Te Kauwhata Childcare and Learning Centre Under 3 - 01/07/2020

1 Evaluation of Te Kauwhata Childcare and Learning Centre Under 3

How well placed is Te Kauwhata Childcare and Learning Centre Under 3 to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Te Kauwhata Childcare and Learning Centre Under 3 requires further development to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

Systems and processes require strengthening to meet regulatory requirements. Management need to ensure that compliance issues are identified and addressed.

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


Te Kauwhata Childcare and Learning Under 3 provides education and care services from infants to three years of age. It is licensed for 10 children with a maximum of seven up to the age of two years. The centre sits adjacent to Te Kauwhata Childcare Over Three's centre, under the same private ownership. A manager supports the operational requirements of both centres and a head teacher is responsible for the curriculum delivery in the Under 3 site.

The philosophy places emphasis on providing a homely environment where children and their families develop a sense of belonging. They value learning through play and aim to support children to learn and develop at their own pace.

The centre has not responded effectively to the findings of the July 2016 ERO review in relation to implementing strategic priorities.

The Review Findings

A play-based curriculum promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The centre is well resourced. A spacious outdoor area provides sensory play and suitable challenge for the youngest and more mobile children. Oral language and social competence were supported by knowledgeable teachers. Children experience waiata, karakia and an increasing use of te reo Māori. Teachers are learning about local areas of significance through professional development. Pacific languages and cultures are celebrated and affirmed. Multicultural resources and the use of other homes languages supports a sense of belonging for all children and their families.

Children's learning is assessed and documented in individual portfolios. Planning of learning is mainly for groups of children. To strengthen learning outcomes for children, a more individualised approach to planning and evaluation is required. Parent's aspirations and goals are sought regularly and informally. These goals should be documented and responded to. Parents should be encouraged and supported to engage in the assessment, planning and evaluation of their child's learning. This is likely to enable them to more clearly see progression of learning over time.

Children benefit from responsive and nurturing relationships with their teachers. A welcoming environment is provided by the cohesive teaching team. Low group size and familiar adults enhance children's sense of wellbeing. Transitions into and between the two centres are well-supported and individualised. Children are encouraged to make choices and their independence is fostered. Unhurried and predictable routines enhance the calm atmosphere. Children were settled and engaged in play and learning.

Governance and management of the service requires strengthening. Systems and processes have not been maintained since the 2016 ERO review. A long-term strategic plan should be developed to guide centre operations. An annual plan that is specific to the centre and fully implemented is required to meet regulatory requirements. Internal evaluation needs to be re-established and maintained. This should include a process for regularly reviewing centre policies, many of which need updating. Roles and responsibilities between governance, management and leaders needs to be formalised to ensure oversight of administration and compliance of the centre.

Key Next Steps

The key next steps for governance and management at Te Kauwhata Childcare and Learning Centre Under 3's are to:

  • develop, in consultation with all stakeholders, the strategic goals for the centre and a meaningful annual plan to guide centre operations

  • establish a robust process for internal evaluation, including the regular review of policies

  • ensure that administration and compliance meet regulatory requirements.

The key next step for leaders and teachers is to:

  • strengthen the planning and evaluation of children's learning, including documenting parent goals and aspirations.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Te Kauwhata Childcare and Learning Centre Under 3 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.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to governance, management and administration, health and safety and premises and facilities. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following areas:

  • a process for parents contribution to the development and review of the service's operational documents, such as policies

  • an ongoing process for internal evaluation with recorded outcomes

  • an annual plan that is specific to the centre and guiding centre operations, that identifies 'who' is responsible for key tasks

  • a record of the full range of emergency drills including evidence of how evaluation of the drills has informed the annual review of the service's emergency plan

  • evidence that parents have been consistently informed of children's injuries, illnesses and incidents

  • evidence of parental acknowledgment after medicine has been administered to children

  • excursion records that include parents written approval of the proposed ratio

  • all sleep rooms to have a working heating/cooling system

[Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA4, GMA6, GMA8, HS8, HS27, HS28, HS17, PF37 and HS24].

In order to improve current practice, the centre needs to ensure that consistent records monitoring children's sleep are documented.

[Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, HS9].

Since the on-site phase of the review, members have provided ERO with evidence of action taken in relation to:

  • securing equipment that could topple and cause injury (HS6)
  • strengthening the excursion policy to include children up to the age of two years (HS17)
  • providing a thermometer to check temperatures in all of the sleep rooms (HS24 and PF37
  • strengthening the medication form to include a space for parental acknowledgement (HS28).

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service, in consultation with the Ministry of Education, develops a plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region - Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

1 July 2020

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


Te Kauwhata

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

10 children, including up to 7 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Male 6 Female 4

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80% Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2020

Date of this report

1 July 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

July 2016

Education Review

February 2013

Education Review

March 2010

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.