Learning Adventures Masterton - 29/01/2018

1 Evaluation of Learning Adventures Masterton

How well placed is Learning Adventures Masterton to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

The October 2014 ERO report identified a number of areas for development. There is limited evidence to show these were adequately addressed and remain a priority for improvement.

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


Learning Adventures Masterton is a privately owned centre located within the University College of Learning (UCOL) campus, Masterton. The service is licensed to provide education and care for 23 children, including 5 aged up to two. At the time of this ERO evaluation there were 27 children on the roll, including four Māori and one child under two years. The centre caters for children and families from a diverse range of cultures.

Since the October 2014 ERO report, significant changes have occurred for this centre. Evolve Education Group (Evolve) purchased the service from Lollipops Educare Centres Limited. A regional manager provides some support for business and professional learning needs for staff. A centre manager, appointed in January 2017, manages centre operation and is on site two days a week. Daily programmes and care for children are the responsibility of the team leader and teaching staff.

Key next steps identified in the previous report to be given priority included:

  • assessment, planning and evaluation

  • self review

  • success for Māori and Pacific children.

Progress has been limited and some processes have lapsed.

This review was part of a cluster of five reviews in the Evolve Education Group.

The Review Findings

Educators work collaboratively to provide a welcoming, inclusive learning environment for children and families. Staff work positively towards ensuring practices are responsive to family needs and circumstances. Leaders acknowledge that with recent staff changes and rebranding of the centre, it is timely to review the philosophy to reflect collective values and beliefs.

The programmes, environment and resources generally provide children with an appropriate range of learning experiences. Children's involvement in everyday activities is increasingly celebrated and shared between teachers and parents. Leaders should continue to support educators to establish shared understanding to determine curriculum priorities and emphases. This development should include strengthening documentation to show teachers' analysis of observations and understanding of children's learning pathways.

Adults demonstrate respectful and affirming relationships with children. They are supportive and play alongside children. Children’s interactions with each other are generally friendly and amicable. Staff respond promptly to children’s requests and to their physical and emotional needs.

Educators continue to consider ways to further their understanding that reflect and respond to Māori learners. Children are developing confidence in sharing their mihi and karakia. Some basic te reo Māori is heard throughout the daily programme. Staff are reflecting on further ways to promote te ao Māori in a more local, place-based context.

Transitions into the centre are flexible and responsive to the needs of individual children and families. Staff continue to develop processes for children as they move to school. Educators should increase ways to share information so that children’s confidence and capability at the centre transfers to the new entrant classrooms.

Professional leadership requires strengthening. The new appraisal system is not fully implemented. Further attention should be given to developing deliberate strategies for working towards appraisal goals and clear links to relevant professional learning and development. Supporting staff to strengthen their knowledge of high quality practice should be a key next step.

Internal evaluation is in the early stages of development. Strategic planning is not robust. Consideration should be given to ensuring the plan identifies priorities and associated goals more closely aligned to the centre's vision and philosophy. Leaders and educators need support to develop increased understanding of formal, in-depth internal evaluation to promote decision-making and improve outcomes for children.

A recent restructure within Evolve has led to the introduction of a new management role that aims to provide increased support for centre staff. The regional manager should strengthen systems to provide ongoing guidance and support to the centre manager, team leader and educators for improvement of teaching and learning and health and safety practices.

Key Next Steps

Leaders and ERO agree on the following key next steps:

  • develop and improve understandings of internal evaluation

  • strengthen assessment , planning and evaluation

  • consider further ways of introducing culturally responsive practices for Māori learners

  • fully implement the new appraisal process.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Learning Adventures Masterton 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 health and safety, self review, internal evaluation and appraisal. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following areas:

  • implement an ongoing process of self review to help the service maintain and improve the quality of education and care

  • implement a system of regular appraisal
  • take all reasonable steps to promote the good health and safety of children enrolled in the service

  • take all reasonable steps to ensure that appropriate procedures are in place to deal with fires and earthquakes.
    [Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, Regulation 46 Health and safety practices standard: general 1(a), 2, GMA 6, GMA 7]

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 Learning Adventures Masterton will be within two years.

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

29 January 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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

23 children, including up to 5 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 14, Girls 13

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

November 2017

Date of this report

29 January 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2014

Education Review

February 2011

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.