Rangiora First Learners - 25/06/2013

1. Evaluation of Rangiora First Learners

How well placed is Rangiora First Learners to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

First Learners Limited does not have a well-developed management framework that provides direction for ongoing improvement and ensures that high-quality outcomes occur for all children. There are few systems for accountability of practice beyond health and safety. Systems that are in place for monitoring teachers' performance are not well used to improve learning and teaching.

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


Rangiora First Learners is one of four centres owned and administered by First Learners Ltd. The centre cares for children in three separate groups. The nursery, two to three-year-old group and the preschool each have their own rooms and outdoor areas.

The manager maintains high staff ratios to the number of children. The majority of the teachers are qualified early childhood teachers or in training to be early childhood teachers. Most of the staff members are experienced teachers who have worked at the centre for a number of years.

The supervisor and teachers have made good progress in meeting the recommendations in the 2009 ERO report. They have improved self-review practices and increased the use of te reo and tikanga Māori in the programme.

The Review Findings

Children have positive and caring relationships with their teachers. High staff ratios help to ensure that teachers respond promptly to children. They regularly engage children in conversations about their play. Children play well together. They are happy and settled in the centre environment.

Infants and toddlers experience a calm and relaxed environment in the nursery. Teachers build close relationships with each child and their family. Nursery routines are flexible and responsive to each child’s individual characteristics and needs. Teachers successfully use a range of ways to involve infants and toddlers in decisions about their routines, care and play.

Children in the preschool are given many opportunities to develop their leadership skills. Teachers regularly involve children in decisions about the programme and their learning. They successfully help children to make close links between their play and real-life situations. Group times are interesting, varied and focused on children’s interests and the skills that they want to develop.

Te reo and tikanga Māori are successfully integrated into the programme. Teachers frequently use te reo Māori in their conversations with children. They skilfully help children to learn about the Māori culture and link centre routines to Māori protocols.

Children benefit from a wide range of resources that are easy to access and can be used in different ways. Teachers frequently change these resources to help children extend their interests and ideas further.

Some teachers make good use of child assessment and planning to identify children’s learning and next steps. As a result, many programmes extend children’s knowledge, skills and understandings.

Children with special needs and their families are well supported within the programme by the supervisor and teachers.

The supervisor has developed a plan that clearly identifies future development at the centre to improve learning outcomes for children. Self review is well linked to this plan. It carefully monitors progress and improvement in these areas.

The supervisor promotes a positive team culture and encourages teachers to use their skills and support each other in the programme.

Key Next Steps

To improve sustainability and to build capability and capacity the manager needs to:

  • define and actively promote the leadership roles and responsibilities of the manager and supervisors
  • develop a shared philosophy and vision that clearly states the organisation’s values and beliefs for children’s education and care
  • identify the organisation’s priorities and associated goals towards achieving its vision
  • establish an effective process of self review for all aspects of the organisation’s operations
  • increase the robustness of staff appraisal process.

The manager, supervisor and ERO agree that the next steps for this centre to improve learning and teaching include:

  • building stronger partnerships with families to make closer links between home and centre learning
  • further supporting Māori children to experience success as Māori.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Rangiora First Learners 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.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to governance and management. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following areas by ensuring:

  • the philosophy statement guides the centre operations
  • future plans guide the organisation and individual centre’s operations
  • an ongoing programme of self review helps the organisation maintain and improve the quality of education
  • suitable human resource management practices are implemented.

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, Regulation 47(GMA5, GMA8, GMA6, GMAS7)

An additional area of non-compliance relates to children’s safety. The service needs to ensure that there is adequate soft fall under the tree that children can climb and that there are specific guidelines on how high children can climb.Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, Regulation 46(1)(c)(iii)

Recommendation to Ministry of Education

ERO recommends that the service provider take advice from the Ministry of Education in developing an action plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Rangiora First Learners will be in two years.


Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

25 June 2013


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

38 children, including up to 16 aged under two

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 31;

Boys 24

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā

Cook Island








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

May 2013

Date of this report

25 June 2013

Most recent ERO reports

These are available at www.ero.govt.nz

Education Review

February 2011


Education Review

March 2007


Education Review

February 2004

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.