A to Z Preschool - 29/04/2020

1 Evaluation of A to Z Preschool

How well placed is A to Z Preschool to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

A to Z Preschool is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


A to Z Preschool is a privately owned and operated early childhood service. The centre is a full-day, teacher-led service that is licensed for up to 40 children, over 2 years of age. Children learn and play in one large learning space, with an adjacent outdoor area.

The centre's philosophy is based on teachers and children striving for excellence through the curriculum, in a nurturing, respectful environment.

The preschool co-owners are qualified, registered teachers who manage the day-to-day operations of the centre. Most staff are fully qualified and registered early childhood teachers.

The centre has responded to all of the recommended actions from the June 2016 ERO report.

The Review Findings

Children experience a broad, well resourced, local curriculum that includes strong connections with the community. Teachers provide children with easy access to individual or group activities that are child-led and aligned with Te Whāriki (2017), the Early Childhood Curriculum. Access to a large outdoor area allows children to follow their interests, pursue challenges and take safe learning risks.

Leaders and teachers have developed and nurtured respectful learning and wellbeing relationships with families and whānau. Teachers know children and their families well. Parents' aspirations for their children are regularly sought. Feedback from parents, children and teachers informs collaborative planning decisions that enhance the learning programme and other aspects of the preschool's operation.

Teachers are responsive to the individual needs, strengths and interests of children. Children are well supported transitioning into the centre, and specific teaching strategies support them as they transition to school.

Leaders and teachers are increasing their knowledge and use of te reo Māori and tikanga Māori practices within the programme. Well planned centre-wide internal evaluation is strengthening the focus on all children's identities, cultures and languages. The 'Land to Sea' curriculum gives children and whānau opportunities to plan, build and explore new culturally significant resources at the preschool.

Teachers work collaboratively, and their strengths and interests are recognised and used well. A comprehensive appraisal system promotes reflective practices that build teacher capability and confidence to meet children's needs and interests.

Leaders have developed a strategic plan that reflects key themes for continuous preschool improvement. The philosophy and vision are evident in teaching and learning practices and define the purpose of centre operations. Leaders and teachers model the pursuit of excellence in their caring, committed approach to achieving positive outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

Leaders have identified, and ERO's evaluation confirms, that use of tikanga and te reo Māori requires further strengthening to support Māori children to succeed as Māori and enable all children to understand Aotearoa/New Zealand's bicultural context.

Leaders need to strategically plan professional learning and development to further build teacher capability and to enhance outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of A to Z 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.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)

Southern Region - Te Tai Tini

29 April 2020

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

40 children, 2 years and over

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 32, Girls 21

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2019

Date of this report

29 April 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review (First ERO review)

June 2016

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.