Elim Early Learning Centre - 16/10/2015

1 Evaluation of Elim Early Learning Centre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

The 2013 ERO report indicated that the centre required further development in the areas of improving assessment and planning, self review, strengthening appraisals and the further development of the board’s vision for the centre. Good progress has been made in many of these areas.

The centre has had significant and ongoing staff changes since the previous ERO review. At the time of this review, further staff appointments were pending, including some key leadership positions.

While ERO’s judgement is that the centre is well placed to promote positive outcomes for children, the ongoing progress of the centre, and the ability to sustain and build on the progress already made, will depend on the success of these staff changes.

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


Elim Early Learning Centre is located in the central business district of Christchurch. It is a Christian-based centre operated by the Elim Church. Most families who use the centre come from the wider community and a range of cultures and religions. The service has a small space for babies who aren’t mobile, however younger and older children generally spend time playing together in the shared indoor and outdoor spaces.

The centre was affected by the 2011 Canterbury earthquakes, but is now building up roll numbers and is in a better financial position. A new centre manager started in 2014. She works with a team leader to provide leadership for the curriculum and daily programme. A board connected to the church provides governance.

The Review Findings

Teachers are increasingly seeking children’s input into what they what to learn more about. They have developed clearer priorities for children’s learning across the programme. This includes a focus on developing children’s particular skills and interests.

Teachers interact with children in positive and affirming ways, working closely alongside children when they are playing. They now receive good feedback about their teaching through the appraisal process. This has been improved and is now consistently implemented.

Teachers have made improvements to programme planning and assessment practices. Teachers plan cooperatively and make sure they focus on meeting the interests and needs of individual children and groups of children. They now make better use of their planning to write more deeply about what they notice and how they extend children’s learning.

There is a strong focus on building effective partnerships with families. Parents are well involved and supportive of the centre. They contribute to maintaining the centre environment and creating displays. They volunteer in the programme and share their skills and strengths.

The centre is supportive of families in need and makes good links with external agencies to provide support for children and families who need additional help.

The new centre manager has developed effective management systems. Roles and responsibilities between the board and centre manager have been defined. The board has a clearer vision for the centre. The centre’s future direction and development has been reassessed.

The centre manager has developed useful strategic planning to guide ongoing centre development. She has used this as an effective tool to guide her work in promoting and leading centre improvements.

The centre manager and teachers have made good use of professional learning and development to support centre improvement, particularly in self review, identifying learning priorities, and management practices.

The quality of self review has been improved. A useful process is being followed and the centre manager is leading staff in this process.

Key Next Steps

The centre is still being affected by ongoing staff changes. A key next step for the centre is the successful management of staff changes and embedding of a new team culture while sustaining and building on the recent work done in improving teaching and learning.

Key areas for the centre manager and teachers to focus on include:

  • continuing to strengthen aspects of planning and assessment, teaching strategies, and self review
  • strengthening bicultural practices
  • acknowledging children’s cultures more in the programme and centre practices
  • embedding the new appraisal system.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Elim Early Learning Centre completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they select ‘have’ or ‘have not’ 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.

To improve compliance practices there is a need to:

  • strengthen the way teachers record sleep checks
  • ensure teachers consistently follow the centre’s procedures for recording and administering medication
  • alter the appraisal policy so that it better reflects current practices.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Elim Early Learning Centre will be in three years.

Chris Rowe

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

16 October 2015

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

25 children, including up to 7 aged under two

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 22


Ethnic composition





Other ethnicities






Percentage of qualified teachers 0-49% 50-79% 80% Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements


Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2015

Date of this report

16 October 2015

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

June 2013


Supplementary Review

March 2010


Education Review

January 2009

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.