Waitakere Rainbow Childcare Centre - 18/01/2019

1 Evaluation of Waitakere Rainbow Childcare Centre

How well placed is Waitakere Rainbow 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.


Waitakere Rainbow Childcare Centre is licensed to provide full-day education and care for 40 children, including up to nine aged under two years. Children are grouped according to age in two separate indoor play areas. Infants have their own outdoor play space, and toddlers join the older children for outdoor play.

The centre is situated in the grounds of Waitakere Hospital and functions as an incorporated society. It is governed by parent volunteers who form the Rainbow Governance Committee. The buildings and land are owned by the Waitemata District Health Board.

Leadership is provided by the centre manager who leads a team of five qualified teachers and two in training. A representative from an early education management group supports the day-to-day running of the centre. She acts as liaison between the head teacher and the committee.

Relationships are at the core of the centre philosophy. Teachers aim to work in partnership with whānau, supporting children to lead their own learning and develop a working knowledge of their world.

The 2016 ERO report identified areas for development, including teachers' access to professional development, internal evaluation and teachers' appraisal. There has been good progress in all these areas.

The Review Findings

Children are friendly and confident. They settle well in the centre, easily access resources and comfortably choose to play in small groups, or explore on their own. The environment includes numerous photos of the children engaged in their work, valuing play and enriching their sense of belonging.

Infants are very well provided for. They have their own indoor and outdoor play spaces that are appropriately resourced. The small number of infants enables teachers' availability to respond to children's individual needs and routines. Teachers provide a calm pace to the programme. Their consistent caregiving promotes infants' sense of wellbeing and belonging.

Leaders and teachers have improved centre resources and the environment. They provide well designed areas of play and numerous meaningful literacy learning opportunities for children. Reading and storytelling are strong features of the programme. Centre routines are well known by the children and well implemented by the teachers.

The programme includes good examples of bicultural responsiveness and sensitivity towards the many cultures of children and their whānau. Some teachers are skilled in their use of te reo Māori. Leaders and teachers are committed to deepening their knowledge and use of te reo Māori and their understanding of te ao Māori.

The philosophy is clearly defined and is reflected in centre practices. It is evident in teacher-child interactions and the relationships developed with whānau. The centre manager provides strong direction focused on lifting teaching practice and making ongoing centre improvements. She models the values of the philosophy, shares leadership with others and ensures the centre is effectively managed and led.

A well-documented strategic plan guides the centre's direction. Although some links to the annual plan are evident, clearer alignment between the two would support the improvement focus and the attainment of specific goals. Appraisal goals could be used more specifically by centre leaders to guide priorities for teachers' professional learning and development.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders agree that key next steps for continued improvement include:

  • rationalising policies and procedures to make them more accessible, and ensure they remain up-to-date

  • clarifying the roles and responsibilities of the parent committee, and ensuring this information is easily accessed by parents

  • continuing to extend resources for learning that deepen children's critical thinking, and provide real challenge, particularly for older children

  • strengthening teachers' knowledge and reflection of the bicultural curriculum.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

18 January 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


Henderson, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 9 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 28 Girls 26

Ethnic composition

other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2018

Date of this report

18 January 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2016

Education Review

March 2012

Education Review

November 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.