Te Whare Rama | Light House Early Learning Centre Balcairn Street

Education institution number:
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Not Applicable
Total roll:

6 Balcairn Street, Halswell, Christchurch

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Te Whare Rama | Light House Early Learning Centre Balcairn Street

1 ERO’s Judgements

Akarangi | Quality Evaluation evaluates the extent to which this early childhood service has the learning and organisational conditions to support equitable and excellent outcomes for all learners. Te Ara Poutama Indicators of quality for early childhood education: what matters most are the basis for making judgements about the effectiveness of the service in achieving equity and excellence for all learners. Judgements are made in relation to the Outcomes Indicators, Learning and Organisational Conditions. The Evaluation Judgement Rubric derived from the indicators, is used to inform ERO’s judgements about this service’s performance in promoting equity and excellence.

ERO’s judgements for Te Whare Rama Light House Early Learning Centre Balcairn Street are as follows:

Outcome Indicators

(What the service knows about outcomes for learners)

Whāngai Establishing

Ngā Akatoro Domains


Learning Conditions
Organisational Conditions

Whakaū Embedding

Whakaū Embedding

2 Context of the Service

Te Whare Rama Light House Early Learning Centre Balcairn Street, is one of four services under the ownership of the Building Blocks Community Trust. Day-to-day operations are overseen by a manager and deputy manager. Children attending the service are from a variety of ethnic backgrounds including a number of Chinese and some Māori children. Since the 2019 ERO review, leaders and teachers have developed clearer expectations for documenting children’s learning.

3 Summary of findings

Children’s learning and development is well supported through caring, learning-focused partnerships between teachers and parents. Infants and toddlers experience respectful, unhurried interactions with teachers who know them well. Collaboration between parents and teachers enable them to know children, their interests and home lives well and use this information to add complexity to their learning.

Leaders and teachers implement a responsive curriculum that enhances children’s sense of belonging. Multiple resources and curriculum experiences support all children and whānau to celebrate and experience their own and other’s languages, cultures and identities. Te reo Māori and tikanga Māori are valued and a fundamental part of teaching and learning.

 Local priorities for learning are yet to be developed in collaboration with whānau and community, to inform curriculum planning and design. The service has self-identified local curriculum as an area for improvement, and development towards this is underway. Currently documentation shows children’s interests and participation within a wide range of activities and experiences and general progress over time within the strands of Te Whariki, the early childhood curriculum. Better integration of the learning outcomes from Te Whāriki and showing children’s progress in relation to these is now required.

Self review is systematic and intentionally promotes improvement. However, leaders and teachers are at the early stages of developing the capability to effectively use internal evaluation as a means to know what is working or not and for whom and to take planned action for improvement.

Children’s growth and development is well supported through responsive engagement with external agencies and the community. Leaders connect with local groups and provide support to promote wellbeing and participation. In this way the organisation actively reduces barriers to children’s participation in the service.

4 Improvement actions

Te Whare Rama Light House Early Learning Centre Balcairn Street will include the following actions in its Quality Improvement Planning:

  • Evaluate learning and progress for individuals and groups of children, in relation to the Te Whāriki learning outcomes and the service’s priorities for learning.

  • Build the collective capability of leaders and teachers to do and use internal evaluation for improvement to promote positive outcomes for children.

5 Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Te Whare Rama Light House Early Learning Centre Balcairn Street completed an ERO 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; safety checking; teacher registration; ratios)

  • relevant evacuation procedures and practices.

All early childhood services are required to promote children's health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements.

Patricia Davey
Director of Early Childhood Education (ECE)

27 April 2023

6 About the Early Childhood Service

Early Childhood Service Name

Te Whare Rama Light House Early Learning Centre Balcairn Street

Profile Number



Halswell, Christchurch

Service type

Education and care service

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 14 aged under 2

Percentage of qualified teachers (delete if not applicable)


Service roll


Review team on site

January 2023

Date of this report

27 April 2023

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, September 2019; Education Review, June 2016

The Lighthouse Nursery And Preschool - 29/06/2016

1 Evaluation of The Lighthouse Nursery and Preschool

How well placed is The Lighthouse Nursery and Preschool to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

The centre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


The Lighthouse Nursery and Preschool is a Christian-based community centre that is governed by the Acorn Trust board of trustees. The board and staff continue to maintain very good relationships with, and are supportive of, the local community.

Children from birth to school age receive full-day care and education in two adjoining buildings. A key aim of the centre's philosophy is to empower children through the belief that they are special and have unique gifts and abilities.

Since the 2013 ERO review, centre leadership and staffing have remained stable. Centre leaders are responding meaningfully and effectively to the increasing cultural diversity in the community.

As part of a local educational cluster that is focused on improving outcomes for children, centre leaders are building further connections and relationships that benefit children. The centre has had a positive reporting history with ERO and has retained and further developed the strengths identified in the 2013 ERO report. Overall, the areas identified for improvement in that report have been responded to well.

The Review Findings

The centre provides children with very good quality care and learning. Leaders maintain a culture in which children are first and foremost valued, celebrated and affirmed for who they are and what they bring to their learning. Children benefit from relationships with leaders and staff that are nurturing, warm and respectful. The centre's philosophy is highly evident in these relationships and in programmes and practices.

Children demonstrate a sense of wellbeing, confidence and belonging in the attractive, well-resourced learning environment. They have ongoing opportunities to choose from a wide range of rich learning activities within and beyond the centre that stimulate their interest and curiosity. Children interact positively with each other and actively enjoy their learning experiences. Tuakana-teina relationships are evident across the centre.

Children with particular learning, social or emotional needs are well supported by centre leaders and teachers. External support is provided to meet children's needs when it is required.

Infants and toddlers are cared for in a separate space that allows them to explore and learn at their own pace. Responsive caregiving supports infants' and toddlers' need for secure attachments. Interactions with children are unhurried and at the child's pace. Teachers are responsive to infants' verbal and non-verbal cues and carefully monitor their developmental progress.

Centre leaders and staff have made significant progress with promoting te ao Māori in the centre environment, programmes and practices. The positive impact of teachers’ increasing knowledge of tikanga and Māori values is evident in the visibility and use of bicultural practices. Centre leaders have recently strengthened the centre's philosophy to better reflect current good practice in this area.

Assessment practices are very well developed and are a considerable centre strength. Learning stories provide a valuable record of children’s learning journeys and development over time. Learning is clearly identified, as are the strategies teachers will use to promote children's ongoing progress. Mathematics, literacy, science, art and music are well represented in centre programmes. An e-portfolio system is having a positive impact on the way parents can be involved in their children's learning programmes.

Transitions into, within and out of the centre are a significant strength. Very good systems and processes promote practices that highly support children's wellbeing during these times. An extra teacher is employed with specific responsibility to ensure that children and their families are fully supported during times of transition.

Governance and management practices are effectively supporting ongoing centre development. The centre manager and head teachers bring a considerable range of leadership skills and experience in early childhood education to their roles. Strategic and annual plans are carefully implemented to guide centre practices. The centre manager regularly reports to the board to keep trustees updated about centre operations and activities.

A culture of reflection and continuous improvement is contributing to an increasing use of research to support practice. Teachers have access to a range of professional learning opportunities within and beyond the centre to meet the needs of children and their families. Self-review processes provide very good opportunities for parents and staff to contribute their ideas and suggestions. Children are also included in these processes, where appropriate.

Key Next Steps

In order to further strengthen the sustainability of centre practices, ERO recommends that Centre leaders refine and embed the newly-developed appraisal system to ensure that observations of teaching practice are appropriately documented.

Self review would benefit from the development of clear guidelines and expectations for high quality practices that benefit all children. Leaders could also consider ways of building and extending evaluative thinking and capacity across all teachers.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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 Lighthouse Nursery and Preschool will be in three years.

Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

29 June 2016

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

50 children, including up to 14 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 55; Boys 31

Ethnic composition









Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%+

Based on funding rates

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2016

Date of this report

29 June 2016

Most recent ERO reports


Education Review

March 2013

Education Review

July 2009

Education Review

June 2006

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.