Little Guppies ECLC PreSchool - 10/12/2015

1. Evaluation of Little Guppies ECLC PreSchool

How well placed is Little Guppies ECLC 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.


Little Guppies ECLC Preschool, in Greenmeadows, is one of three privately owned and operated centres, providing education and care. All three centres are closely connected and well supported by a director of operations.

Children transition into the preschool from Little Guppies Nursery. Two separate rooms support programmes based on children’s age and development. There is a choice of sessions from three hours to a full day. The team leader oversees both rooms and works closely with the director of operations and the staff.

Since the March 2012 ERO review, the centre has had considerable professional development with external support. This, and the high commitment from staff, has improved the provision of a quality programme for children.

Substantial work has been undertaken by the director and team leaders to align systems and processes. The centre philosophy was reviewed to focus on the provision of quality care, and education, in a safe, respectful and embracing environment. Strategic and annual planning is based on the philosophy.

This report is part of a cluster of three reviews in the Little Guppies centres.

The Review Findings

Children settle easily into the calm and well-structured environment. Most children come from the nearby nursery with a designated transition teacher who provides familiarity for children and parents during this process. A high ratio of teachers to children facilitates individual learning. Teachers know the children and families well and regularly discuss the child’s progress.

Children benefit from the warm, caring relationships with the teachers. Both rooms provide an environment where children and their families are welcome and encouraged to feel at home and become involved. Children get on well together and engage in activities alone or in small groups often independent of the teachers. Routines are flexible, inclusive and respectful.

Teachers provide a high-quality care and education programme that reflects the centre’s philosophy and is based on children’s emerging interests and events. Teachers’ professional discussions continue to improve the quality and consistency of assessment narratives. Attractively presented profiles clearly demonstrate children’s progress and development. Well-displayed and responsive planning stories make group learning visible to children and adults. Teachers, and ERO identified that evaluation of the curriculum now needs to shift from details of what happened to making judgements about the impact the curriculum has on children's learning.

A bicultural perspective is clearly evident. The centre environment effectively provides for Māori learners and promotes their culture and identity. The dual cultural heritage of Aotearoa is acknowledged through regular practice of waiata, karakia and the use of te reo Māori. Children access a range of resources which promote Māori language and contexts. Educators participate in professional learning and development to support and build their practice. The next step is to include a greater emphasis on the significant local historic features.

Teachers recognise the importance of oral language in growing the children’s sense of belonging and development. They engage in conversations, ask open questions and provide authentic experiences for the children.

The pre-school programme is well considered and provides opportunities for the older children to prepare for school. The increasingly strong relationships with local schools enable a smooth transition.

Teachers constantly reflect on their practice. They have developed an appropriate model of internal review as a result of external support. These reviews guide and inform ongoing improvement of practice. A greater focus on evaluating how well practices promote positive outcomes for children would enhance the process and provide evidence for ongoing improvements to practice.

Clear direction and expectations are now in place to support consistency of practice and positive outcomes for children. Teachers’ individual appraisal goals are aligned with Little Guppies centrewide goals and the centre’s goals. Professional learning opportunities contribute to collaborative teaching and understanding of effective teaching and curriculum.

The director’s strong and knowledgeable professional leadership supports the team leader in her management role, and has assisted in establishing a collaborative staff culture. This strong leadership promotes ongoing quality improvement.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Little Guppies ECLC 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 Little Guppies ECLC PreSchool will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

10 December 2015

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


Greenmeadows, Napier

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children aged over 2 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 18, Boys 18

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

Review team on site

September 2015

Date of this report

10 December 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

These are available at

Education Review

March 2012


Education Review

March 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.