Olive Tree Education and Care - 29/07/2016

1 Evaluation of Olive Tree Education and Care

How well placed is Olive Tree Education and Care 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.


Olive Tree Education and Care centre provides all-day early childhood education and care for children from birth to school age. It is purpose built and there have been many alterations and improvements, some of which cater specifically for babies and toddlers. Enclosed areas provide all weather play opportunities for children and significant outside developments enrich children’s outdoor play and exploration. The centre is licensed for 70 children, with a maximum of 25 children up to two years of age. At the time of this ERO review there were 68 children on the roll, ten of Māori descent, four Pacific and four Asian.

The centre is one of five education and care services operating under the umbrella of Bethlehem Early Learning Centres (BELC Ltd) and the Christian Education Trust (CET), who operates Bethlehem College. A manager oversees the business and professional services of all five centres and she is responsible to the BELC board of governors.

The centre is run by a head teacher who is responsible for the day to day functions of the centre and professional leadership in regard to the quality of teaching, programme development and children’s learning and progress. He is supported by a lead teacher in the babies and toddler' area. The majority of staff have a recognised early childhood education qualification.

The centre has responded constructively to recommendations in the 2013 ERO report.

The Review Findings

Children are respected and valued as individuals. They contribute to the centres' culture and learning environment. Children and parents are warmly welcomed into an interesting and well prepared centre. The centre environment supports children’s curiosity and independence. The philosophy reflects the ongoing commitment to Christian values and the growth and development of each child in a mixed-age centre.

Babies and toddlers up to the age of two years demonstrate a strong sense of wellbeing and belonging. Teachers are responsive and sensitive to their needs and provide nurture, support and familiar daily routines. A calm and settled environment is maintained. There are safe areas of play and toddlers mix freely with older children at the end of the day. The designated teacher provides consistency of supervision and a point of contact for parents of babies and toddlers.

Children in the three to school age area have many opportunities to explore and pursue their interests and sustain play. They have ready access to a wide variety of good quality equipment and materials. There is a good balance of teacher and child-initiated learning and play. Routines are well managed and provide predictability for all age groups throughout the day.

Teachers set and model high expectations for considerate behaviour. This approach fosters children’s social skills as they play with and alongside each other. They plan appropriate and contextual themes that reflect current happenings and children's interests. Learning environments are well resourced and invite children’s learning through play. Literacy and early mathematics are well integrated throughout the programme. Creative play is a feature of the centre. Although the outside play area is small, teachers have deliberately focused on providing children with many opportunities for physical activity in the wider community.

Transitions within the centre and to school are well managed. Teachers have positive and reciprocal relationships with nearby schools. The transition process provides continuity and supports parents understanding about how to support their child during transition.

Elements of te reo and tikanga Māori are evident in the programme. Māori whānau and their children are benefiting from the value placed on their culture. Teachers’ use te reo Māori phrases, waiata and karakia in centre routines. Other cultures are celebrated and recognised at appropriate times. These activities contribute to children's sense of culture and identity.

The head teacher provides effective professional leadership and takes responsibility for many aspects of management and centre operations. He demonstrates a good understanding of self-review systems and processes for centre development and improvement. He has established positive professional relationships with staff, parents and children. He also fosters leadership among staff and encourages them to be reflective about their teaching practice.

Key Next Steps

Important areas for review and development are to:

  • strategically align self-review to Bethlehem Education Learning and Centres expectations and regulatory requirements

  • further develop the appraisal framework to consider evidence-based feedback and feedforward for teachers

  • continue to develop teacher confidence and competence to integrate responsive practices that respond to the respective languages, cultures and identities of Māori and other children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Olive Tree Education and Care 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 Olive Tree Education and Care will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

29 July 2016

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


Mount Maunganui

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

70 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 39 Girls 29

Ethnic composition









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

June 2016

Date of this report

29 July 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2013

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.