S I T Early Childhood Centre - 19/02/2013

1. Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

This centre is well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.


The children play and learn in a family-like atmosphere that is very welcoming for them and their families. Staff members ensure they are approachable and maintain good links with families.

The centre has recently merged from two licences to one. Over 70 children attend the centre. They are catered for in three age groupings. Each age group has its own room.

The low staff turnover at the centre helps children to feel secure with adults familiar to them.

The manager and teachers have made good progress in responding to the recommendations made by ERO in the 2009 report. These included the need to consider how well interactions and the use of resources supported children’s learning. They also explored ways to strengthen their partnership with parents so that parents could enhance their child’s learning.

Areas of strength

Learning environment. Children are settled, confident and have a strong sense of belonging. They benefit from the warm, nurturing relationships teachers have with them, their families and with each other. Staff members work well in a collaborative culture to provide high-quality experiences for children. They make good use of the spacious indoor and outdoor environments. The centre is well resourced and teachers make good use of these resources to stimulate children’s thinking and learning. The rooms are vibrant, interesting areas. There is visual evidence of children’s cultural and ethnic backgrounds in and around the rooms.

Learning programme. Children choose from a wide variety of activities that build on their interests and skills. There is a strong focus on self-selected learning. Children are divided into groups by developmental stages or interests for mat time in an effort to provide for individual needs. They regularly use natural materials and play outside in areas where there are different surfaces and a range of resources. From time to time, events and visitors are organised for children to experience the wider community. Teachers carefully manage the moments of change for children, such as when they arrive at the beginning of the day and when they move from room to room.

Focus on identity. Teachers purposefully include interactions and activities in the programme that will foster in children a sense of their Southland identity and values. There is good evidence of the inclusion of a bicultural dimension in programmes and the centre environment in the way children learn and the way teachers provide for their learning.

Systems. A number of useful systems have been implemented to support the smooth running of the centre. These include:

  • teaching guidelines to support high-quality teaching practice
  • strategic and annual plans that give clear direction to help teachers meet centre expectations
  • a framework to guide robust self review
  • an appraisal process designed to improve teaching practice and strengthen positive outcomes for children.

Planning and assessment. Children’s profiles effectively provide parents with their child’s record of learning. Teachers are increasingly focusing on individual children’s learning and interests. There are some good examples of teachers looking at the deeper learning and showing how they are increasing the complexity of children’s learning. There is evidence in some profiles of parents’ contributions to their child’s learning.

Governance, management and leadership. The centre is effectively managed by experienced, able leaders. The merger from two licences to one was well handled with positive impacts on the way the centre operates. Staff members feel well supported in their work. Their roles are clear and those who aspire to leadership are encouraged through professional development and responsibility to develop the necessary skills and knowledge.

Areas for development and review

Building consistency. The quality of records of children’s learning is variable. A system to help develop consistency in the practice of all teachers should be developed.

Appraisal. A framework to guide effective appraisal of teachers has been developed during 2012. This new process is designed to improve the ways teachers provide for the care and education of children. It has only recently been implemented. Priority needs to be given to ensuring all teachers work through the process in line with legal requirements.

2. Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of S I T Early Childhood 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.

3. Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

19 February 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education and Care Service - All Day

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

74 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys: 63

Girls: 40

Ethnic composition







Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Exceeds minimum requirements


Over 2


Exceeds minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2012

Date of this report

19 February 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2009

August 2006

November 2003

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

  • 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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.


Individual ERO school and early childhood service reports are public information and may be copied or sent electronically. However, the Education Review Office can guarantee only the authenticity of original documents which have been obtained in hard copy directly from either the local ERO office or ERO National Office in Wellington.