Bethlehem Community Preschool Inc - 16/03/2015

1 Evaluation of Bethlehem Community Preschool Inc

How well placed is Bethlehem Community Preschool Inc 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.


Bethlehem Community Preschool Inc is located in the suburb of Bethlehem in Tauranga, and is situated on the local primary school site. The preschool provides both sessional and full school day education and care for children from two years to school age. The centre is licensed for 35 children and at the time of this ERO review the roll of 38 children included seven who identified as Māori.

A committee of parent volunteers continue to support the experienced head teacher and administrator in ensuring the centre is providing a high-quality learning environment. The preschool is a long established service and has maintained a stable roll and staffing. The head teacher and staff have a collaborative approach to decision making, and the day-to-day operations of the centre.

The centre has a positive reporting history with ERO and has focused on further developing the performance management systems and improving planning and assessment practices.

The centre philosophy is to provide an environment which is welcoming and responds to the community. Children are given opportunities to develop a firm sense of belonging and can learn and grow alongside one other.

The Review Findings

Children are welcomed into a friendly and settled learning environment where they are encouraged to take responsibility for themselves, others and their surroundings. They are building strong, trusting and respectful relationships through the many opportunities to play and learn alongside their friends, teachers and parents.

Children and their families demonstrate a strong sense of belonging to the community preschool. Parents are highly evident in the daily life of the centre and contribute to the many events and fundraising activities that are organised by the active parent committee.

Teachers know children, parents and families well and work in partnership with them to plan learning programmes. Teachers share individual learning portfolios with parents that celebrate children’s success and identify where to extend their learning. Parents spoken to by ERO expressed high levels of trust and confidence in teachers and their ability to provide an environment where each child is respected and valued.

The centre’s programme provides children with appropriate learning opportunities for independent exploration and teacher supported activities. There are many occasions for children to extend their skills in, and understanding of, literacy and mathematical concepts. Teachers continue to incorporate te reo Māori into everyday learning. They make good use of a wide range of high-quality resources that encourage children to become confident, independent learners.

The head teacher supports staff with clear guidelines and expectations for teaching and learning. She works collaboratively together with the administrator and parent committee to ensure teachers have access to relevant professional development in early childhood education. Open communication between management and teachers is contributing to the successful operation of the service and positive outcomes for children and their families.

Key Next Steps

Teachers are making good use of self-review processes to improve centre operations. This could be further strengthened by identifying specific criteria and indicators of best practice in order to evaluate the effectiveness of learning programmes.

A strengthened approach to self-review should assist management and teachers to further develop approaches to tikanga Māori. There is benefit to be gained from deeper learning partnerships between the preschool and local Māori resources. Such resources include local schools, marae and historical sites significant to local hapu.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Bethlehem Community Preschool Inc 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 Bethlehem Community Preschool Inc will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

16 March 2015

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

35 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 20

Girls 18

Ethnic composition







Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2015

Date of this report

16 March 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2011


Education Review

May 2008


Education Review

November 2004

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.