The Wishing Tree Early Learning Centre

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

21 Boundary Road, Blockhouse Bay, Auckland

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1 Evaluation of The Wishing Tree Early Learning Centre

How well placed is The Wishing Tree Early Learning Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

The Wishing Tree Early Learning Centre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


The Wishing Tree Early Learning Centre opened in November 2016. The centre is licensed for up to 50 children, including 10 children under two years of age. It operates from a new purpose-built facility. Children are grouped in three age-related areas. A large outdoor area provides opportunity for children of mixed ages to interact with each other.

The philosophy of the kindergarten is guided by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. It reflects a commitment to bicultural practice and is strongly influenced by Reggio Emilia. The philosophy emphasises building reciprocal and respectful relationships with parents and whānau.

The owners, who have previous licensee experience, are responsible for the daily operation of the centre. They work closely with teachers in managing the centre's strategic priorities and teaching programmes. The majority of staff are registered teachers.

This is the first ERO report for the centre.

The Review Findings

Children experience trusting and respectful relationships with staff. They have a strong sense of belonging, and their cultures are celebrated and affirmed. Teachers know children and families well, and respond to parents’ requests and aspirations. Children experience successful transitions into the centre and between the centre's different areas.

Children and families are warmly welcomed when they arrive at the centre. Parents report high levels of support and communication about their children's development and learning. Good quality learning stories provide parents and whānau with a valuable record of their children's learning, strengths and interests. Staff are continuing to develop ways to encourage parents and whānau to take an active role in their children's learning at the centre.

Teachers plan for children's interests. They work collaboratively to foster opportunities to engage in and support children's learning. Staff are continuing to develop a curriculum framework that reflects the centre's vision and philosophy. Further work to embed Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, would enhance the centre's current good practice. The learning environment is supported by a range of high quality natural resources.

Infants and toddlers experience nurturing, calm interactions with teachers. Their space and resources suit their age and stage of learning. Teachers follow younger children's preferences, and cater well for their interests and exploration.

The centre leader and teachers have a commitment to continual improvement and strengthening bicultural practice. Māori tikanga and te reo Māori is evident throughout the programme.

The centre is well led. Leaders and staff demonstrate a strong commitment to the centre's philosophy and vision to provide high quality childcare. Centre leaders are committed to building leadership capacity and capability. Teachers have opportunities to participate in professional learning and development that promotes positive outcomes for children.

A highly effective and up-to-date policy framework is in place. Policies and procedures are aligned to current best practice, and guide the centre's daily operations and ongoing development. Internal evaluation is well established across centre systems and processes.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps include continuing to:

  • develop planning, assessment and evaluation processes to prioritise and embed Te Whāriki 2017
  • strengthen processes to evaluate resourcing, areas of play and teaching and learning to support and sustain quality practice.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of The Wishing Tree Early Learning 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 The Wishing Tree Early Learning Centre will be in three years.

Steve Tanner
Director Review and Improvement Services Northern
Northern Region

15 February 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 


Blockhouse Bay, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls       33
Boys      28

Ethnic composition

other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2019

Date of this report

15 February 2019

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.