Cust Preschool - 21/11/2017

1 Evaluation of Cust Preschool

How well placed is Cust Preschool to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Cust Preschool is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Cust preschool is a new owner-operated centre licensed for 40 children. The centre provides full day sessions for a maximum of 25 children over two years. The purpose-built centre is well designed to take advantage of natural light and indoor-outdoor flow. The atmosphere is calm, welcoming and part of the small rural community.

Most of the staff are qualified teachers.

The centre's vision and philosophy are clearly evident and embedded in the centre's documentation, processes and practices.

The Review Findings

This centre's curriculum is effectively designed and enacted to promote positive learning outcomes for all children. A strong alignment is evident between the curriculum and the centre's vision and values, and between the emergent and planned curriculum.

Teachers clearly understand children as unique learners in the context of whānau and the wider community. They encourage children to be confident and competent learners with a strong sense of self. Teachers foster these attributes by:

  • encouraging curiosity and providing multiple opportunities for exploration, particularly of the natural world
  • making thoughtful use of teachable moments to engage children.

Teachers use assessment practices intelligently to enhance children's sense of themselves as successful learners. They do this by:

  • offering opportunities for challenge
  • praising children's learning and achievement
  • identifying what children are proud of in terms of their learning and next steps.

Leaders and teachers use strategies and resources that effectively support children to become knowledgeable about, and confident in, Aotearoa's dual cultural heritage. This is evident in the way that teachers value, respect, and encourage Māori language, culture and identity. The unique place of Māori culture and history is meaningfully acknowledged.

Leaders promote a shared understanding of the centre's philosophy, vision and goals. There is effective collaboration across the centre. Staff are valued and their well-being cared for. They are regularly involved in decision making. 'Heart' meetings provide a forum for staff to share thoughts and ideas about children.

The centre has a well-documented and comprehensive transition-to-school process. There is a clear system for sharing information with the school and parents around transition. Children's ideas and feedback after school visits are captured and used to inform teacher and parent decisions that support a smooth transition to school.

Key Next Steps

Leaders and teachers have identified that feedback and information from parents should be purposely gathered, analysed and used for decision making.

The centre's planning process could be refined so that long term strategic goals are broken into specific smaller and actionable goals as part of the centre's annual plan. This will make it easier to identify a manageable focus for internal evaluation purposes.

The appraisal system needs to be strengthened to ensure that teachers are appraised in relation to all of the Education Council criteria every 12 months. Feedback to teachers in relation to the Education Council criteria for registration needs to be clearly evident in teacher's appraisal portfolios.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Cust Preschool 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 Cust Preschool will be in three years.

Jane Lee

Deputy Chief Review Officer (Acting)

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

21 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

40 children over 2 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 27: Girls 26

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2017

Date of this report

21 November 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports

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.