Rangiora First Learners - 25/08/2015

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

Rangiora First Learners are well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Rangiora First Learners is one of three private centres owned and administered by First Learners Limited. The centre provides education and care for children from birth to six years old. The roll has increased since the 2013 ERO review.

Leadership of the centre includes the owner/manager, a newly established education service manager (ESM) and the centre’s supervisor who is supported by a team leader from each area of the centre.

The First Learners managers have made good progress in meeting most of the recommendations identified in the 2013 ERO review. The appointment of an ESM, and professional development in 2014 has helped teachers at the three centres to develop a shared philosophy and vision and a better understanding strategic planning. Improvement of self-review practice including staff appraisal is at an early stage of development.

This review was part of a cluster of three reviews in the First Learners Limited organisation.

ERO’s findings that support overall judgement are summarised below.

The Review Findings

Positive interactions between teachers and children and a caring and supportive environment, help children to develop a sense of belonging and wellbeing. Teachers' roles as primary caregivers for specific children help them to get to know children and their families well. Children have a good variety of opportunities to lead their own learning and engage in activities that stimulate their interest and curiosity.

Routines and learning opportunities actively support children to participate in group activities and child-initiated play. Natural materials and resources are easy for children to access and use to develop their creative and imaginative responses. There is an emphasis on the development of understanding and enjoying different cultures and customs. Teachers are creative in ways they value and build children's interests in bicultural aspects of the programme.

Teachers' planning is based on observing, recognising and responding to children's individual interests and needs. They make good use of learning stories to:

  • capture children's interest in and enjoyment of their individual and group learning
  • record observations and reflections of children's progress with their learning
  • give children opportunities to revisit and extend their learning
  • provide parents with opportunities to contribute their views and thoughts.

Babies and toddlers are well supported through respectful and nurturing interactions with teachers. Learning programmes promote ongoing opportunities for children to freely explore their environment. Routines are flexible and well paced to allow children time to make choices and follow their own interests.

A strong focus on inclusion is evident in the way children from a range of cultures are positively supported to settle into the life of the centre. Leaders and teachers have a collaborative relationship with the local primary school. Teachers provide older children with regular opportunities to visit the local school and become familiar with a school environment. Primay school students are regularly involved with the centre programme. Teachers also ensure that children with specific learning needs are well cared for and supported.

Key Next Steps

ERO, the licensee and supervisor agree recent initiatives need to be embedded and evaluated. This includes:

  • providing staff with clear expectations and guidelines to promote consistent, high-quality teaching and assessment practices
  • improving the way self review is understood and used to ensure increasingly positive outcomes for the learning and wellbeing of all children
  • implementing the newly-developed teacher appraisal system across all teaching staff.

ERO identified the ESM role and responsibilities needs to be clearly defined. This includes the promotion of positive relationships across the centres.

ERO is requesting a report on the effectiveness of the leadership structure, and progress towards the next steps outlined in this report, within a year of confirmation of this report.

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.

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 Rangiora First Learners will be in three years.

Chris Rowe

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

25 August 2015

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

54 children, including up to 16 aged under two

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 36

Boys 31

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā


Others ethnicities





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 2015

Date of this report

25 August 2015

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

June 2013


Education Review

February 2011


Education Review

May 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.