Cottontails Childcare

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

195 Brightside Road, Whangaparaoa

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Cottontails Childcare - 25/03/2020

ERO’s Judgement

Regulatory standards
ERO’s judgement



Premises and facilities


Health and safety


Governance, management and administration


At the time of the review, ERO found the service was taking reasonable steps to meet regulatory standards.


Cottontails Childcare is a privately-owned centre that offers all-day care for up to 56 children, including 11 children under 2 years of age. The service caters for children from diverse cultural backgrounds. A service manager and head teacher lead a team of mostly qualified teachers. This is the first ERO review of the service.

Summary of Review Findings

Teachers plan and implement a programme that is consistent with Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and responds to children’s interests, strengths and capabilities.

Children experience a wide range of learning experiences. Their learning is supported by positive interactions with teachers in a language-rich environment. The programme acknowledges the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand.

The service is well managed. Leaders and teachers regularly communicate with parents to share information about children’s learning and encourage their involvement in decision making. An ongoing process of review keeps the service focused on improved learning outcomes for children at the centre.

Next steps include:

  • increasing the opportunities for children to hear and speak te reo Māori in meaningful contexts
  • extending the complexity of older children’s play.

Next ERO Review

The next ERO review is likely to be an Education Review.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services (Northern)

Northern Region - Te Tai Raki

25 March 2020

Information About the Service

Early Childhood Service Name

Cottontails Childcare

Profile Number



Whangaparaoa, Auckland

Service type

Education and care service

Number licensed for

56 children, including up to 11 aged under 2 years

Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratio of adults to children under 2

1:4 - Better than regulatory standards

Reported ratio of adults to children over 2

1:8 - Better than regulatory standards

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 38 Girls 22

Ethnic composition

Māori 5
NZ European/Pākehā 37
South African 6
Indian 4
other ethnic groups 8

Review team on site

February 2020

Date of this report

25 March 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

First review of the service

General Information about Assurance Reviews

All services are licensed under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008. The legal requirements for early childhood services also include the Licensing Criteria for Education and Care Services 2008.

Services must meet the standards in the regulations and the requirements of the licensing criteria to gain and maintain a licence to operate.

ERO undertakes an Assurance Review process in any centre-based service:

  • having its first ERO review – including if it is part of a governing organisation
  • previously identified as ‘not well placed’ or ‘requiring further development’
  • that has moved from a provisional to a full licence
  • that have been re-licenced due to a change of ownership
  • where an Assurance Review process is determined to be appropriate.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

All early childhood services are required to promote children’s health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements. Before the review, the staff and management of a service 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.

As part of an Assurance Review ERO assesses whether the regulated standards are being met. In particular, ERO looks at a 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 certification; ratios)
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

As part of an Assurance Review ERO also gathers and records evidence through:

  • discussions with those involved in the service
  • consideration of relevant documentation, including the implementation of health and safety systems
  • observations of the environment/premises, curriculum implementation and teaching practice.