Footsteps Adventist Preschool - 21/12/2017

1 Evaluation of Footsteps Adventist Preschool

How well placed is Footsteps Adventist Preschool to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Very limited progress has been made in relation to areas identified for improvement in the July 2014 ERO report. Stronger systems, processes and leadership to support high quality teaching practice and learning outcomes for children are needed.

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


Footsteps Adventist Preschool is located in Palmerston North. The centre offers all-day education and care for up to 46 children, including four up to two years of age. Of the 54 children currently enrolled, seven are Māori and nine are of Pacific heritage.

The philosophy is based on Christian values and emphasises the importance of holistic development for children.

The centre is governed by a trust. The management committee, consisting of staff, parents and trustees, meet regularly to support the ongoing operation of the service. Two lead teachers share responsibility for day-to-day management. Most teachers are fully qualified and registered. They represent a range of cultures.

The Review Findings

Children experience a curriculum based on the centre's Christian values and their ongoing interests. The daily programme is highly structured. There are some opportunities for children to engage in free play where they choose from a wide range of resources. Teachers should now consider the purpose and intended outcomes of programme elements in order to evaluate their effectiveness in meeting the principles and strands of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

A range of te ao Māori resources and activities support the bicultural curriculum. Some teachers use basic te reo Māori in conversations with children. Strengthening the use of meaningful te reo Māori across the staff continues to be an area for improvement.

Teachers are responsive to children's needs. They use a range of strategies to extend their thinking and promote language development. Staff work alongside external agencies to plan and progress positive outcomes for children requiring additional learning support.

Group planning is established. Learning stories, as the centre's assessment tool, are used to record children's interests, dispositions and involvement in the programme. Intentional planning for individuals is not yet evident. Establishment of individual assessment and planning should demonstrate how:

  • intentional teaching strategies are used to assist children's progress in learning

  • parent aspirations for their children's learning are incorporated

  • teaching responds to children's cultures, languages and identities.

Teachers of Pacific heritage make links with families and grow staff understanding of different Pacific cultures. A key next step is for all teachers to explore ways to integrate and support other children's cultural connections into daily practice. In particular, a focus on increasing professional knowledge and strategies to promote educational success for Māori as Māori is required.

Lead teachers require further support to build leadership for teaching and learning. Shared understanding, across staff, of high quality practice has yet to be developed. The current appraisal system is not sufficiently focused on teacher growth. The service was unable to provide sufficient evidence that they meet the Education Council requirements.

Systems, processes and plans that support the capacity of the service to continuously promote and improve positive outcomes for children have yet to be implemented. Self review is in the early stages of development. Leaders and teachers recognise that building their understanding and use of evaluation is a priority.

Key Next Steps

ERO has identified that key next steps are to develop:

  • assessment, planning and evaluation practices that respond to the learning needs of individuals

  • knowledge and understanding of teaching practice that supports educational success for Māori

  • leadership, systems and processes to support professional practice and promote high quality education and care

  • shared understanding and use of internal evaluation for improved outcomes.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Footsteps Adventist Preschool 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

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to curriculum, governance, management and administration. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following areas:

  • providing a service curriculum consistent with Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum
  • creating a robust system of appraisal, with a focus on developing staff and meeting requirements.
    [Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008: C1; GMA7]

The service also needs to improve its performance in the following areas, ensuring that:

  • a process for self review is established that helps maintain and improve the quality of its education and care, including a schedule of planned review.
    [Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centre 2008: GMA6]

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service, in consultation with the Ministry of Education, develops a plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Footsteps Adventist Preschool will be within two years.

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

21 December 2017

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


Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

46 children, including up to four aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 35, Girls 19

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80% Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

21 December 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

July 2014

Education Review

June 2011

Education Review

October 2007

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.