Kids To Five Preschool - 24/05/2016

1 Evaluation of Kids to Five Preschool

How well placed is Kids to Five Preschool 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.


Kids to Five Preschool, located in central Hamilton, provides education and care for children from birth to school age. The centre is owned by BestStart Educare Limited. The Preschool is licenced for 43 children, including 16 under the age of two years. The centre's roll of 53 includes five children of Māori descent. It operates two age-based rooms for children up to and over two years of age. At the time of this ERO review centre leaders were consulting with teachers and whānau to develop a shared philosophy to guide centre operations.

Since the previous ERO review in 2014 the centre manager has returned from parental leave and there have been some changes to the teaching team. Teachers have undertaken extensive professional learning including involvement in a Ministry of Education (MOE) funded initiative focused on supporting children's literacy development through a bicultural lens. The centre has responded very positively to the areas for development identified in the previous 2014 ERO report by:

  • completing a major redevelopment of the outdoor play spaces

  • implementing significant and ongoing reviews of the centre's resources that has resulted in children having greater access to a wide variety of appropriate learning equipment and materials

  • implementing a centre-wide focus on strengthening assessment and planning processes.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from participating in a programme that is responsive to their interests and the aspirations of whānau. Opportunities to participate in sustained play are supported by the effective implementation of flexible morning and afternoon teas and group times. Particular features of the programme experienced by children include:

  • the natural integration of literacy and mathematics through play

  • many opportunities for social interaction including strong tuakana-teina relationships that are fostered by opportunities for younger children from the under-two area being able to learn and play with their older siblings and friends in the over-two room

  • frequent visits within the local and wider community.

Children's physical activity and health are promoted by weekly trips to a neighbouring gymnasium to participate in a gymnastics programme. The recently developed outdoor play spaces provide many opportunities for children to experience safe physical challenge. Children are also involved in growing vegetables that are used in meals provided by the centre.

Individual learning portfolios, which are also accessible in an electronic on-line format, provide opportunities for whānau to celebrate their children's learning and participation in the programme. Teachers appreciate whānau contributions to these portfolios and use this important information to extend on children's home learning and experiences, at the centre.

Māori children's language, culture and identity are recognised and celebrated by the regular use of karakia, waiata, sharing of local legends and the increasing use of te reo Māori by teachers as part of their daily conversations with children. Teachers are currently participating in an extensive MOE funded professional development initiative to support them to strengthen the place of te ao Māori in the centre.

Children enjoy positive, caring and responsive relationships with their teachers. Their learning is supported by teachers' active participation alongside them in meaningful play. Children up to the age of two years are well cared for and learn in a calm, settled and loving environment. They benefit from care routines that reflect their home routines and environment.

Teachers work well together in the best interests of children. They have a reflective approach to their roles and responsibilities, and benefit from participating in extensive professional learning and development programmes.

The knowledgeable and respected centre manager and assistant manager provide good-quality leadership for teachers, children and whānau. They implement a shared approach to centre leadership that provides opportunities for all teachers to share their knowledge and expertise for the benefit of all. Centre leaders implement effective self-review practices that support ongoing centre development and improvement.

BestStart Educare Ltd continues to provide effective governance, leadership and management support for the centre. This includes regular visits and support from experienced professional services and business managers who work closely alongside centre leaders and teachers. BestStart's commitment to equitable opportunities for all children is reflected in a flexible approach to children's enrolment hours and the payment of attendance fees by parents.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre leaders agree that the key next step for the centre is to further develop the quality of learning interactions between teachers and children. Consideration should be given to:

  • refining assessment and planning processes to support teachers to more effectively add complexity to children's learning

  • building on the centre's focus on shared leadership by strengthening the links and interactions across the teaching team

  • teachers to promote opportunities for children to extend their emerging interests.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kids to Five 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 Kids to Five Preschool will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

24 May 2016

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

43 children, including up to 16 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 27 Boys 26

Ethnic composition









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

March 2016

Date of this report

24 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

July 2014

Education Review

April 2011

Education Review

April 2008

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.