Tiny Tots Educare - 29/03/2019

1 Evaluation of Tiny Tots Educare

How well placed is Tiny Tots Educare to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Tiny Tots Educare  is not well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Tiny Tots Rotorua is an all-day, mixed-age centre located in central Rotorua. It is licensed for 20 children, including 15 up to the age of two years. The current roll of 19 children include seven who are Māori and a small number of other ethnicities.

There have been a number of recent staff changes at Tiny Tots. The centre owner is supported by a team leader who has been newly appointed to the role in January 2019. The remaining teaching team consist of provisionally registered, in-training and unqualified teachers. A Strengthening Early Learning Opportunities (SELO) professional learning and development programme, funded by the Ministry of Education provided targeted support to the centre in 2018.

Through their philosophy that was developed in 2017, the centre promotes trust and respect through inclusive and collaborative practices. Teachers aim to provide opportunities for whanaungatanga and tuakana-teina relationships to develop within their small, mixed-age centre.

Tiny Tots Rotorua has a variable reporting history with ERO. There has been insufficient progress to address many of the areas identified in the previous report including researching current best practice for teaching infants, internal evaluation, performance management, and mentoring of beginning teachers through a teacher certification process.

A significant number of compliances relating to governance, health and safety, and curriculum remain an urgent priority to support the centre to meet licensing criteria.

The Review Findings

Developments and improvements commenced through the SELO support have not been sustained. The curriculum needs strengthening to further align to the revised New Zealand early childhood curriculum Te Whāriki. Some improvements have been made to resourcing, particularly for the younger children. Children appeared settled and engaged. Some outdoor developments have been enhanced. The centre owner should seek confirmation and assurance that the new playground meets full regulatory requirements.

The assessment, planning and evaluation of children's learning requires development. Attention needs to be given to:

  • more frequent documentation to show progression of learning over time

  • incorporating the revised learning outcomes of Te Whāriki

  • including parent aspirations and responding to these

  • capturing children's language, culture and identity.

While warm and respectful relationships with children and parents are evident, teachers require further support to strengthen teaching and learning practices for infants and toddlers. Some elements of a bicultural curriculum were observed including the use of te reo, and tikanga Māori practices. Teachers and leaders should could continue to build on these practices by exploring children's whakapapa, learning about the rich local Māori history and developing links with local iwi.

Leadership and management needs strengthening. There is a need for leaders to urgently strengthen systems and processes in order to build capability within the service. These should include embedding and documenting appraisal, induction, and the mentoring of provisionally certified and those in training.

The centre director agrees that she would benefit from further support relating to governance and management responsibilities. Key priorities for improvement are to:

  • develop clear policies and procedures to grow leaders' and teachers' understanding of meeting legislative requirements

  • strengthen understanding and use of internal evaluation to measure the impact of teaching practice on children's learning outcomes

  • further develop centre planning processes to support clear direction setting

  • strengthen record keeping relating to daily operations and health and safety.

ERO found many areas of non-compliance or systems and processes that require addressing. A key priority must be placed on documenting the safety checking of the workforce.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Tiny Tots Educare 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.

Actions for compliance

ERO found significant areas of non-compliance in the service related to:

  • human resource management including regular appraisal and induction procedures

  • records of safety checking of the workforce

  • records of emergency drills, including earthquake

  • records of excursions including children's names attending and risk analysis

  • identifying hazards within the daily checking procedure of equipment, premises and facilities (including electrical sockets, animal droppings, and monitoring of temperatures in sleep room )

  • registration with the local council, and systems and processes relating to cooking food on the premises for children. [Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA7, GMA7A, PF15, HSA8, HS17, HS12]

In order to improve practice leaders need to improve performance in the following areas:

  • strengthen the annual plan

  • review the child protection policy to meets the full requirements of the Vulnerable Children's Act

  • strengthen the assessment, planning and evaluation of children's learning

  • an ongoing process of self review to maintain and improve the quality of education and care

  • accurate attendance records with a focus on gaining parents signatures on timesheets

  • teachers knowledge of learning and development and the revised curriculum Te Whāriki. [Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA8, HS31, C2, GMA6, GMA11, C4, Food Act 2014 and Food Regulations 2015]

Recommendation to Ministry of Education

ERO recommends that the Ministry reassess the licence of Tiny Tots Educare. ERO will not undertake a further education review of this service until the Ministry of Education is satisfied that the service meets licensing requirements.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

29 March 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

20 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 11 Girls 8

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


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2019

Date of this report

29 March 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2017

Education Review

December 2013

Education Review

March 2011

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.