Little Farm Pre- School and Nursery - 24/03/2017

1 Evaluation of Little Farm Pre-School and Nursery

How well placed is Little Farm Pre-School and Nursery 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.


Little Farm Pre-School and Nursery is an all-day education and care service that opened at the beginning of 2015. The centre is located in a semi-rural area of Paraparaumu and caters for children from birth to school age. At the time of this review, 134 children were enrolled, including 20 who identify as Māori.

Little Farm Pre-School and Nursery operates under the umbrella of Little Voices Limited. Two visiting teachers, employed by the company, work with the centre manager to oversee the development and implementation of operational policies and procedures. They have focused on developing the learning environment, enhancing relationships and building the teaching team.

This is the first ERO review for Little Farm Pre-School and Nursery.

The Review Findings

Positive, caring and supportive relationships among children, teachers and parents are evident. Teachers use a range of effective strategies to engage children in purposeful and sustained play. They actively involve themselves in children's learning, through developing meaningful and focused conversations that promote children's thinking, problem solving and exploration.

Ongoing development of the learning environment has strengthened the curriculum. This is responsive to children’s interests and strengths, parental aspirations and encourages sustained group or individual play. Literacy and numeracy are naturally integrated into the programme. Children are encouraged to become capable, active learners.

Portfolios are used well to provide a range of information for parents about children’s interests and participation in centre activities. Many parents contribute to these records of learning. Teachers assist parents to better understand the centre curriculum and encourage them to provide information to support their child's learning programme. 

The visiting teachers and centre manager effectively guide the development of a shared vision, build a collaborative staff working environment, and are committed to the development of high quality teaching practices. A well-structured appraisal system supports teacher growth. Teachers inquire into aspects of their practice and share their findings with other staff. There is recognition of the need to strengthen te reo me ngā tikanga Māori in the curriculum and to develop understanding of te ao Māori in the centre.

The team leader working with infants and toddlers effectively leads the development of an appropriate programme and environment for these youngest learners. Routines are flexible. Children benefit from sensitive and responsive interactions with teachers. Transition into the older children’s area and between rooms is well managed when appropriate for each child.

Daily operations, self-review and professional development are well aligned with the centre's strategic direction. Internal evaluation is well supported by a sound framework to guide practice. There is a clear focus on improvement. Ongoing refinement should include strengthening processes that analyse evidence to inform decision making about next development steps.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre leaders agree that key areas for development include investigating, as part of a review of assessment, planning and evaluation:

  • the balance between individual and group planning and evaluations, to better respond to the strengths, interests and learning dispositions of individual children

  • how profile books show children's progress in learning over time.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Little Farm Pre-School and Nursery 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 Little Farm Pre-School and Nursery will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

24 March 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

100 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 53%, Girls 47%

Ethnic composition





Other ethnic groups






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

January 2017

Date of this report

24 March 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


First ERO report for this service.


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.