Olive Shoots Early Childhood Centre - 29/03/2019

1 Evaluation of Olive Shoots Early Childhood Centre

How well placed is Olive Shoots Early Childhood Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Olive Shoots Early Childhood Centre is very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Olive Shoots Early Childhood Centre operates on the Laidlaw College Campus in West Auckland. The centre provides education and care for the children of staff and students of Laidlaw College, as well as children from the wider community. It is licensed for 50 children, including 10 under two years of age.

The centre philosophy is underpinned by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and integrated with Christian values and principles. It reflects a commitment to creating an inclusive learning community where children, teachers, families and whānau are valued and respected. The philosophy emphasises respect, trust and a focus on high quality early childhood education.

Centre leaders and staff work with a management committee from Laidlaw College who provide support for financial and personnel management. The centre reports to the committee monthly on curriculum, administration and centre events.

Since the 2014 ERO review the centre has moved location within the Laidlaw College Campus. This has provided more indoor and outdoor space for children and staff. Children are grouped into three large rooms and outdoor environments, according to age. Older children have access to an outdoor area alongside the centre that provides further opportunities for children's physical and imaginative play.

The 2014 ERO report noted that the centre provided high quality care and education for children. ERO suggested that teachers could continue to strengthen bicultural practices, refine and embed internal evaluation and implement a new appraisal system. Very good progress has been made in these areas.

The Review Findings

Children are supported to be independent, confident and highly engaged learners. They settle quickly on arrival and are warmly welcomed by teachers. They lead the direction of their play, and choose play areas based on their interests. The indoor and outdoor environments offer creative and imaginative exploration and challenge for children of all ages.

Trusting and respectful relationships between children, teachers and families are highly evident. Teachers make time to discuss the valued contribution that whānau make to children's learning. They respond well to parents' requests and aspirations. They know children and their families well, and promote a strong sense of belonging to the Olive Shoots community.

Teachers plan skilfully for children's interests and capabilities. They work very effectively with the goals, dispositions and learning outcomes of Te Whāriki. Leaders and teachers provide a well-considered local curriculum that supports authentic learning. Children are well supported to problem solve, learn collaboratively and lead their own learning.

Children have ready access to a wide range of well-considered resources and a high quality learning environment. The environment is thoughtfully designed and presented to affirm and celebrate children’s interests, and extend their learning experiences. Natural resources are highly valued and used creatively throughout the centre.

Children are encouraged to follow their curiosity and develop their own understandings about the world. Children with additional needs are well supported and experience high quality care. Children under the age of two experience nurturing, calm interactions with teachers who know them well. They play and learn in an environment that promotes exploration and supports their development.

Teachers integrate tikanga and te reo Māori into the programme and environment. Well-established partnerships with parents and whānau provide opportunities for them to contribute as valued partners in children's learning.

The centre is very well led. The experienced and capable centre managers promote a collaborative culture that supports high levels of trust and professionalism among staff. Capable and knowledgeable teachers willingly contribute their ideas and talents to achieving positive outcomes for all children. They have opportunities to lead in different areas of centre operations.

Management and governance of the centre are highly effective. Centre managers work collaboratively with the governance committee, and decisions are based on what is best for all children. Their holistic view of the child and family influences the way staff work positively to create a caring and inclusive learning environment.

Internal evaluation is very well understood and is used well to inform the centre's ongoing improvement. The centre has a well-established policy framework and systems that guide its overall operation.

Key Next Steps

ERO endorses the centre's focus on continuing to enhance very good quality centre practices. Leaders and teachers are using internal evaluation well to identify appropriate next steps for sustaining and building on current highly effective practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Olive Shoots Early Childhood 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

Northern Region

29 March 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


Henderson, Auckland

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 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 48 Boys 34

Ethnic composition

other Pacific
other Asian
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

February 2019

Date of this report

29 March 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2014

Education Review

April 2011

Education Review

April 2008

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.