Appletree Preschool - 25/10/2017

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

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


Apple Tree Preschool in Glenfield is licensed for 30 children over two years of age. It is one of three North Shore centres, owned by The Apple Tree Childcare Centres Ltd. The centre director/owner works across the three centres to support day-to-day operations. The owner is an experienced teacher and is supported by a dedicated centre manager. Five teachers are registered and two staff have other qualifications.

The Apple Tree philosophy of 'create a home away from home, providing warmth, trust, respect and aroha' guides centre practices. Teachers' education and care for children is guided by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

Since the 2014 ERO review there has been a change of centre manager and the appointment of new teachers. The 2014 report noted good provision for children's wellbeing, children's developing social skills, and positive relationships. Areas for development included programme responsiveness to children's interests, and extending the complexity of children's play.

This review was part of a cluster of three reviews in the Apple Tree Childcare Centres Ltd organisation.

The Review Findings

Children are settled and engaged in the programme. They have a sense of belonging and wellbeing. Children's play is mainly based on experimenting with equipment. The enclosed deck has increased orderly indoor areas for children's activities.

Children know the routines well. They freely choose to play indoors or outdoors and initiate their own play and learning, often in friendly groups. They form relationships with other children while being cared for by attentive teachers. Teachers support them in exploring aspects of literacy and numeracy. Teachers should now consider how they could extend children’s thinking and use skilful questioning to bring more complexity to their play.

Children enjoy conversations and some are multilingual. The cultural diversity of the children is reflected in the teaching team. This provides children with opportunities to converse in home languages with their friends and with their teachers. It is important that teachers are able to use children's home languages in the centre to model the centre's commitment to valuing language, culture and identity.

Portfolios record children's learning, and celebrate each child as a member of their family and the wider centre whānau. Relevant links are made between children's learning and Te Whāriki. Teachers have reviewed and made improvements to aspects of the programme and environment. They now need to evaluate the effectiveness of the review process, and develop a robust evaluative process that incorporates the views of parents and children.

Managers continue to work on refining teacher appraisal processes. More in-depth professional development for leaders will support them to embed a more robust performance management process to improve outcomes for children.

Apple Tree systems for monitoring and promoting improvement in its three centres have been established. Strengthening alignment between the philosophy, and strategic and annual plans will further guide future direction. A variety of systems and processes contribute to the teaching team’s internal evaluation. It is now timely to include outcomes for children in the evaluation process.

Key Next Steps

The director/owner and centre manager agree the key next steps include:

  • reviewing the quality of assessment, planning and evaluation, and how these systems can help teachers to extend children's learning

  • an evaluation of the extent to which the outdoor environment promotes greater complexity in children's play.

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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

25 October 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


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, over 2 years of age

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 18 Boys 12

Ethnic composition

South American


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2017

Date of this report

25 October 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2014

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.