Little Footprints - 27/03/2014

1 Evaluation of Little Footprints

How well placed is Little Footprints to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Little Footprints is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Little Footprints is based in a purpose-built facility. It used to operate under two licences but since the June 2011 ERO review it has become one centre. There has been a change in the age of children attending. The service now only takes children over the age of two years. The centre is organised into three rooms, one for two-year-old children, one for three year olds and one for four-to-five year olds. Each room has easy access to attractive outdoor areas. A manager who has early childhood education qualifications oversees the daily operation of the centre. Most staff are qualified early childhood teachers.

The Review Findings

There is a strong focus on promoting respectful relationships between teachers and among children. Teachers support children to play successfully together. Teachers are positive, sensitive and responsive in the way they interact with children. They take time to listen to children, involve them in decision making and provide them with a wide range of choices.

Teachers know children’s interests and characteristics well. This has been an increased focus since the last ERO review. Teachers make good use of this information to provide varied and interesting activities for children to be involved in. They regularly add resources to help children develop their interests further. Children have the time to follow their own interests. ERO observed calm environments where children were well involved in their play.

Other key aspects of the programme include the ways teachers effectively:

  • support children’s physical development
  • promote children’s health and wellbeing
  • provide opportunities for children to develop self-help skills.

Some aspects of te reo and tikanga Māori are well included as part of the daily programme. This includes karakia, waiata, and te reo Māori in learning stories. The manager and some teachers show a good knowledge and awareness of Māori concepts, such as manaakitanga, that support the increasing inclusion of bicultural perspectives in the programme.

Parents are kept well informed about their child’s day at the centre and the inclusion of their child’s interests in the programme. They have good opportunities to be involved in self review.

Teachers work collaboratively and support each other well within the programme. The manager is focused on developing leadership and staff capability. The manager and teachers have developed good networks with other early childhood education providers, community services and the wider education community, including the local school community.

Self-review practices have improved since the last review. Teachers now follow a useful and in-depth process that is helping them reflect on aspects of their practice. Self review is supporting teachers’ professional development and collaborative practice. It is also contributing to developing centre-wide consistency. Better self-review practices have resulted in the development of a well articulated philosophy statement that highlights the shared beliefs of staff and parents.

Key Next Steps

The manager and teachers have developed high expectations for learning and teaching. To achieve this goal they will now need to make better use of evaluation to determine the effectiveness of the programme and teaching practices. This includes:

  • closer monitoring of the impact of self-review changes, and focusing more on evaluating learning outcomes for children
  • ensuring planning and assessment practices have a greater focus on learning outcomes for children and promote effective teaching strategies
  • reviewing the purpose and effectiveness of mat times.

Some staff have good knowledge about how Māori perspectives are incorporated in the programme. The manager has identified, and ERO agrees, that further sharing of this knowledge is likely to increase the ability of all teachers to recognise and more effectively integrate bicultural practices in the programme.

In addition, the centre owners need to ensure the appraisal process for the manager is re-established.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Little Footprints 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 Footprints will be in three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

27 March 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


Tahunanui, Nelson

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

76 children, including up to 16 aged under two

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 46 Girls 29

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


Meets minimum requirements


Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2014

Date of this report

27 March 2014

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

June 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.