Rainbow Bears Preschool - 04/05/2016

1 Evaluation of Rainbow Bears Preschool

How well placed is Rainbow Bears Preschool 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.


Rainbow Bears Preschool in Henderson, West Auckland provides care and education for children from birth to school age. Licensed for 50 children, including 12 up to two years of age, the centre operates from a large, renovated house. The upstairs part of the centre caters for infants and toddlers, and includes a spacious outdoor area. The extensive indoor and outdoor areas on the lower floor cater for children from two to five years. A well-equipped side building includes the centre's main office, and a well-resourced learning space for the 4 year old readiness for school programme.

The centre's curriculum provides programmes for older children that balance free play alongside structured learning times. For about an hour each day, children in the downstairs area break into three age-related groups for structured learning with particular teachers.

Children and families experience a centre that is culturally diverse. Some staff reflect children's cultures and communicate with families in their home languages. The centre philosophy shows respect for the Treaty of Waitangi and aims to promote Māori language, culture and identity. It focuses on child-centred teaching and learning practices and values parents' role in their children's learning.

The director has owned and operated the centre for the past 19 years and many teachers and staff have worked at the centre for a number of years. The 2013 ERO report noted that improvements had been made to the centre's curriculum and in the way teachers celebrated children's language, culture and identity. It identified next steps that included the need for teachers to plan for children's individual interests and for leaders to further improve the teacher appraisal process.

Since 2013 the director has upgraded the indoor and outdoor environments. In addition, the purchase of a van enables staff to take small groups of children on interest-related trips, and older children to visit local primary schools as part of their transition to school programme.

The Review Findings

Children are well cared for by their teachers and other adults in the centre. Along with parents, they are warmly welcomed as they arrive and choose to play on their own or in a group with other children. Teachers interact positively with children, chatting with them about and encouraging their play. For most of the day children are free to choose from activities and resources teachers provide, and in areas of play that interest them.

The upstairs area for babies and toddlers is very well staffed. Teachers provide a gentle, calm and nurturing environment for these younger children. They follow children's home routines and respond well to their care needs and wellbeing. Teachers work consistently with and alongside these younger children, supporting them with language development and as they engage in play. These good practices encourage children to settle and to develop a good sense of belonging in their centre.

Children have access to good quality resources and equipment including some that reflects Māori and Pacific culture and identity. Leaders and teachers make good use of Ministry of Education tools and resources to extend their bicultural understanding and to acknowledge the principles and values of the Treaty of Waitangi. Some teachers are particularly strong in promoting te reo me ngā tikanga Māori.

Teachers are increasingly planning programmes based on children's individual interests and personalities. Leaders agree that a useful next step is for teachers to more specifically develop, document and evaluate the impact of planned strategies to extend the learning of each child. This approach would help to assure teachers that all children are engaged in good quality learning, that includes using literacy and numeracy skills in the context of play.

Centre leaders promote a shared decision making approach to the centre's strategic direction that is having a positive impact on staff morale. Leaders appreciate teachers' work and provide them with meaningful professional learning opportunities.

The director/owner of the centre is committed to continually improving the centre and promoting positive outcomes for children and their families. She has a good understanding of self-review and has recently revised the teacher appraisal system so that it better reflects teachers' goals and promotes reflection. Parent views about the centre are sought and valued. The director/owner has good systems and policies in place to ensure the health and safety of children and staff in the centre.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre leaders agree that continued next steps for the centre include teachers and leaders:

  • evaluating the extent to which good quality early childhood theories are evident in teaching practice

  • strengthening the links between teachers' planning for individual children and the programme in action.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Rainbow Bears Preschool 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 Rainbow Bears Preschool will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

4 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


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 12 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 45 Boys 43

Ethnic composition








South African






Niue other















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

January 2016

Date of this report

4 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2013

Education Review

November 2009

Education Review

February 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.