ethnicities are represented in the centre. There are two aged-based rooms with adjacent outdoor areas.

The centre's philosophy states that all children will experience a fun, caring and safe environment that will encourage learning at their own pace. Cultural diversity is recognised and celebrated, the environment reflects a calm, home-like atmosphere. Individuality is respected and children are supported to learn at their own pace to develop life skills to be competent and confident. The centre expresses a commitment to a holistic and personal approach to facilitate children’s sense of belonging.

Since the previous ERO report in March 2014, there has been a change of ownership. The new owner is a qualified early childhood teacher. She is responsible for governance matters and also works in the centre in a teaching and support role. In March 2018 a new head teacher was appointed at Tots n Toddlers. An additional centre was purchased by the owner in 2016, Tic Tac Toe Little Sprouts and children from Tots n Toddlers transition there at approximately three years of age or when they are ready.

There has been a positive response to the findings of the previous ERO report.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from positive and responsive relationships that support a sense of belonging. Sustained and independent play is actively fostered. Children are encouraged to make choices and explore ideas. Oral language, numeracy and literacy are promoted. Transitions into, through and beyond the centre, in collaboration with whānau are based on the needs of the child to support security and confidence. Children's wellbeing is prioritised.

Teachers work alongside parents and external agencies to support children with additional needs. Professional learning opportunities are accessed to support teachers to understand the needs of these children.

Teachers are responsive to the cues and rhythms of children under the age of two years. Secure relationships encourage children to eagerly participate in activities and interactions. Care routines are respectful and parent preferences are well known. Infants are well-supported in a nurturing environment.

The centre’s curriculum effectively promotes positive learning outcomes for children. Centre events are focused on engaging whānau in the life of the centre. This supports teachers to deepen their knowledge about the context of each child to enhance learning outcomes. Continuing to build a shared understanding of the revised Te Whāriki, Early childhood curriculum will enhance learning opportunities.

Children's individual portfolios effectively show increasing complexity of learning through a wide range of activities. A new approach to planning includes a purposeful bicultural perspective and focuses on extending children’s interests, strengths and needs. Children have opportunities to revisit their learning. Challenges and new experiences are provided to extend children’s curiosity and confidence in the environment.

Leadership is effectively building a collaborative team to enhance positive outcomes for children. Growing teacher capability through modelling quality teaching is an effective strategy in the centre and thorough self-review processes are guiding improvements to centre-wide practice. Emergent leadership is being fostered to support bicultural practice. Positive guidance is actively promoted to support children’s engagement in the learning environment.

The philosophy, vision and values effectively support and guide learning outcomes for children. A clear strategic plan guides the direction and the implementation of improvement strategies for the centre. Guiding policies and procedures are regularly reviewed.

Key Next Steps

Leaders and ERO agree the key next steps for the centre are to:

  • review the centre philosophy to reflect the new leadership and teaching team

  • extend partnerships with parents and whānau

  • continue to build a shared understanding of the revised Te Whāriki to embed a responsive centre curriculum

  • continue to build the managers knowledge and confidence in centre-wide management

  • fully embed all aspects of the new appraisal system.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Tic Tac Toe Educare Tots n Toddlers 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.

ERO identified an area of non-compliance in relation to fire evacuation scheme. The centre must:

  • ensure there is a fire evacuation scheme in place that is approved by the NZ Fire Service
    [Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, HS4]
  • Secure the fish tank.
    [Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, HS6]

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Tic Tac Toe Educare Tots n Toddlers will be in three years.

Adrienne Fowler

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

2 November 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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

49 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 24 Girls 14

Ethnic composition



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 2018

Date of this report

2 November 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2014

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.