Awatere Early Learning Centre - 18/03/2016

1 Evaluation of Awatere Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Awatere Early Learning Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

The Board of Trustees of Awatere Early Learning Centre reviewed the viability and sustainability of the centre in November 2015. This resulted in changes to the management structure and staffing.

The centre has yet to develop effective management systems and practices to ensure ongoing sustainability and high quality learning and teaching for all children.

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


Awatere Early Learning Centre is owned and operated by the community. Children attend from a wide rural area.

The centre is governed by a Board of Trustees that includes an executive committee. Parent members are volunteers. The centre opened in 2013 and this is its first ERO review.

The centre provides care and education for children from two years old to school age. An increasing number of children are from a diverse range of cultures.

Staff are qualified early childhood teachers or training to be early childhood teachers. The centre manager has responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the centre.

The Review Findings

Children learn and play in a calm, unhurried environment. They are settled and work well together in a mixed-aged setting. Children have positive relationships with each other and their teachers.

Children confidently select from a good range of resources. They have many opportunities to be creative and imaginative. Children are well supported by their teachers. They take time to talk with and listen to children.

Teachers communicate regularly with parents and whānau about their children’s learning and development. There is strong community support and involvement in the centre.

The centre manager and the principal of the local school have a strong professional relationship. The centre manager is making good use of staff skills and interests to build leadership within the team.

There is an appropriate range of systems and procedures to help staff provide a safe and healthy environment for children.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders and ERO agree that the key next steps for the centre include: 

  • building relationships between the board, staff and community
  • clarifying roles and responsibilities of board, leaders and staff
  • establishing the future vision and direction of the centre in consultation with the board, staff, parents and whānau
  • developing an ongoing process of self review for governance, management and curriculum
  • strengthening staff and manager appraisal
  • continuing to build taha Māori practices to ensure Māori children succeed as Māori
  • fully implementing assessment, planning and evaluation practices that promote high quality learning and teaching for all children. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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 curriculum, governance and management. To meet requirements, the service needs to improve its performance in the following areas: 

  • assessment, planning and evaluation
    Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, C2
  • effective governance and management in accordance with good management practices, including setting the future direction of the centre, annual planning, self-review and appraisal processes.
    Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA 6, GMA 7, GMA 8 

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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Awatere Early Learning Centre will be within two years.

Chris Rowe

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

18 March 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


Seddon, Marlborough

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, with no children aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 22; Boys 22

Ethnic composition



Cook Island










Percentage of qualified teachers

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



Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2016

Date of this report

18 March 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

First Education Review


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.