Oxford Early Learning Centre - 24/05/2016

1 Evaluation of Oxford Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Oxford Early Learning Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Oxford Early Learning Centre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Oxford Early Learning Centre is a large, Christian-based early childhood service. It caters for babies and children to school age in three separate rooms. The nursery, the two-to-three year old and four year old rooms each have their own outdoor play areas. The teachers are qualified early childhood teachers or training to become early childhood teachers. Many of the teachers are experienced and have taught at the centre for a number of years.

The centre is governed by a trust whose members are elected by the Oxford Baptist Church. The centre manager is a member of the trust.

Since the 2012 ERO review, the trust, centre leaders and teachers have made a number of improvements to self review, child assessment and planning and the physical environment.

The Review Findings

The centre successfully meets the vision and values outlined in the philosophy statement. The strong focus on responsive, respectful and reciprocal relationships is evident in all aspects of the work of the trust, centre leaders and staff. The culture is inclusive of all children and families.

Centre leaders and teachers work well together. They value the strengths and skills each brings to the centre. Children are well supported to develop positive social skills and to work cooperatively with others. The trust provides well-organised support networks within the centre, church and wider community for children and families.

Children's learning and wellbeing are central to decision making. Teachers actively seek parents' aspirations for their children and involve them in goal setting for their child's learning. They keep parents well informed about their child's progress and the ways that teachers have helped children to further extend their learning.

Centre leaders and teachers value the knowledge and support that Māori families provide. They are beginning to build relationships with the wider Māori community. Teachers are making appropriate use of professional development to increase their knowledge of te reo and tikanga Māori and its inclusion in the programme.

Children make good use of the attractive and well-resourced learning environments to develop their interests, extend their learning and work cooperatively with others.

Teachers use a range of effective strategies to help children develop problem-solving skills, think creatively and to use the wide variety of resources in different ways to extend their skills, knowledge and abilities.

Teachers in the nursery are nurturing and attentive. They establish close relationships with the families and provide flexible routines to meet the needs of infants and toddlers.

Children are encouraged to be healthy and physically active. The centre has a range of equipment that challenges children to extend their physical skills and competence. Teachers actively promote healthy food choices, growing your own food and eating or selling the produce.

Centre leaders and teachers have made effective use of self review and professional development to establish meaningful child assessment and planning processes and practices. These systems and processes:

  • ensure close links between home and centre learning

  • provide clear direction for the programme

  • specify ways teachers can effectively support children's learning

  • clearly show children's progress and achievement of learning goals.

The centre has well-established procedures for reviewing the curriculum. The managers and teachers have a good understanding of self review and the processes that they should follow. Information for reviews is collected from a range of sources and well analysed. Action plans are followed and progress accurately reported.

Key Next Steps

The key next steps to improve learning outcomes for children include strengthening strategic and annual planning and reporting.

The centre leaders and ERO agree that the centre should:

  • improve consistency in child assessment and planning and strengthen programme evaluation

  • make better use of relationships with Māori and professional development to increase te reo and tikanga Māori in the programmes and documentation

  • strengthen and embed staff appraisal processes.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Oxford 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 Oxford Early Learning Centre will be in three years.

Chris Rowe

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

24 May 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


Oxford, North Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

80 children, including up to 10 aged under two

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 68; Boys 58

Ethnic composition



Other ethnicities




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


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2016

Date of this report

24 May 2016

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

October 2012

Education Review

October 2009

Supplementary Review

July 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.