Shine Montessori Educare Avalon - 28/02/2018

1 Evaluation of Shine Montessori Educare Avalon

How well placed is Shine Montessori Educare Avalon 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.


Shine Montessori Educare Avalon, is one of two services administered by the trustees of Shine Montessori Educare Charitable Trust. It operates from community church premises in Lower Hutt. A trust business manager and principal provide administration, financial and professional support and leadership for centre staff. Daily management is the responsibility of the team leader.

The curriculum is based on Montessori philosophy and Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.The centre is licensed for 21 children, including 10 children up to the age of two.

Since the February 2015 ERO report there have been improvements to the outdoor area and a number of new staff have joined the teaching team.

The Review Findings

Interactions with children and their families are warm, respectful and caring. Teachers are responsive to children’s interests and take opportunities to extend their learning. Children demonstrate confidence and a sense of belonging in the centre.

The centre provides a combination of structured programmes and free play learning, tailored to individual children, to enact their philosophy. A recent review of the philosophy clarified teachers' beliefs and ensures it better reflects centre priorities. There is a more deliberate approach to gathering and responding to parents' aspirations for their children.

A considered approach to incorporate te ao Māori into the programme and teachers' practice is evident. Teachers and leaders continue to look for ways to strengthen practice. The centre is planning to further involve whānau Maori to enhance teacher knowledge, and to enrich centre practices and children's learning experiences.

The thoughtfully organised environment enables children to access spaces and resources easily and encourages their learning and independence. Improvements to use of the outdoor area promotes challenge, curiosity and supports children to make choices about their learning.

Individualised and group assessment, planning and evaluation guides the programme. These processes assist teachers to know children well and respond appropriately to their identified needs. Making closer connections between children's learning goals and different aspects of the programme is a next step.

Staff are inclusive and supportive of children up to the age of two. Considered use of staffing promotes their wellbeing and builds trusting relationships with caregivers. A calm, settled environment enables them to build confidence and a sense of belonging as they interact with adults, peers and older children. Good communication among staff and families fosters the development needs of these young children. Continuing to develop shared understanding of effective early education provision for infants and toddlers to maximise and enrich their learning is a next step.

Transitions within centre and on to school are well considered. Participation in a local cluster and a recent review of practices have enriched practices to support children and their families. Positive outcomes through effective transition are evident.

Staff know their families well and have deliberate strategies to build partnerships. An online platform for sharing of information about children’s ongoing needs and teacher responses is well used by staff and valued by families. Learning successes and progress are regularly shared with parents.

Understanding and use of internal evaluation continues to be strengthened. Regular, collaborative review helps staff to evaluate practices and aspects of the programme and make improvements for children and their families.

A useful appraisal process is in place to support teacher development and meet accountabilities. Fully implementing this is a next step. It is timely for leaders to clarify their roles and responsibilities to assist in the operation of the centre.

Key Next Steps

Good progress is being made to promote ongoing improvement. Next steps include:

  • continuing to develop a clear, shared understanding of effective early education provision for infants and toddlers

  • refining leadership and management roles for greater clarity and efficiency

  • robust implementation of all aspects of the appraisal process

  • further deepening understanding of internal evaluation, including alignment between all parts of the process.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Shine Montessori Educare Avalon 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.

In order to improve practice the service provider must ensure that:

  • evacuation procedures are consistent with the Fire Evacuation Scheme for the building
  • information is provided to parents about audited accounts which outline the expenditure of Ministry of Education funding received by the service.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Shine Montessori Educare Avalon will be in three years.

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

28 February 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


Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

21 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 14, Boys 6

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


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

December 2017

Date of this report

28 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2015

Supplementary Review

August 2013

Education Review

August 2012

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.