ERO report – ECC

EDUCATION REVIEW OFFICE REPORT: Tree Town Early Childhood Centre  & Preschool 18 February 2015

To the Parents and Community of Tree Town Early Childhood Centre & Preschool

Tree Town Early Childhood Centre and Preschool Education Review

Tree Town Early Childhood Centre and Preschool is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Tree Town Early Childhood Centre and Preschool is a privately owned, all-day education centre located in Cambridge. It is licensed for 65 children including 15 under the age of two years. At the time of this review, there were 91 children on the roll, including 10 who are identified as Māori.

Children learn and play in three age-related areas, each overseen by a head teacher. The licensee/owner has established a long-standing and well-respected teaching team who warmly welcome children and their families into the centre. She has supported teachers to gain their qualifications, and all are now qualified and registered. Support staff and educators regularly undertake professional learning and development.
The centre has had a positive reporting history with ERO and has made progress in response to the recommendations in the 2011 ERO report. Significant refurbishments of the outdoor play spaces in each of the areas have enhanced learning opportunities for children. The centre enjoys positive relationships with the local schools and community.

The Review Findings

Teachers plan and prepare interesting and stimulating environments and programmes for children across the centre. Babies benefit from primary care-giving relationships which are unhurried and responsive to their own rhythms, and meet the requests of their parents. Children can safely explore their environment, both independently and alongside others, in a family-like setting.

Teachers effectively support and extend children’s interests and promote their independence. Children with diverse needs are skilfully managed and included. Care routines and meal times are sensitively managed, and nurture and comfort are readily offered. Teachers model rich language and respond to the verbal and non-verbal cues of children. Children were observed to be confident communicators.

The centre provides children with good quality, age-appropriate resources and equipment which teachers attractively present to encourage children to play and learn. Children have good opportunities to engage in creative activities and imaginative play. Literacy, mathematics and science are strongly evident across the centre and there is an increasing focus on the natural world and sustainable practices. Teachers respond to children’s interests and preferences, and encourage them to lead learning in their preferred ways. Children are sensitively supported as they transition into and within the centre, and on to school.

Children and their families regularly enjoy events and celebrations of learning that teachers organise and share with them. Aspects of children’s learning and development are well recorded in learning portfolios and on centre walls. Portfolios are accessible to children so that they can revisit their learning. Teachers use the learning stories to help inform their planning.

Te reo and tikanga Māori are taught through waiata, karakia and everyday conversations. Teachers and children could further explore aspects of Māori history and mythology in relation to the local area and context. They could also show children’s culture and identity in the learning portfolios.

Centre leaders have established respectful and responsive relationships with children and their families. They regularly share information about the care and learning that is happening for children. Leaders work effectively and collaboratively with their teams of teachers ensuring that each age-related area runs smoothly. They model professional learning and enthusiasm, and share their practice and values. Teachers reflect on their practice as part of their professional learning and development.

The centre licensee/owner works closely with her leadership team and has developed shared understandings that inform decision making, reflection and improvement. She encourages leadership in others and supports teacher training and professional development. There are clear policies and procedures that guide centre operations and support a safe inclusive culture for children. Parents are regularly surveyed, and their ideas and suggestions are used to inform decisions about how to improve outcomes for children.

The centre leaders and teachers are currently reviewing the centre philosophy. This should help them better align the philosophy with centre practice.

Key Next Steps

ERO and the centre leaders agree that to improve their strategic and annual planning, an
appropriate framework needs to be developed that:

  • clearly links to the Ministry of Education (MOE) guidelines and regulations.
  • aligns to centre philosophy, practice and operations.
  • is informed by indicators of good practice.
  • is evaluated in terms of progress and ongoing areas for further improvement.

Continued next steps include:

  • developing clear criteria and understandings for high-quality teaching practice linked to ERO’s indicators and other early childhood education guidelines
  • providing robust feedback to teachers in relation to agreed criteria
  • achieving greater consistency in the quality of assessment and planning processes.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Tree Town Early Childhood Centre and
Preschool 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.

Dale Bailey
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern
Northern Region
18 February 2015

Next ERO Review

The next ERO review of Tree Town Early Childhood Centre and Preschool will be in three years.
Download a copy of the full report here. (pdf)

Alterntively, you could contact the centre or see the ERO website,

“To Grow up as competent and confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body, and spirit, secure in their sense of belonging, and in the knowledge that they make a valued contribution to society.” Te Whaariki-the National Curriculum