Footsteps Adventist Preschool - 07/12/2017

1 Evaluation of Footsteps Adventist Preschool

How well placed is Footsteps Adventist Preschool 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.


Footsteps Adventist Preschool is adjacent to Parkside Christian Seventh Day Adventist School in Napier. The centre provides care and education for up to 50 children, including six aged up to two years. A spacious building, with two separate rooms and outdoor spaces, caters for children from 14 months to school age. Of the 52 children enrolled, eight identify as Māori.

A board of trustees is responsible for the governance of the centre. The centre management committee, which includes the director, is responsible for daily operations. The director provides leadership for staff and is supported by two senior teachers.

The services philosophy is underpinned by the provision of education and care from a Christian perspective. It stresses the importance of providing a biblical programme to promote the development of children's faith, Christian values and life skills.

Since ERO's 2013 evaluation, significant changes to the building have been made. Trustees, management and staff have responded to the areas for improvement in the previous ERO report.

The Review Findings

The curriculum children experience clearly reflects the centre philosophy. A wide range of resources and a large outdoor area promote child led exploration. Children have opportunities to revisit their learning. Daily routines within the programme are well considered. Responsive interactions support toddler's sense of wellbeing and promote their social learning.

Open ended questioning fosters engagement in meaningful conversations and children's developing social skills. There is a focus on literacy and numeracy opportunities to extend children's learning. To improve practice, the service should continue to explore further ways to meaningfully integrate these experiences within a play-based curriculum.

Learning stories are used as the centre's assessment tool to capture children's interests and dispositions. The quality of these is variable and requires further development. Leaders should now support teachers to improve assessment documentation which identifies how:

  • intentional teaching strategies assist children's progress in learning

  • individual planning responds to children's culture, language and identity

  • parent aspirations are incorporated and children can contribute to their own learning.

An appropriate range of resources and artefacts promotes the development of a bicultural curriculum. Teachers integrate waiata and karakia within the daily programme. Some teachers confidently use te reo Māori into everyday practice. Growing this practice across all teachers is a focus for leaders.

Relationships with whānau Māori are highly valued. The service utilises the knowledge and expertise of whānau and community members to extend their knowledge of te ao Māori. Further exploring strategies that promote educational success for Māori children is a next step.

Teachers recognise that developing learning partnerships with Pacific families is a priority. The service is seeking ways to build their understanding of Pacific cultures. ERO affirms this direction.

A considered approach to transitions into and across the centre has been maintained. An ongoing relationship with the neighbouring school is well established.

Emergent self review is used as a research tool. A cycle of regular planned policy review is now in place. Leaders agree that a shift to internal evaluation, with a clear focus on outcomes for children is a key next step.

Leaders acknowledge that the appraisal policy needs review, to align with Education Council requirements. The process should be more focused on how teacher development contributes to positive learning outcomes for children, and include:

  • specific, measureable goals that promote teacher growth aligned to centre priorities

  • how well teachers meet all Standards of the Teaching Profession annually

  • teacher reflection and analysis of the evidence that shows progress towards their goals

  • regular, targeted observations of teacher practice.

The centre director is well supported in her role and is improvement focussed. The board of trustees provides clear governance for the centre. A strategic plan provides long-term direction. Improving alignment of the centres priorities for learners in policies, practice and documentation is required.

Key Next Steps

Leaders, teachers and ERO agree that the service needs to continue to strengthen:

  • assessment and planning practices with a focus on individual planning

  • practices that promote educational success for Māori and Pacific children

  • teachers' understanding and use of effective internal evaluation for improved outcomes

  • the appraisal system, to align with current high quality practice.

To improve current practice, management should continue to build on their knowledge of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, so that the curriculum is consistent with the mandated principles and strands.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Footsteps Adventist 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Footsteps Adventist Preschool will be in three years.

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

7 December 2017

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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 6 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

28 Boys, 24 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

October 2017

Date of this report

7 December 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2013

Education Review

July 2010

Education Review

July 2007

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.