CAS Early Learning Centre

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

12 Renfrew Street, Waikiwi, Invercargill

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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 (PDF 3.01MB) are the basis for making judgements about the effectiveness of the service in achieving equity and excellence for all learners. The Akarangi Quality Evaluation Judgement Rubric (PDF 91.30KB) derived from the indicators, is used to inform the ERO’s judgements about this service’s performance in promoting equity and excellence.

ERO’s judgements for CAS Early Learning Centre are as follows:

Outcome Indicators

ERO’s judgement

What the service knows about outcomes for learners

Whakaū Embedding

Ngā Akatoro Domains

ERO’s judgement

He Whāriki Motuhake

The learner and their learning

Whakaū Embedding

Whakangungu Ngaio

Collaborative professional learning builds knowledge and capability

Whakaū Embedding

Ngā Aronga Whai Hua

Evaluation for improvement

Whāngai Establishing


Leaders foster collaboration and improvement

Whakaū Embedding

Te Whakaruruhau

Stewardship through effective governance and management

Whakaū Embedding

2 Context of the Service

CAS Early Learning Centre is a small, privately owned service that provides education and care for children aged from two years to school age. A co-owner manages day-to-day operations and is supported by a head teacher who is the curriculum leader. All those who work with children are qualified early childhood teachers.

3 Summary of findings

Children’s learning and wellbeing are well supported by caring, respectful, learning-focussed relationships between parents and teachers. Parents and teachers collaboratively set learning goals and reflect on children’s progress against these. The learning outcomes from Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum guide teaching and learning.

Children experience a broad and responsive curriculum. This includes a richly resourced and carefully presented environment that values te ao Māori. Core Māori concepts, such tuakana-teina relationships, whakawhanaungatanga and whakaute (respect) are very evident. A greater use of te reo Māori in the daily interactions with children is required to enrich the bicultural curriculum. Teachers deliberately foster children’s social competence, dispositions for learning, early literacy, physical exploration, creative and imaginative play. As a result, children are well supported to be confident, competent and show high levels of engagement.

A useful process of assessment and planning informs teaching and learning and empowers parents as teachers in the home. In learning stories, teachers describe in detail strategies that are most effective in supporting learning. Wall displays, and other information make visible for parents what learning matters most at CAS and how to support this. In learning records, it is difficult to see some children’s unique cultures and languages.

While self-review has resulted in teachers reflecting on their practice and enhancing children’s learning, internal evaluation is not yet well understood.

Collaborative leadership has resulted in sustained good practices and positive outcomes for children. The service’s philosophy, values and learning priorities are at the centre of practices. Efficient systems and clear guidelines clarify expectations and enable staff to focus on children. Leaders and teachers seek out and share their professional learning, ensuring they are up to date with best practice.

4 Improvement actions

CAS Early Learning Centre will include the following actions in its Quality Improvement Planning. These are to:

  • further build teachers’ confidence in speaking te reo Māori.
  • make children’s cultures, identities, and languages more visible in children’s assessment, planning and evaluation
  • strengthen leaders’ and teachers’ understanding and use of internal evaluation by further refining evaluative questions and focusing on the impacts on outcomes for learners.

5 Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of CAS Early Learning 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.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)

Southern Region | Te Tai Tini

23 December 2021 

6 About the Early Childhood Service

Early Childhood Service Name

CAS Early Learning Centre

Profile Number




Service type

Education and care service

Number licensed for

24 children, 2 years and over

Percentage of qualified teachers


Service roll


Ethnic composition

Māori 5, NZ European/Pākehā 15, Other ethnicities 1.

Review team on site

October 2021

Date of this report

23 December 2021

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, November 2017; Education Review, February 2014.

1 Evaluation of CAS Early Learning Centre

How well placed is CAS Early Learning Centre 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.


CAS Early Learning Centre is a privately owned centre and is licensed for 24 children. Most of the teachers are certified early childhood teachers. The licensee is a teacher and the centre manager. A new head teacher has recently been appointed.

Children aged two-to-five years attend the centre.

The building is a converted house with an open and purposeful flow between the different rooms. Each room creates a distinct space where children can find quiet areas and be undisturbed in their play. The centre is a welcoming place for children and their whānau. There is a large well-resourced outside area.

The centre has made good progress towards addressing the recommendations made in the 2014 ERO report.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from a well-resourced environment that provides for their physical and emotional wellbeing. This has led to children taking more responsibility for their own learning, and for the well-being of themselves and others.

The newly developed philosophy is increasingly evident in planning, teaching and learning programmes. Teachers intentionally recognise, plan for, and respond to all children's needs, abilities and interests. They help children to think independently, problem solve and extend their interests.

Teachers form respectful and responsive relationships to support children's learning and wellbeing. Teachers take time to genuinely listen to children and follow their interests. They actively seek and value the aspirations of parents to further support their child's learning and sense of belonging.

The centre's priorities and expectations for learning are strongly aligned to Te Whāriki and the New Zealand Curriculum. Teachers' planning makes purposeful links to ensure children have varied opportunities to learn within a broad and flexible curriculum. Children experience meaningful and interesting learning contexts for literacy and numeracy. Teachers build children's knowledge and skills through purposeful conversations. As a result, children benefit from learning experiences that support their ongoing development.

The centre manager and leader have been effective in leading change. Leadership is improvement focussed. This has led to teachers being well supported in improving their assessment practices. Teachers told ERO that the change management process is leading to a more collaborative and consistent approach in planning and implementation of the centre's philosophy.

The strategic plan is a good model for planning long and short-term goals. The next step is to use this model to clearly identify the centre's priorities and to develop indicators to evaluate ongoing progress towards achieving these goals.

Teachers are developing a useful process for internal evaluation. Leaders are building a culture of self-reflection. There is an increased focus on positive outcomes resulting from these reviews, and on children achieving their goals and identifying their next learning steps.

Leaders have identified the need to build their bi-cultural practice and increase the use of te reo and tikanga Māori in their planning, assessment and the daily programme.

Key Next Steps

The key next steps for the service manager and the head teacher are to:

  • use the strategic planning framework to better identify centre priorities
  • use the internal evaluation model to measure the effectiveness of teaching and learning
  • unpack the philosophy to develop a shared understanding of expectations for teaching and the desired outcomes for children
  • align the philosophy and the strategic plan with teaching strategies.

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.

ERO identified an area of non-compliance.

Leaders must develop a robust and compliant appraisal process.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of CAS Early Learning Centre will be in three years.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

15 November 2017

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

24 children, including up to 5 children aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls: 15

Boys: 16

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1: N/A

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2017

Date of this report

15 November 2017

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

February 2014

Education Review

February 2011

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.