Kids Cottage is a stand-alone, privately owned centre in Silverstream, Upper Hutt. It has provided early childhood education and care since 1987, and has a positive ERO reporting history. Areas for development identified in the March 2013 ERO review have been fully addressed.

The vision and philosophy of the centre reflect the importance of children learning through free play. Most of the children attend the centre full time.

The purpose-built environment is well equipped and encourages children's exploration and play. There has been substantial property expansion and extensive, planned development of the environment over the past three years.

Separate areas are suitably furnished to meet the needs of children up to 2, toddlers and older children. Movement between the three areas is encouraged.

The Review Findings

Children are articulate and confident. They ably interact with their peers and adults. Children benefit from playing and learning in a well-resourced environment that offers challenge. A calm, positive and productive atmosphere prevails.

Teachers are consistently engaged with, and respectful of, children. Teachers recognise and cater for the different stages of children’s development. Inclusive practices ensure that all children have opportunities to participate and interact with their peers.

A well-considered curriculum is responsive to children’s interests and needs. It places a strong focus on the outdoors, sustainability and linking meaningfully to the community. Learning is planned from observed interests and teachers are alert to opportunities that arise. Literacy and numeracy are well integrated into the programme. The free play philosophy is clearly evident in practice.

Assessments are timely, appropriate for purpose and recognise the individual child’s learning and development. They clearly identify children’s significant learning and how teachers respond. Multiple formats are used to share planning and learning with whānau.

Extensive work has been undertaken to develop cultural understanding. Practices responsive to Māori are strongly evident throughout the centre environment. In addition, Fa’a Samoa, and other cultures represented within the centre, are valued and shared through curriculum experiences. Leaders have identified this as an area they will continue to grow and further integrate into the curriculum.

A strong and positive team culture with consistent, high quality practice is evident. Teachers are highly reflective practitioners who critique their professional practice and that of their peers. A supportive appraisal process is appropriately linked to centre goals and supports a strong programme of teacher development.

Reliable systems and processes support practice. Comprehensive and ongoing internal evaluation is evident. Parent input into decision making is sought and highly valued. Subsequent changes are well considered, evaluated, and shared with team and community. A next step is to enhance internal review processes by defining expected outcomes, to enable better evaluation of impact for children.

The owners are collaborative leaders and have a well-organised approach to their governance and management roles. They have a strong vision based on the provision of high quality education for young children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kids Cottage 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 Kids Cottage Childcare Centre will be in four years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

9 February 2016

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


Upper Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

35 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

20 Boys, 16 Girls

Ethnic composition




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

December 2015

Date of this report

9 February 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2013

Education Review

April 2010

Education Review

February 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 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.