Southern Kids Early Learning Centre 2 - 10/06/2015

1 Evaluation of Southern Kids Early Learning Centre 2

How well placed is Southern Kids Early Learning Centre 2 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.


Southern Kids Early Learning Centre 2 provides education and care for infants and children up to school age. The purpose-built centre is licensed for 80 children. The teachers work with the different age groups in four classrooms. The centre philosophy guides the service and is centred around positive and respectful relationships, valuing family and ensuring the centre functions in a culturally inclusive manner.

There have been a number of recent changes at the centre. Two Southern Kids services have been combined into one licence. Evolve Education Group took over ownership in 2014. The change in ownership has caused little disruption as the manager has established useful and thorough systems to ensure continuity. Evolve’s professional service manager provides effective support for the centre manager and teachers.

The leaders and teachers have been very responsive to the recommendations of the centre’s first ERO report in March 2012. They have maintained and built on the centre’s areas of strength.

The Review Findings

Children and their families enjoy positive, supportive and respectful relationships with each other and the teachers and staff at the centre. The teachers enjoy their work and are committed and passionate about children’s learning. They know the children well and celebrate their strengths and achievements. The teachers gather useful information from parents to help them provide relevant learning experiences for the children. The teachers value the link they have with families and the wider community and have regular social gatherings to build these relationships.

Children’s interests drive the daily programme in each of the four rooms. The teachers understand how to use children’s interests to promote and extend their learning.

Other significant strengths of the service that promote positive outcomes for children include the way teachers:

  • acknowledge, value and support families’ culture and identity
  • take a planned approach to building children’s knowledge and confidence in te reo Māori
  • integrate mathematics and literacy into the learning programme
  • constantly review and develop their understanding of assessment and programme planning.

The teachers working with infants respond to the familiar routines and interests of the infants in their care. They maintain a calm and relaxed pace with infants and are sensitive to their cues. This creates an atmosphere where infants’ emotional wellbeing is well nurtured.

The centre is well managed. The manager, leaders and teachers constantly evaluate their practice and look for ways to make things work better for the children. They have put a very useful strategic plan in place which drives improvements at the centre. Self review and professional development align with the strategic plan. The newly-developed self-review format is effective in building teaching practice and improving outcomes for children.

The leaders foster a culture of cooperation and improvement among the teams. A new appraisal system encourages teachers to take on extra responsibilities and use their strengths for the benefit of the children. The centre has very thorough systems in place to ensure children’s health and safety.

The manager and leaders are aware of the next steps in the centre’s development. These include:

  • continuing to build good practice and achieve consistency in the quality of assessment, programme planning and evaluation of programme effectiveness
  • developing a schedule for review to ensure that all aspects impacting on children are reviewed over time.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Southern Kids Early Learning Centre 2 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 Southern Kids Early Learning Centre 2 will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

10 June 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

80 children, including up to 29 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 60

Girls 56

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 2015

Date of this report

10 June 2015

Most recent ERO report

Education Review

March 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.