Elim Christian Early Learning Centre - 22/02/2019

1 Evaluation of Elim Christian Early Learning Centre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Elim Christian Early Learning Centre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Elim Christian Early Learning Centre serves families and children from Whangarei. The centre is licensed to offer all-day education and care for up to 59 children, including up to 15 children under two years of age. Children attending the centre reflect the diverse local community. Thirteen children have Māori heritage.

The centre is led by a centre manager and two head teachers. They are supported by a qualified teaching team and support staff. Separate indoor and outdoor spaces are used for infants and toddlers. Low fences create an opportunity for children to connect between the two outdoor areas.

Christian values and the principles of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, are reflected in the curriculum. The centre's philosophy emphasises the importance of kindness, empathy and communication skills.

Centre leaders have responded positively to recommendations in the 2015 ERO report. These included developing shared centre expectations for effective teaching, and refining the appraisal processes for teachers. The latter is still in progress.

The Review Findings

Infants and toddlers enjoy nurturing care, and they benefit from good adult to child ratios. Toddlers confidently explore the environment with their teachers. Their oral language, social and self-management skills are fostered. The outdoor environment offers play and exploration for toddlers to develop their mobility and independence. A variety of resources allows them to make choices about their play.

Older children play cooperatively and confidently make choices. Resources are accessible and well-presented to stimulate exploration. Centre displays promote and celebrate children's cultures. Children have good access to outdoor play spaces that encourage their physical capabilities.

Teachers work collaboratively. They engage children in conversations and support their play. Caring and responsive relationships nurture children's wellbeing and sense of belonging.

Literacy, mathematics and science are integrated into daily activities. A strong commitment to bicultural practice is evident in the centre environment and programme. Teachers are developing confidence in using te reo Māori as they learn from good practice modelled by some staff.

The programme reflects Christian values and the principles of Te Whāriki 2017, the early childhood curriculum. There is a growing focus on child-led learning. Learning stories capture key moments of children's learning and development. Teachers are strengthening their planning, evaluation and assessment processes. As part of this work, they could extend older children's learning, and make this more evident in the programme's activities and documentation.

Parents are well informed about their child's interests and achievements. A digital platform is used to share children's learning and wellbeing. Parents' aspirations are valued and their feedback is encouraged. Transition practices into and through the centre are individualised to suit each child and family. Positive connections with local schools are fostered through photos and a 'Who's going to school?' board.

Internal evaluation has contributed well to positive changes in centre practices. Centre leaders have a good understanding of self review, and there is a strong commitment to ongoing improvement. Professional learning is extending teachers' practice and capability.

The centre is well led. Trusting relationships have been established between managers, staff and church leaders. Effective support from Elim Christian Centre, the umbrella organisation, ensures efficient practices are maintained. Governance systems based on relevant policies and procedures guide the service. Strategic and annual planning focuses on the centre's sustainability.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps include:

  • increasing relevant challenge and extended learning in play, particularly for older children

  • continuing to refine and implement effective appraisal processes

  • further building teachers' capability in te reo Māori and bicultural practice.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Elim Christian Early Learning 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.

Steve Tanner
Director Review and Improvement Services
Northern Region

22 February 2019

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


Morningside, Whangarei

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

59 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 45 Boys 32

Ethnic composition

other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2018

Date of this report

22 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2015

Education Review

February 2012

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.