Richmond Early Learning Centre - 30/06/2017

1 Evaluation of Richmond Early Learning Centre

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Richmond Early Learning Centre was bought by the Evolve Education Group in December 2014. There have been changes in the management, leadership structure, operating systems and some staff at the centre. The current centre leaders are new to their roles. Leaders and staff require more support to provide high quality learning and teaching for children. This includes developing their understandings of effective internal evaluation and successfully implementing the new practices that are continuing to be introduced by the Evolve Education Group.

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


Richmond Early Learning Centre offers full day sessions for infants, toddlers and young children up to school age. The purpose-built centre has four rooms where children can interact with others of a similar age. There are two outdoor areas, one for the infants and toddlers and another for the older children.

There is a range of early childhood education experience and qualifications among the staff. A centre manager works with three team leaders to provide centre leadership on a daily basis. A manager from Evolve Education Group visits the centre on a monthly basis to provide additional management and leadership support.

The Review Findings

Teachers build effective relationships with children and their families to support learning, wellbeing and sense of belonging. Teachers have increased the ways they connect with parents and are becoming more purposeful in seeking parent aspirations about their child's learning.

Children have a good range of opportunities to learn through play. Teachers provide additional resources that align to children's emerging interests and contribute more variety and interest to the daily programme over time. Children's knowledge of the wider community is effectively extended through regular excursions that include visits to local schools.

Teachers have developed useful vision statements to guide practice that emphasises the importance of respect, responsive relationships, child choice and independence. Teachers are working on enacting these within the programme. In some rooms information about how Māori perspectives will be incorporated into the programme is also prominently displayed. In all rooms teachers are increasing aspects of bicultural practice and particularly incorporate te reo Māori in programmes.

The new team leaders are committed to the centre philosophy and vision statements. They regularly seek to improve practices in their teams. This has included improving systems for supporting transitions and aspects of programme planning. Some of these initiatives are in the early stages of implementation. Leaders have reliably identified key areas for improvement in planning, assessment and internal evaluation. ERO agrees with these priorities.

Key Next Steps

The centre has experienced some change in systems and leadership. There is now a need for more systematic and deliberate action and planning to improve current practices, successfully introduce new initiatives and sustain any changes made.

Key next steps include:

  • strengthening systems and practices for leadership and accountability at centre and organisational levels
  • increasing support for staff to successfully implement the expectations of Evolve Education Group's policies and procedures including appraisal, and enacting the centre philosophy and Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum
  • developing strategic planning with an increased focus on teaching and learning
  • strengthening planning and assessment, including practices for planning for individual children
  • developing systems that support greater collaboration among teachers across the centre so that children experience continuity
  • increasing staff understanding of effective internal evaluation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Richmond 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.

Actions for compliance

To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following areas:

  • plan implement and evaluate a curriculum that responds to the learning interests, strengths and capabilities of enrolled children
  • the service is effectively governed and is managed in accordance with good management practices

43 1 (a) (i), 47 1 (a) (e) Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008.

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service, in consultation with the Ministry of Education, develops a 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 Richmond Early Learning Centre will be within two years.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern/Te Waipounamu

30 June 2017 

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

75 Children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 53; Girls 35

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


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

30 June 2017

Most recent ERO report 

Education Review

September 2013

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.