The Ark - Kaiapoi Community Childcare - 19/06/2013

Evaluation of The Ark - Kaiapoi Community Childcare Kaiapoi

How well placed is The Ark - Kaiapoi Community Childcare Kaiapoi 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.


The Ark, Kaiapoi Community Childcare is a Christian, community-based early childhood education and care service. It is a sister centre to The Rainbow Preschool and Nursery. They are governed and managed by the Person-to-Person Help Trust in association with the Kaiapoi Baptist Church.

The special Christian character and philosophy of the centre is highly evident in teaching and leadership practices and guiding documentation.

In 2012, a new trust manager was appointed by the trust to oversee the governance and management of the centre. He is currently reviewing and improving some key aspects of centre operations. The trust manager is well supported by an experienced supervisor and long-serving teaching team.

Children benefit from a low child-to-teacher ratio. All teachers are fully qualified and experienced in early childhood education.

The centre has established strong links with the community that provide additional support to children and families.

The Review Findings

Children, parents and families are warmly welcomed by friendly and caring teachers. Teachers provide an inclusive, supportive, and Christian learning environment.

The supervisor and teachers actively foster positive and respectful relationships with children and families. These relationships promote a strong sense of wellbeing for children and belonging for families. Parents and teachers share information to support children’s wellbeing and learning between home and the centre. Teachers communicate well and model care and respect for one another and for children and families.

Children are very responsive to creative and imaginative learning experiences provided by the teachers. They are well engaged and enthusiastic about music, waiata, storytelling and dramatic play. These activities are a feature of the programme.

Teachers work closely with children. They encourage children to take on leadership roles and frequently provide opportunities for child-led activities. They involve children in learning conversations that build on their spoken language, literacy and social skills. Children and teachers enjoy each other’s company and have fun together.

Children are well involved in spacious and well-equipped learning areas that reflect the bicultural heritage of New Zealand. They actively explore the outside environment, testing their physical skills, making their own discoveries and learning about the natural world.

Teachers integrate te reo and tikanga Māori into the learning programme in ways that are meaningful for children and respectful of the Māori culture. Teachers are making good use of self review and the support of their Māori community to further develop knowledge and practices.

Children with special education needs are well supported by caring teachers and predictable routines. Teachers work closely with special education services and advocate strongly for families to provide positive outcomes for children.

Infants and toddlers are well supported by primary caregivers that reinforce their sense of security and trust. Teachers carefully consider and respond to the individual routines, interests and needs of young children. Teachers are very nurturing and work with children in unhurried and respectful ways.

Parents are well informed about their children’s interests and participation in the learning programme through informative and attractive profile books, informal conversations, regular newsletters, and parent education and social events.

The trust manager, supervisor, senior teachers and teachers have a strong shared philosophy and commitment to providing positive outcomes for children and families. The trust manager, supervisor and senior teachers value the individual skills of the teachers. They provide good opportunities for professional development and leadership aspirations.

Key Next Steps

ERO and the trust manager, supervisor and senior teachers agree that the key next steps are to further develop programme planning and evaluation documentation. This includes:

  • more clearly showing the strategies teachers may use to add value to children’s learning

  • an evaluation of the impact of teaching strategies on learning outcomes for children.

The trust manager, supervisor and senior teachers have identified, and ERO agrees, that some management systems are at an early stage of being redeveloped to support the ongoing improvement and sustainability of the service. The next steps are to:

  • plan for future development which includes direct links to the centre philosophy and regular in-depth planned and evaluated self review

  • continue to strengthen the new appraisal process.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of The Ark - Kaiapoi Community Childcare Kaiapoi 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 The Ark - Kaiapoi Community Childcare Kaiapoi will be in three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

19 June 2013

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


Kaiapoi, North Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

46 children, including up to 12 aged under two

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 45; Girls 33

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā


Other 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

May 2013

Date of this report

19 June 2013

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

April 2010


Education Review

October 2006


Education Review

January 2004

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.