Turitea Childcare Centre - 09/10/2017

1 Evaluation of Turitea Childcare Centre

How well placed is Turitea Childcare 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.


Turitea Childcare Centre is situated in a semi-rural setting within the AgResearch Grasslands site in Palmerston North. The community-based service is licensed for 39 children, including 16 aged up to two years.

The large outdoor environment reflects a focus on sustainability, natural resources and active play. Learning spaces and teaching staff are allocated to two age-related groups. The curriculum is led by two team leaders, supported by a centre manager. A management committee of parents oversee centre operations.

Positive steps have been made in progressing the key next steps identified in the centre's August 2014 ERO report. Internal evaluation practice remains an area for development.

The Review Findings

The philosophy emphasises supportive, consistent teaching and exploration in the natural environment. Children are offered valuable opportunities to lead their own learning, freely access resources to customise their environment, actively explore in all weather and take risks. An appropriate range of positive, respectful strategies are used to support children’s growing social competence.

Infants and toddlers benefit from responsive teaching interactions. Tuakana teina relationships between older and younger children are effectively encouraged by teachers. Transitions into and through the centre are very well considered. These processes are flexible and empowering to children and their families. A designated teacher provides a useful transition programme specifically targeted to the strengths and characteristics of toddlers.

Children with diverse learning needs are very well supported. Teachers skilfully use a range of targeted strategies to monitor their progress and next steps. They liaise with parents and outside agencies as appropriate.

Teachers closely observe all children to make clear, useful assessments of their ongoing progress. They agree that this documentation should now be used to inform regular evaluation of teaching strategies and specific planning for individual children. As the cycle of assessment, planning and evaluation develops, teachers should consider how the process can more strongly incorporate parent aspirations and children's cultures.

Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are evident and valued by teachers. They are committed to the ongoing development of bicultural perspectives in the curriculum.

A range of strategies support children and families as they transition to school. Strengths-based assessments offer extensive information to parents and school teachers. The centre is actively exploring ways to establish ongoing relationships with local schools.

Teachers are reflective and collaborative. Self reviews show a sustained focus on making improvements for the benefit of children. A key next step is to build leaders’ and teachers’ understanding of a robust process of internal evaluation. A narrowed evaluation focus, using clear and measurable indicators, should support teachers to measure and monitor the impact of changes and to determine effectiveness of outcomes for children.

The appraisal system requires review and redevelopment, to better support teacher development and meet the requirements of the Education Council. A structured appraisal system should include all key components, including targeted observations of practice, purposeful use of evidence, and clear summary documentation.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre leaders agree that key priorities are:

  • planning and evaluation for individual children

  • internal evaluation to determine effectiveness of outcomes for children

  • appraisal that supports the ongoing development of teacher capability.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Turitea Childcare 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 Turitea Childcare Centre will be in three years.

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

9 October 2017

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


Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

39 children, including up to 16 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 23, Girls 22

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


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 2017

Date of this report

9 October 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2014

Education Review

October 2011

Education Review

May 2008

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.