Little Darlings Childcare Centre - 11/02/2021

ERO’s Akanuku | Assurance Review reports provide information about whether a service meets and maintains regulatory standards. Further information about Akanuku | Assurance Reviews is included at the end of this report.

ERO’s Judgement

Regulatory standards

ERO’s judgement


Not meeting

Premises and facilities

Not meeting

Health and safety

Not meeting

Governance, management and administration

Not meeting

At the time of the review, ERO identified areas of non-compliance with regulatory standards that are an unacceptable risk to children.


Little Darlings Childcare Centre is a privately owned centre. Since the 2018 ERO review the number of children the service is licensed for has decreased upon request of the owner. The centre has not responded to strengthen areas identified in the previous report relating to self review and appraisal.

Summary of Review Findings

The service is not meeting regulatory standards in a significant number of areas.

The service curriculum acknowledges and reflects the unique place of Māori as tangata whenua. Children experience positive relationships with adults in a language-rich environment. The curriculum is non-compliant in relation to involving children in decisions about their learning experiences.

The service must ensure that outdoor equipment and materials are safe and suitable for their intended use. Effective governance and management systems have not been sustained. The service’s premises and health and safety processes do not meet regulatory standards.

Actions for Compliance

ERO found areas of non-compliance in the service relating to:

  • a curriculum consistent with Te Whāriki
  • a curriculum that respects children’s preferences and involves them in decisions about their learning experiences
  • premises, furniture, equipment and materials that are kept safe and maintained in good condition
  • the premises having a current Fire Evacuation Scheme approved by the NZ Fire Service
  • an emergency plan that is reviewed annually and is consistent with the Fire Evacuation Scheme of the building
  • relevant emergency drills carried out on at least a three-monthly basis
  • excursion records that include consistent risk assessment, documentation of adult to child ratios, and parent permission of ratios, the signature of person responsible, method of transport
  • accident records that consistently have evidence that parents have been informed
  • medication records that include evidence of parental acknowledgement
  • all outdoor furniture, equipment and materials being safe and suitable for their intended use
  • an ongoing process of self-review that helps the service maintain and improve the quality of education and care
  • suitable human resource management practices including regular appraisal, are regularly implemented
  • all children’s workers who have access to children are safety checked in accordance to the Children’s Act 2014.

[Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, C1, C7, HS1, HS4, HS7, HS8, HS17, HS27, HS28, HS31, PF5, GMA6, GMA7, GMA7a]

Since the onsite visit the service has provided ERO with evidence that shows it has addressed the following non-compliances:

  • items that could topple or fall were removed and door to storage cupboard with items stacked high on shelves, closed and locked (HS6)
  • items that could be poisonous to children removed from reach (HS12)
  • the kitchen door to be closed to ensure children cannot access unsupervised (PF17)
  • nappy change policy was updated to include treating children with dignity and respect (HS3)
  • a curriculum that encourages children to understand and respect other cultures (C6)
  • daily hazard checks to include the list of requirements as specified in HS12 and completed to identify, minimise or eliminate risk (HS12)
  • a written child protection policy that meets all of the requirements of the Children’s Act 2014 (GMA7a)
  • the front gate to be repaired to ensure that children are not able to leave the premises without adult knowledge (PF13).

Recommendation to Ministry of Education

ERO recommends that the Ministry reassess the licence issued to this service provider. ERO will not undertake a further review of this service until the Ministry of Education is satisfied that the service meets regulatory standards.

Next ERO Review

The next ERO review will be in consultation with the Ministry of Education.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region | Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

11 February 2021

Information About the Service

Early Childhood Service Name

Little Darlings Childcare Centre

Profile Number




Service type

Education and care service

Number licensed for

12 children, including up to 5 aged under 2.

Percentage of qualified teachers


Service roll


Ethnic composition

Māori 3, NZ European/Pākehā 4

Review team on site

1st December 2020

Date of this report

11 February 2021

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, April 2018

Education Review, May 2014

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 Akanuku | 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 Akanuku | 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 Akanuku | 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 Akanuku | 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.