Avondale College Early Childhood Centre - 13/07/2016

1 Evaluation of Avondale College Early Childhood Centre

How well placed is Avondale College Early Childhood 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.


The Avondale College Early Childhood Centre is licensed for up to 33 children and provides a service for college staff and for families from the surrounding ethnically diverse community. It is governed by the Avondale College Board of Trustees and managed by a parent committee.

The centre manager leads a staff team that includes seven long-term employees and five registered teachers. The centre employs an administrative assistant and cook. Building extensions were completed early in 2016, providing additional play spaces for children.

The centre's philosophy focuses on building positive relationships and an inclusive, homely family atmosphere. Teachers aim to provide a collaborative learning environment and strive to extend children's thinking. They respect the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand and celebrate cultural diversity.

ERO's 2013 review identified many positive aspects of provision for children, particularly the inclusive, family atmosphere. It recommended improvements in the environment, staff appraisal processes, and the centre's policies and procedures.

The Review Findings

Children are well supported to play and learn in a settled, relaxed environment. Relationships are warm and nurturing, especially with infants and toddlers. The centre's philosophy is clearly visible in practice. Whānau have many opportunities to support and contribute to programmes. Teachers provide useful information for whānau about Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and its links with the school curriculum.

Teachers' interactions with children are respectful and responsive and promote oral language development. Children are able to choose where they will play and work cooperatively. Their independence and self-help skills are promoted.

Teachers recognise and integrate te reo me ngā tikanga Māori in appropriate ways, in karakia, waiata, resources and displays. Programmes include celebration of the community's cultural diversity. Teachers reflect this diversity and some are able to converse with children in their home languages. These practices support children's sense of identity and belonging.

The centre's building extension supports children's access to a range of play areas and resources, including those that promote literacy and numeracy learning and computer technology. The outdoors is well resourced. The environment for infants and toddlers is calm and comfortable, and teachers continue to consider ways to enhance this area.

Teachers' planning is based on their observations and knowledge of children. They recognise that assessment and planning should now focus more specifically on individual children's strengths and interests to better support the development of more complex play and learning.

Teachers work collaboratively, take leadership roles and are well supported to improve their practices. Some useful professional development has enabled them to examine and improve areas such as self review, partnerships with whānau, and provision for children up to two years of age. Teachers have begun regular self review and have established a review plan.

Managers and teachers are beginning to develop their understanding about meaningful, improvement focused internal evaluation. A strategic and annual plan has recently been written, to guide centre developments. It provides a useful basis for establishing strategic planning and associated annual plans that focus on improving the quality of teaching and learning and outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

Managers agree that next steps for centre development include:

  • continuing to develop bicultural practices to promote understanding about the dual cultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand

  • developing and implementing robust, improvement-focused internal evaluation that promotes enhanced outcomes for children

  • developing a schedule for reviewing policies and procedures, and establishing processes to assure the board that all legal requirements are met

  • expanding strategic and annual planning to provide a clear guide for development over time and to enable the board and committee to regularly monitor progress towards strategic goals.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Avondale College Early Childhood 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.

In order to improve current provision for children's health and safety, managers should prioritise:

  • developing risk analysis and management strategies and records for every excursion outside the licensed premises

  • improving systems for monitoring sleeping children.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Avondale College Early Childhood Centre will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

13 July 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


Avondale, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

33 children, including up to 9 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 26 Girls 20

Ethnic composition

















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

June 2016

Date of this report

13 July 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2013

Education Review

February 2010

Education Review

April 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.