Milly's Educare Limited

Education institution number:
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Not Applicable
Total roll:

437 Hauraki Road, Turua

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1 Evaluation of Milly's Educare Limited

How well placed is Milly's Educare Limited 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.


Milly's Educare Ltd. is a privately owned full-day centre providing early childhood education and care for children from approximately one year to school age in a mixed-age setting. The service opened in April 2016 and is located in a converted church and extensive grounds in the township of Turua on the Hauraki Plains. The centre is licensed for a maximum of 25 children, including five under the age of two years. The current roll is 35 and seven children identify as Māori.

The owners retain overall responsibility for governance matters such as strategic planning, financial and property management, employment and a policy framework to ensure the service meets legislative requirements. One of the owners, who is a registered and qualified early childhood educator, has responsibility for day-to-day centre management. She is supported by a head teacher who has the role of curriculum leader. The service employs a high proportion of qualified teachers.

The centre's philosophy and values underpins all aspects of practice and operations. They emphasise the building of respectful, trusting and loving relationships within the service and empowering children through a responsive curriculum based on real-life experiences. Children are to learn through play and experience wonder, creativity, exploration and fun.

This is the first ERO review for this service.

The Review Findings

Children are settled, engaged and happy. Their love of learning through play is fostered by nurturing and respectful relationships with caring adults. Children are able to initiate and lead their own learning. Teacher conversations are based on rich language and questioning to support and extend learning and allow children to develop working theories. Teachers' know children and their families very well. Care rituals and routines are consistently respectful and children are able to engage in uninterrupted sustained play. Transitions into and from the centre are personalised, flexible and responsive. Older children are involved in useful regular visits to the local school in the months before they are due to start. Children are benefitting from a healthy, peaceful and sustainable environment, where they learn through play.

Very young children experience close attachments to familiar and caring teachers. Teachers' are highly responsive to children's non-verbal communication and support their acquisition of oral language. Routines are flexible and responsive to infant and toddler's individual physical and emotional needs. These children can explore and make sense of the world within a safe and calm environment. The highly inclusive environment encourages children of all ages to mix and interact naturally.

Teachers work in close partnership with the families of children identified as having additional needs to ensure appropriate support and guidance is provided.

The curriculum strongly reflects the centre's philosophy and values, and includes an emphasis on providing contexts for authentic learning. The indoor environment is home-like, welcoming and well-resourced with quality equipment available to children. The extensive, attractive and natural outdoor environment is a feature of the service. There are many opportunities for children to safely take risks, challenge themselves, and to interact with nature through gardens and animals. These environments invite children’s engagement and exploration, supported by ongoing access to open-ended resources and natural materials. Children have extensive opportunities for creative, imaginative and constructive play. They experience a curriculum that successfully promotes their confidence and competence as capable learners.

Teachers prepare good quality individual assessment journals for all children. They use effective practices to record children’s interests and identify their learning pathways. Teachers are at an early stage of gathering and acting on parent aspirations for their children. Literacy and mathematics are integrated through the programme, though more intentionally in the indoor areas. A next step is to strengthen the intentional planning for children's learning in all curriculum areas.

Leaders set and model high expectations for teachers. They have established high levels of mutual trust and respect amongst the teaching team, and effectively promoted a collaborative and reflective culture. The manager and head teacher closely mentor, guide and support teachers to enhance their practice that is closely aligned with the service's philosophy. Professional learning and development for staff is actively sourced and promoted. Leaders have strengthened a systematic approach to self-review with a greater focus on change and improvement. Appraisal of all staff is closely aligned to the current requirements of the Education Council and incorporates teaching as inquiry and observations of practice. The team have created an inclusive and supportive culture which promotes a sense of belonging and wellbeing for all children.

The manager and head teacher have successfully established the service in its first two years, and are building a shared community with parents. Effective communication helps parents to feel well informed and able to be positively involved in the education of their child.

Key Next Steps

Leaders and teachers have an ongoing commitment to further develop the service's bicultural curriculum.

This includes:

  • documenting the success of Māori as Māori in learning stories
  • strengthening the local curriculum to promote the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa for all children.

Desired outcomes for the success of Māori children should be clearly identified and evaluated. Strengthening the local curriculum is likely to enhance all children's awareness of the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand.

There is also a need to prioritise and strategically plan for the next stage of the service's growth and development.-

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Milly's Educare Limited 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 Milly's Educare Limited will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson
Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

28 May 2018

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


Turua, Hauraki Plains

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 5 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 18 Boys 17

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%+

Based on funding rates

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

April 2018

Date of this report

28 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports

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.