Fernside Preschool Limited - 24/10/2014

1 Evaluation of Fernside Preschool Limited

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


Fernside Preschool Limited is a rural, family-owned full-day service that provides education and care for children from birth to five years, in three separate rooms. The nursery children have their own outdoor area. The toddlers and preschool children are in separate rooms but share the same outdoor environment. Most children and their families come from the surrounding districts.

The centre philosophy focuses on positive relationships that help to develop confident, competent learners in an inclusive environment.

The majority of staff are registered early childhood teachers. The owners and head teachers form the centre’s management team.

The management team has made good use of the July 2011 ERO report to further develop its long term plans, self review, assessment and appraisal processes to improve learning outcomes for children.

The Review Findings

ERO observed children playing happily in the well-resourced learning environment. Children had good opportunities to increase their language skills and use mathematics throughout the day. They confidently interacted with each other and with adults. Infants and toddlers were happy, settled and well supported by the teacher who knew them best.

Teachers provide stimulating and challenging resources that successfully engage children in play. They effectively encourage children to be curious about the world around them. Older children use the internet and books to find answers to things they wonder about. They are able to share their ideas and help to plan what they will learn about next. The next step is for teachers to consider how best to meet the interests and needs of the large number of children in the preschool during mat time.

Teachers are respectful of children’s cultural backgrounds. Many of the resources reflect the country lifestyle of most children. Children have many opportunities to hear and use te reo Māori throughout the programme.

The head teachers model high-quality teaching. They use their considerable skills to support other teachers. The next step is to ensure that teachers are assessed against all the criteria for registered teachers over a period of time.

Teachers actively encourage parents and whānau to contribute to the programme. They are proactive about sharing information with parents and seeking parents’ ideas and feedback. Parents are beginning to add comments to their children’s learning stories which are on the centre’s website.

The management team is working to update the long-term plans and goals. However, managers need to more clearly identify how these will be managed and met. The shared leadership and management structure is helping to develop staff capability and build the sustainability of the centre.

Key Next Steps

The centre management team and ERO agree that in order to continue to provide high-quality education and care, the:

  • teachers should review the quality of the mat times in meeting the needs of all children
  • owner/licensees should provide sufficient time for head teachers to carry out their multi-faceted roles as well as continue to extend their professional learning
  • management team needs to more clearly show how the centre’s long-term goals will be achieved each year.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

24 October 2014

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


Rangiora, North Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

60 children, including up to 10 aged under two

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 51%

Boys 49%

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā



Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements


Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2014

Date of this report

24 October 2014

Most recent ERO report

Education Review

July 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.