Bethlehem Community Preschool Inc - 20/06/2018

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 Tauranga suburb of Bethlehem next to the local primary school. It operates from 8.30am - 3.00pm Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, and 8.30am to 12.45pm on Wednesday and Friday. The service is licensed for 35 children from two and half years to school age. The preschool is governed by a parent management committee, is not-for-profit and community based. All teachers are qualified and fully registered early childhood teachers.

The preschool philosophy aims to create a warm and welcoming environment that is responsive to the needs of children and the community. The centre seeks to build strong partnerships with children and their whānau and to develop their wellbeing and a sense of belonging. In addition, the centre focuses on ensuring teachers provide learning opportunities based on children’s interests and encouraging them as life-long learners.

Since the last ERO report in 2015 the centre has worked to improve self-review processes, strengthen the appraisal system and further develop bicultural practices.

The Review Findings

Children and their families experience positive and responsive relationships with teachers. Whānau aspirations and expectations are gathered to encourage them to take an active role in their child’s learning. These collaborative approaches are contributing to positive relationships among teachers, whānau and children. Strong connections are made with whānāu and parents and all voices are valued and affirmed. Children experience a service that values parents as partners in their child’s learning.

Teachers effectively respond to children’s strengths, interests and capabilities. Children are empowered to take responsibility for themselves and others. Routines are structured and children have a sense of security in being able to predict what will happen next. The centre’s programme is inclusive and values all cultures, and the diversity is represented in the service. Adequate policies and procedures are in place to cater for children with identified needs. The learning environment promotes rich problem solving opportunities and allows children to take risks and face challenges. Children are developing skills and knowledge that are supporting them to become competent and confident learners.

The curriculum provides a wide range of learning experiences that reflect the uniqueness of all children. Literacy and numeracy are purposefully woven into the programme. The environment is well resourced and attractively presented. It provides many opportunities for children to follow their interests and test their working theories. Children actively contribute to decisions that affect their learning through a mix of teacher-directed and child-led learning. Transitions into the centre and on to school are managed positively and flexibly in response to each child's needs. Assessment, planning and evaluation focus on dispositional learning in the context of children’s strengths and interests. Assessment requires further strengthening to show children’s progress over time. Teachers provide a programme that effectively promotes positive learning outcomes for all children.

Partnerships with Māori are well promoted. There is a strong commitment by leaders to honour the Treaty of Waitangi through the appointment of an expert Māori kaiako who supports and guides teachers' practice. Teachers actively use te reo and embrace tikanga Māori through waiata and karakia. To further develop the centre's bicultural curriculum, teachers should ensure children's language, culture and identity are evident and reflected in assessment processes.

Leaders effectively develop collaborative relationships and provide opportunities for leadership at all levels. There are high levels of relational trust among all who are involved in the service. Professional learning and development is targeted to teachers' individual goals and linked to strategic goals for centre improvement. Leaders are focused on improving teaching and learning through ongoing self review. The head teacher is committed to building teacher capability through a newly revised teacher appraisal system. This system requires formalising to ensure it aligns to Education Council New Zealand guidelines. Leaders support children to develop a strong sense of belonging and wellbeing through positive and reciprocal relationships.

The philosophy and vison have been recently reviewed to reflect a stronger commitment to bicultural practice. Governance promotes strong connections with parents, whānau and the local community to support positive outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

To further improve practice leaders and teachers need to:

  • formalise the appraisal system to meet the requirements of the Educational Council New Zealand

  • clearly align the strategic plan and internal evaluation to ensure the plan provides a sound foundation for ongoing review and development

  • strengthen assessment practices to reflect children's language, culture and identity.

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.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

20 June 2018

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


Bethlehem, Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

35 children, aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 26 Girls 23

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

20 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2015

Education Review

August 2011

Education Review

May 2008

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.