Creative Corner Early Learning Centre - 07/08/2019

1 Evaluation of Creative Corner Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Creative Corner Early Learning Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Creative Corner Early Learning Centre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Creative Corner Early Learning Centre is a community-based, all-day centre next to Timaru Girls' High School. The centre is licenced for 50 children, including 15 children under two years of age. It is governed by a parent board and a centre manager provides day-to-day leadership. Children are grouped in two rooms according to age. Each room is led by a head teacher.

The focus of the philosophy is 'for teaching and learning programmes to achieve competent, confident, creative children within an inclusive community'. The recently established values are nurture, resilience, respect and play.

Since the 2014 ERO review, there have been significant changes to the board, leadership and teaching staff, including a new centre manager.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from the positive and caring relationships their teachers have with them. Teachers know the children and their families well. They set the environment and resources purposefully to promote greater engagement in meaningful play.

Leaders and teachers, with input from their parent community have effectively identified the 'learning that matters most' at Creative Corner Early Learning Centre. The curriculum has a strong focus on promoting children's well-being. It places value on children's unique language, culture and identity. Teachers are building their collective understanding of the curriculum and centre values.

Children's continuity of learning is well supported by teachers' useful assessment and planning practices. Planning provides direction for teaching and authentic learning opportunities for both groups and individual children. Teachers are at the beginning stages of making the centre's learning priorities, as identified in their localised curriculum, more visible in their planning.

The teachers of infants and toddlers have sensitive and responsive interactions with the children in their care. Stability of care contributes to the secure relationships that infants and toddlers have with their teachers. Resources that support social and physical development are easily available to children.

Māori children have opportunities in their day-to-day activities to see, hear, and use te reo Māori and learn aspects of Māori culture. In line with the centre's strategic aims, leaders and teachers have undertaken comprehensive professional learning in this area to build their knowledge and confidence.

The new manager is systematically building the collective capacity of teachers in the centre. This includes using effective internal evaluation for improvement and teachers' involvement in relevant professional learning and development. This has led to:

  • a greater focus on professionalism within the team and interactions with parents and families
  • increased organisational practices for assessment
  • improved processes for planning and evaluating children's learning.

Centre-wide developments are well supported by clear and useful strategic and annual planning.

Key Next Steps

A key next step for leaders and teachers is to consolidate and embed the newly developed systems and processes.

Leaders and teachers need to improve reporting to the board, and where appropriate, the centre's community. Reports to the board should show over time how all children are achieving and making progress in relation to:

  • the redesigned values
  • the centre's learning priorities, and
  • aspects of the revised philosophy.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Creative Corner 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

7 August 2019

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 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 39, Girls 38

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnicities


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2019

Date of this report

7 August 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

May 2014

Education Review

June 2010

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.