Tots on Triton Early Childhood Centre - 24/12/2014

1 Evaluation of Tots on Triton Early Childhood Centre

How well placed is Tots on Triton Early Childhood 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.


Tots on Triton Early Childhood Centre, a privately owned centre established in 2009, operates from a purpose-built facility in the industrial area of Rosedale, on Auckland’s North Shore. The centre offers all day education and care for up to 100 children, including 30 under two years of age.

The centre is capably led by two supervisors with the support of a contract manager. A high level of collaboration between teachers, parents and children helps to ensure the centre meets its goal of providing children and their families with high quality outcomes. The centre owners meet regularly with managers to monitor the strategic direction of the centre.

Children and teachers are from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds, which are reflected in the centre curriculum. The curriculum is based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and is influenced by teachers’ understandings of important early childhood education philosophies. The rich programme and resources invite children to explore at their own pace and to develop skills that support them to become independent and socially competent learners.

The positive features of Tots on Triton that were acknowledged in ERO’s 2011 report continue to be evident. In addition, much progress has been made since that time. Ongoing improvements have enhanced children’s learning experiences and contribute to the effective operation of an improvement-focused centre that provides a valuable service to families in its diverse community.

The Review Findings

Children are confident and articulate, and love learning. They settle quickly into the centre environment and make good choices about their learning and play. They show respect for each other and for their environment. They show high levels of independence and social competence and are confident to manage themselves. Children enjoy making independent choices about their play. They are articulate and their views are sought and celebrated in the centre.

Children play collaboratively and in groups and enjoy sustained periods of extended play. They enjoy a strong sense of belonging and participate in lively and meaningful conversations with adults and each other. They are cared for by their teachers and enjoy support to explore their choices of play and their learning. Children are treated as capable learners. They explore at their own pace and revisit their learning. They are encouraged to be self motivated, make decisions, and challenge themselves to accomplish difficult tasks.

Teachers work alongside children and provide them with many opportunities to explore, experiment and to be creative. They work collaboratively to provide good quality outcomes for children, offering learning experiences and resources to provoke and extend children’s thinking and problem solving skills. Adventurous outdoor spaces are available for children to explore, including a wooden fort built in amongst native New Zealand plants.

Children up to two years old enjoy a calm and peaceful environment and benefit from the sensitive care teachers provide for them. They are encouraged to explore in an open space, with opportunities for physical play. The young children select the resources they want to play with and explore. Teachers in these rooms understand the concept of affectionate care and respond sensitively to each child’s changing needs and preferences.

Children move to the next room in the centre when they are developmentally ready. These decisions involve conversations with parents and careful consideration ensures that children make smooth transitions. A particular emphasis in the Years 4-5 room is placed on supporting children to be ready for school in their thinking, skills and levels of independence.

The curriculum is skilfully developed to promote appropriate programmes for older children and for infants and toddlers. Good systems are in place to enable teachers to plan for children’s interests and cater for their learning progress. Children’s learning journeys are recorded in portfolios. Plans are now underway to use more online communication with parents to strengthen home-centre partnerships.

The centre acknowledges the place of Māori as tangata whenua and continues to develop and strengthen its bicultural curriculum. Teachers have now gained a more in-depth knowledge of tikanga and te reo Māori. They are focused on further developing the bicultural curriculum and the use of the Ministry of Education resource, Tātaiako - Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners, in the appraisal process.

Managers and supervisors support teachers’ professional learning and staff are encouraged to attend workshops, conferences and courses. Teachers use their learning to promote high quality practice and build stronger relationships with children and their families and whānau.

Leadership is promoted within the centre. Children have opportunities to lead their learning and to present their investigations to teachers. Teachers continue to take on leadership roles in areas of interest and have opportunities to develop their strengths and professional skills. Leaders are committed to helping teachers extend their understanding of the depth of children’s learning and investigations.

The centre is very well placed to sustain its strengths. High levels of self review have enabled staff and leaders to make notable improvements. Positive and professional dialogue has supported effective changes to systems and processes that build a culture of ongoing improvement.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders and ERO agree that the centre should continue its very good progress in providing high quality early childhood for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Tots on Triton Early Childhood 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 Tots on Triton Early Childhood Centre will be in four years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

24 December 2014

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


Rosedale, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

100 children, including up to 30 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 48 Boys 46

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā






South African











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

October 2014

Date of this report

24 December 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 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 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.