Rainbow Steps Learning Centre - 24/05/2018

1 Evaluation of Rainbow Steps Learning Centre

How well placed is Rainbow Steps Learning Centre 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 Steps Learning Centre is a well-established, family-owned, all-day education and care service near Feilding.

The centre owner is responsible for the governance and management and the day-to-day running of the service and works as a full time teacher.

The centre philosophy promotes a focus on children’s wellbeing and belonging, where relationships are valued, in a family-like atmosphere.

The March 2016 ERO report identified a need for Ministry of Education support to further develop centre practices in order to improve outcomes for children. These included: self review; assessment; planning bicultural practices; interactions; teacher appraisal; and professional leadership, governance and management. Improvements are evident in all identified areas. The centre leader has undertaken an extensive course to improve leadership.

Staff have been involved in external professional development, with a focus on strengthening early learning opportunities for children, whānau, families and communities. This involved: assessment and planning; interactions to extend children's thinking; and bicultural practices. Professional learning has assisted staff to strengthen centre operation.

The Review Findings

Children are well supported to become confident communicators and to participate in collaborative and independent learning opportunities. Teachers use a range of strategies that progress and extend children's learning and their oral language.

Teachers demonstrate a knowledge of individual children and their learning. They have improved their planning for learning through better responding to children's current needs and interests. Learning stories appropriately capture developing dispositions, progress and skills of learners. Group and individual planning is becoming evident in portfolios and shared with parents through displays within the centre. A next step is to include, and respond to in this planning, the aspirations parents and whānau have for their children's learning.

Te ao Māori is prioritised and promoted. There is a deliberate focus on building te reo Māori capacity of teachers and children. Teachers are involved in ongoing professional development to further develop their knowledge of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori and the implications of this in the service's curriculum. They are considering ways to authentically integrate this into the daily programme and the developing, localised curriculum.

Professional learning supports the ongoing provision of improved learning opportunities for children. Internal and external appraisal is well considered and supports teacher growth and movement towards centre goals. Appraisal processes have been strengthened and aligned to the expectations for teacher attestation.

The head teacher's leadership practice effectively guides developments within the centre. She appropriately seeks guidance and has promoted the capacity building of staff. Improved systems and processes for centre operations and improvement are well considered and implemented.

Clear expectations, within a guiding framework, inform decision making, strategic planning and actions. Long term priorities are clearly actioned in annual planning.

A range of useful formats are used to review and evaluate the impact of changes on children and their learning. This is regularly undertaken, led by the centre manager, and results in improvement. A next step is to continue to deepen teachers' understanding of internal evaluation, including the use and value of evidence to support evaluative judgements.

Key Next Steps

ERO identified the need for the manager and staff to:

  • continue to develop assessment and planning processes including ways to add depth and complexity for individual children
  • develop programmes that respond to the aspirations parents and whānau have for their children and incorporate te ao Māori
  • continue to deepen teachers' understanding of internal evaluation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

24 May 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

27 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 17, Girls 15

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


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

24 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2016

Supplementary Review

March 2013

Education Review

October 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.