Golden Sands Early Learning Centre - 19/11/2018

1 Evaluation of Golden Sands Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Golden Sands Early Learning 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.


Golden Sands Early Learning Centre is an all-day education and care service located in the residential suburb of Papamoa. It is licensed for 50 children from three months to school age, including up to 15 under the age of two years. Currently there are 61 children enrolled with 12 who identify as Māori. It is a purpose built centre, and has two separate age-based areas. Staff have remained consistent with seven teachers qualified and registered.

The centre's philosophy states that the building of reciprocal relationships with children and their families is central to everything. Leaders and teachers celebrate identity, language, culture and connections to each individual child’s whenua. The centre aims to provide a welcoming place where the children and their families are the kaitiaki of the centre.

The centre operates under the governance and management of Central North Island Early Education Services Trust and the Central North Island Kindergarten Association Trust, community not-for-profit organisations. The overarching philosophy is to provide centres that enable children to reach their full potential, and learning through play, supported by passionate professional people.

Since the ERO review in 2015, internal evaluation has supported a focus on the language culture and identity for children to be more visible. Assessment has improved, and partnerships with parents has increased. The centre has a positive ERO reporting history.

This review was part of a cluster of four reviews in the Central North Island Early Education Services Trust.

The Review Findings

Positive, trusting and respectful relationships with children and whānau underpin teaching and learning. Children are empowered to be creative, use their imagination and explore. They lead their own learning in a purposefully prepared environment. Deliberate teaching strategies effectively build on and add complexity to children’s learning and thinking. Children's rights are respected and their decision making is encouraged through problem solving, taking risks and challenge. Children view themselves as capable and confident learners.

Children under the age of two years benefit from teachers who know them well and provide a programme that is responsive to their interests and individualised care needs. Warm, caring interactions follow children’s individual rhythms. Teachers are responsive to the holistic wellbeing of children, and their Independence is promoted. Infants and toddlers experience a calm unhurried, and homely environment.

The curriculum is responsive and inclusive to all children’s needs and abilities. Strengths of the curriculum are:

  • sensitively managed transitions where parents and whānau are given personalised support

  • the inclusion of community trips to the beach and neighbouring bush area

  • children's learning of empathy and responsibility promoted by the care and attention for the centre animals.

Teachers strongly support children's oral language through their rich use of conversation. Assessment, planning and evaluation captures children’s interests well and progress and continuity of learning is evident. Literacy, mathematics and aspects of te reo and tikanga Māori are naturally interwoven into children’s interests and play. There are many opportunities for them to develop learning dispositions such as perseverance, resilience and curiosity. Children experience a rich curriculum and authentic learning experiences.

Centre leaders have developed sustainable systems and processes. Internal evaluation has strengthened and has supported ongoing improvement. Distributed and shared Leadership opportunities are implemented to build teacher capability, promoting teacher's strengths, and interests. A respectful and collaborative team culture has been developed through a shared understanding of the centre philosophy, vision and goals. Decision making is focussed on the wellbeing and outcomes for children and their families.

Governance and management have comprehensive, well-established systems and practices to enable the organisation to monitor, evaluate and plan for improvement for its early learning centres. Clear guidelines and expectations for centre practice and curriculum are strongly fostered by the leadership team and trust. The vision and values support positive outcomes for children's learning, wellbeing and that of their whānau.

Key Next Steps

The key next steps for the centre are to:

  • further develop and strengthen the centre's understanding of the Ministry of Education's document Te Whatu Pokeka to consistently integrate Māori children’s whakapapa into assessment

  • make children's language, culture and identity more visible in learning stories.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Golden Sands 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

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

Adrienne Fowler

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

19 November 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


Papamoa, Bay of Plenty

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 31 Boys 30

Ethnic composition



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

September 2018

Date of this report

19 November 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2015

Education Review

October 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.