Waiuku Childcare Centre - 17/02/2016

1 Evaluation of Waiuku Childcare Centre

How well placed is Waiuku 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.


Waiuku Childcare Centre is licensed for 33 children with up to eight under two years of age. The centre is located at the front entrance to Waiuku College. Children attending the centre are representative of the diverse ethnic groups in the local community.

Since the 2012 ERO review, there have been significant changes in the leadership, strategic direction and teaching practices in the centre. The new centre manager leads a team of registered teachers. They work collaboratively and share leadership responsibilities.

A committee of parents meets regularly with the manager to discuss strategic and annual planning. An administrator and a cook support the daily routines of the centre.

The centre’s philosophy, based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, promotes opportunities for children to explore and discover through positive interactions. This approach underpins teachers’ efforts to create a welcoming environment and build partnerships with families. Staff provide special events at times when most convenient for working families. These events also provide good opportunities for parents and teachers to discuss children’s progress.

The Review Findings

Children settle quickly and comfortably into their daily routines. Strong, well established relationships help teachers and parents to share information as children reconnect with friends and prepare for new learning adventures. Children are enthusiastic about attending Waiuku Childcare Centre. They have fun and enjoy their learning. Older children are becoming confident communicators in English. They are developing independent and self-managing skills. They play well together and have opportunities to be leaders.

Children under two have a separate inside area where teachers provide good primary care. They are supported well to take risks and develop resilience when they mix with older children during play. Centre professional development has helped leaders to begin reviewing the learning programmes for this younger age group. Centre leaders agree that further professional knowledge about how infants and toddlers learn would help teachers to plan programmes to extend children’s skills, dispositions and interests.

Children are involved in the decisions that affect them. Teachers’ responsiveness in supporting children’s play helps to promote a settled atmosphere and positive behaviour. Parents told ERO about the growth in children’s positive social behaviours. Centre leaders acknowledge the need to review centre routines so that interruptions to children’s play are minimised.

Children enjoy playing and exploring in the well-resourced, expansive outdoor environment where they can develop many physical and social skills. Teachers change the equipment and areas of play to suit children’s current interests. Children respect their environment and appreciate the varying levels of challenge that the outdoor space provides for them.

Teachers are beginning to write learning stories that show how they are supporting children’s interests and extending children’s thinking. Teachers agree that they could include more information about each child’s culture and use this to plan the programmes.

Teachers recognise that they could strengthen their understanding of the importance of culture, language and identity in children’s learning. Leaders agree that all children would benefit from leaning about New Zealand’s dual cultural heritage. The Ministry of Education resource Tātaiako: cultural competencies for teachers of Māori learners could help teachers and the manager to reflect on their practices and centre values.

The centre manager and teachers work well together to promote supportive learning environments for children and their families. They regularly discuss teaching and learning, curriculum, assessment and self review. As a result, programmes are becoming more responsive to children’s preferences, interests and temperaments.

The manager leads the centre well to promote positive outcomes for children. Her reflective practice and positive attitude has enabled the centre to function efficiently through leadership changes. The teaching team use their philosophy, annual goals and appraisal process to guide their practices. Staff contribute to the centre’s strategic goals. Feedback and discussion with the parent committee prompts ongoing centre improvement.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders agree that that key next steps include:

  • integrating literacy, mathematics and science into programme planning

  • using current educational research to review teaching practices for children up to the age of two

  • providing targeted professional learning for leaders

  • reviewing the effectiveness of strategic and annual planning in relation to key success indicators

  • developing more evaluative and consultative self-review practices that promote positive outcomes for children. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Waiuku 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.

To improve current practice, the owners and managers should implement a regular review cycle for all centre policies and procedures, particularly when there are changes in legislation.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Waiuku Childcare Centre will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

17 February 2016

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


Waiuku, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

33 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys      28
Girls       21

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

December 2015

Date of this report

17 February 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

November 2012

Education Review

November 2009

Education Review

September 2006

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.