Remuera Stepping Stones Childcare Centre - 29/06/2018

1 Evaluation of Remuera Stepping Stones Childcare Centre

How well placed is Remuera Stepping Stones 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.


Remuera Stepping Stones is a small privately owned centre that operates in the ground floor of the owner's home. It is an attractive learning environment with an extensive outdoor play area. The centre is licensed for 12 children, including six under two years of age.

The centre's philosophy emphasises a caring, home-like environment underpinned by the values of trust and respect, which encourage children to build the skills to be confident learners. The centre's small setting allows teachers to develop strong and trusting relationships with children, parents and whānau.

The owner/director is responsible for management, administration and daily teaching. She is supported by two teachers, allowing for a high ratio of adults to children. ERO's 2015 report recommended improvements in internal evaluation systems and practices. The centre has made progress in this area.

The Review Findings

Children are confident and independent learners who settle quickly on arrival. Their sense of belonging is nurtured and they are happy and content in their play. Children's learning through play is valued and respected. They are encouraged to follow their curiosities and develop their own working theories about the world.

Children experience warm, caring and genuine relationships with teachers. Their social and emotional development is well supported. Trusting partnerships with parents support children's learning and wellbeing effectively. Parents are provided with opportunities to contribute to the planned curriculum. Children's learning stories reflect their interests, development and parents aspirations.

Teachers genuinely listen to children. They engage children in conversations that help them develop their understanding and explore deeper meanings in their learning. Children are empowered to take increased responsibility for themselves and each other. Teachers are responsive to children's interests and preferences. They have an understanding of each child as a unique learner.

Children under the age of two are very well catered for. Teachers maintain a calm, unhurried pace in which younger children have space and time to lead their learning. They work closely with families to ensure that home routines are followed. The centre offers a valuable service to parents and children under two. Parents continue to choose the centre as an effective transition between full-time care at home and a larger early learning service.

The centre owner promotes a culture in which children are valued, celebrated and affirmed for who they are and what they bring to learning. She promotes a shared understanding among the teaching team of the centre's philosophy, vision and goals. Staff are supported to complete relevant professional development that supports positive outcomes for all children. A commitment to further developing bicultural practice and engaging with te reo me te ao Māori is evident.

Key Next Steps

The next steps to sustain and build on good practices in the centre are continuing to strengthen:

  • internal evaluation processes using best practice indicators to evaluate resourcing, the physical environment and areas of play

  • the coherence and alignment of strategic planning for centre improvement.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Remuera Stepping Stones 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Remuera Stepping Stones Childcare Centre will be in three years.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

29 June 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


Remuera, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

12 children, including up to 6 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 10 Boys 7

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

29 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

January 2015

Education Review

September 2011

Supplementary Review

September 2008

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.