Appletree Preschool - 05/03/2014

1 Evaluation of Appletree Preschool

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

While there is good provision for children’s wellbeing, teachers will need external professional development support to improve the quality of the learning programmes.

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


Appletree Preschool, in Glenfield, is one of three Appletree centres on the North Shore. The centre offers full day education and care for children from two to five years of age.

The owner is actively involved in the management of the centre and works alongside the centre supervisor. Most staff are qualified early childhood teachers. They are representative of the diverse cultures of children who attend the centre.

ERO’s 2011 review identified the need for centre managers to develop more robust self review and more responsive programme practices. ERO also identified the need to improve bicultural practices. Since the 2011 review, centre managers have continued to upgrade the indoor and outdoor environments to support children’s play. Centre managers and staff have also engaged in a number of professional development opportunities with external facilitators.

The Review Findings

The vision of the Appletree Preschool centre is to create a home away from home. This has been achieved through the thoughtful modification of the premises. The attractive, well maintained indoor and outdoor learning environment invites children to explore. Large doors open onto a spacious deck and provide a good flow between the indoor and outdoor areas. Planned improvements will provide further spaces for children’s play.

The centre has a calm settled tone, and trusting and positive relationships between teachers, children and parents and whānau are evident. Teachers know children and their families well and are considering additional ways to promote close home and centre links and learning partnerships with parents.

Children and parents are warmly welcomed by teachers. Children are invited to engage in activities that teachers set out for them. Teachers share in children’s play and engage in conversations with them about their lives outside the centre. Children have opportunities to develop social skills, and their behaviour is consistently well managed.

Teachers use individual children’s interests as a basis to plan for all children. Programme plans are displayed on centre walls for teachers and parents to have input and plans are recorded in big books that enable children to revisit their activities.

Teachers have made changes to their assessment and planning practices as a result of professional development. Some learning stories capture children’s interests and learning well. These good examples could be used to promote more consistent good practice across the centre.

In 2013 a part-time teacher was appointed to help teachers increase their understanding and knowledge of bicultural practices. Some progress has been made and centre managers plan to strengthen this support during the coming year.

Key Next Steps

Many of the areas for review and development in the centre remain the same as those noted in the 2011 ERO report. In order to improve current practices centre managers should continue to:

  • develop programmes and practices that are more responsive to children’s emerging interests and that extend the complexity of their play
  • review group times and the extent to which they promote children’s confidence as independent learners.

In addition ERO discussed with centre managers the need to further improve the documentation and evaluative nature of self review to ensure records of reviews undertaken include a clear focus on the impact of outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Appletree 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.

In order to improve practice centre managers should:

  • review the child abuse prevention policy to ensure it aligns with current requirements
  • ensure that they document an assessment and management of risks for excursions outside the centre and ensure adult to child ratios are written on permission slips.

During the review ERO also identified an area of non-compliance. In order to address this, the service provider must ensure that managers and staff provide a programme that:

  • reflects an understanding of learning and development that is consistent with current research, theory, and practices in early childhood education

Education (Early Childhood services) Regulations 2008. 43 (iii); Licensing Criteria for early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, C7.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Appletree Preschool will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

5 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


Glenfield, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 20

Boys 12

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā



Middle Eastern





Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2014

Date of this report

5 March 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2011


Education Review

February 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.