Dudley Creek Preschool Ltd - 27/03/2018

1 Evaluation of Dudley Creek Preschool Ltd

How well placed is Dudley Creek Preschool Ltd to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Dudley Creek Preschool Ltd is very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Dudley Creek Preschool Ltd is a small, privately-owned early childhood education centre. It is licensed to provide full-day education and care for up to 25 children, from two years to school age. The centre serves families from a diverse range of cultures.

The owner, a qualified early childhood teacher, manages the preschool. She works collaboratively with the head teacher in the day-to-day operation of the centre. All of the teachers are qualified and certified early childhood teachers.

Since the 2015 ERO review, leaders and teachers have addressed the key next steps in the report. This includes strengthening internal evaluation by including children’s ideas and Māori perspectives, and exploring ways children and parents can contribute more to assessment and planning. They have made very good progress with documenting clear links between individual and group planning. Centre leaders discussed with ERO that these links could be further extended to ensure the purpose of group planning is more focused on learning as well as other centre priorities.

The Review Findings

The philosophy provides a clear vision for the centre. It emphasises the teachers' aspirations to provide a welcoming, stimulating, nurturing and safe learning environment through high quality teaching and learning.

Children experience calm, unhurried routines and interactions with their teachers. Their learning is based on respectful relationships with each other and their teachers.

Children are purposefully engaged in their learning for long periods of time. They have many opportunities to work co-operatively together to achieve their chosen tasks. Children enjoy playing alone or alongside others in the attractively presented, very well-resourced indoor and outdoor environments.

Teachers use a wide range of relevant, intentional teaching approaches to support children's learning, development and wellbeing. They effectively integrate literacy and mathematics learning into the programme. Teachers sensitively read young children's non-verbal cues. They listen carefully to children and respond deliberately to extend language learning and ideas in meaningful ways.

Leaders and teachers have a very strong, shared commitment to providing many opportunities for children to learn te reo and tikanga Māori. They genuinely value and celebrate children's home cultures and languages and naturally include aspects within the learning programme.

Transitions into and from the centre are flexible, well managed and sensitively meet the needs of children and families. Leaders and teachers caringly support children to settle and transition into their day by involving them in areas of interest.

Teachers deliberately include self-help, independence and social skills into the learning programme to foster children's readiness for school. They plan many opportunities for children to build their confidence and support a smooth transition to school.

Parents are kept very well informed about their child's learning and development. Internal evaluation is focused on strengthening culturally responsive relationship-building with families, to emphasise the importance of the partnership with them. Teachers value parents' views and seek their contributions to continually improve outcomes for children's learning and centre practices.

Leaders and teachers write comprehensive learning stories to assess children's learning and development. They systematically plan for individuals and groups and intentionally include well considered teaching approaches in their planning. Teachers carefully evaluate children's learning and reflect on their teaching as part of their regular staff meetings.

The centre's philosophy, learning and teaching processes, internal evaluation practices and teacher appraisal systems are aligned to the recently reviewed strategic plan. Leaders effectively target professional learning and development so that it supports the achievement of significant centre priorities. The appraisal of teachers’ practices is consistent and well documented. Leaders support teachers to build areas of strength and interest to benefit children's learning.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders and teachers have identified, and ERO agrees, that the key next steps to promote positive outcomes for children and sustain high quality practice are to further:

  • deepen teachers' understanding of cultural competencies and use of te reo and tikanga Māori to foster children's understanding and involvement in bicultural practices
  • refine the strategic plan to clearly identify timeframes for action and regularly report progress and completion. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Dudley Creek Preschool Ltd 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 Dudley Creek Preschool Ltd will be in four years.

Dr Lesley Patterson
Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

27 March 2018 

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

25 children two years and over

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 18: Boys 17

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

January 2018

Date of this report

27 March 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2015

Education Review

December 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.