Colenso Early Childhood Centre - 25/08/2016

1 Evaluation of Colenso Early Childhood Centre

How well placed is Colenso 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.


Colenso Early Childhood Centre is situated in the grounds of William Colenso College, Napier. The centre works in partnership with the Hawke's Bay School for Teenage Parents and shares a building and outdoor area with the Teen Parent Unit (TPU).

The centre provides term-time all day education and care for 44 children, including 30 aged up to two years. A management group oversees the service, with day-to-day leadership by the head teacher.

Most children have parents who attend the TPU. The majority are under three years of age. Some places are available for children from the wider community.

The centre philosophy is underpinned by whanaungatanga, manaakitanga, ako, kaitakitanga and whakakato. It promotes a holistic approach to children's learning.

Teachers and leaders present during the August 2013 ERO review continue to work at the centre. The centre has a positive reporting history with ERO.

The Review Findings

Teachers and leaders have continued to build on the strengths and good practice identified in the previous ERO report. A high level of trust is apparent and collaborative ways of working are fostered with everyone involved in the centre.

The philosophy is highly evident in practice. Teachers know children and families very well. A whānau approach contributes significantly to strong relationships. Teachers and parents work together to provide a 'circle of security' which effectively promotes children's wellbeing. 

Children benefit from a curriculum that places relationships at the heart of the programme. The focus on mindfulness supports their understanding of having empathy for others. Children frequently show care and concern for their friends and teachers.

Through assessment and planning processes, staff successfully notice, recognise and respond to the strengths and interests of infants, toddlers and young children. Teachers' observations of children in everyday activities successfully builds a picture of what they know and are interested in. Planning to extend children's learning is highly collaborative. Parents and whānau regularly contribute their perspectives. A sense of ako is apparent.

The language and identity of Māori children is cherished. Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are seamlessly woven throughout all aspects of the programme. Assessment practices for Māori children effectively reflect Māori models of health and learning.

The programme for infants and toddlers successfully fosters secure attachments. Warm, responsive and reciprocal relationships are evident. Teachers maintain a calm, slow pace in which children have space and time to lead their own learning. They skilfully model responsive caregiving.

Self review incorporating ongoing teacher reflection is embedded practice and integral to the centre’s operation. Teachers systematically inquire into their teaching practice and its impact on outcomes for children. A next step is to focus on how well these practices impact on outcomes for children.

Clear and consistent leadership at a range of levels is a strong part of the management culture. Sound systems, policies and procedures facilitate sustainable delivery of the programme. Appraisal programmes focus successfully on growing professional knowledge and practices with deliberate emphasis on outcomes for children.

A clear vision sets direction for the centre and its response to the aspirations and expectations that parents and whānau have for their children. It reflects a commitment to high quality early childhood education.

Key Next Steps

Teachers and leaders have the capability to self-identify appropriate next steps to maintain ongoing improvement.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Colenso 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Colenso Early Childhood Centre will be in four years. 

Joyce Gebbie
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

25 August 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 



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

44 children, including up to 30 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 19, Girls 9

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%

Based on funding rates


1:4Reported 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

25 August 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

July 2013

Education Review

July 2010

Education Review

November 2006

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.