Browns Bay Preschool - 08/02/2018

1 Evaluation of Browns Bay Preschool

How well placed is Browns Bay 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.


Browns Bay Preschool provides all-day education and care for up to 39 children, including nine up to two years of age. The centre is privately owned and operates from a remodelled house with a separate building for infants and toddlers on the same site. The outdoors is enhanced by gardens and trees.

The centre director/owner is a qualified early childhood teacher and maintains day-to-day teaching, leadership of operations and management responsibilities. She shares governance responsibilities with her husband.

Recent changes in staff have resulted in a new teaching team. This team of registered teachers is focused on building close and reciprocal relationships with families.

The centre philosophy is strongly influenced by Reggio Emilia approaches and underpinned by the strands and principle of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

The 2014 ERO report noted areas for improvement, which included developing parent and community partnerships and refining the appraisal system. Progress has been made in these areas.

The Review Findings

Children are settled, and enjoy a calm, unhurried environment. They are familiar with centre routines and practices. Children have trusting and respectful relationships with teachers. They are confident explorers and direct their own play. Children are supported to communicate and develop social skills. Literacy and life skills are promoted. Children's independence is fostered. They are supported to communicate and develop social skills.

Children engage readily in play. They have easy access to a wide variety of equipment and make good use of the indoor and outdoor environment. Teachers set up provocations to invite and engage children in play and skill building. Leaders and teachers could review planning practices to better focus on the emerging interests of individual children, and the ways in which their learning can be extended and challenged.

Teachers see children as capable and confident learners. They record children's participation in the programme in individual assessment portfolios. Leaders recognise the need to relate portfolio information more to the child's learning journey in relation to their development of individual learning dispositions, interests and skills.

Teachers have recently reviewed the transition to schools programme to ensure that older children are prepared for school and life ahead. As a result, a comprehensive programme with direct acts of teaching strategies and experiences is planned for older children. Teachers are supporting children to develop their oracy and creativity, and raising their independence in self management and self help skills.

Infants and toddlers freely explore their environment. Primary caregivers know the children in their care well. They provide responsive individual nurturing for children and are adept at recognising children's non-verbal cues. Teachers encourage children to explore and verbalise their thoughts and feelings. Toddlers respond well to the warmth of their teachers.

Teachers are beginning to support each other to integrate te reo and tikanga Māori into the daily programme, particularly during group times. Teachers should focus on building strategies to grow their knowledge, understanding and confidence in New Zealand's bicultural practices. These strategies could be a model for further development to reflect other languages, cultures and identities of families in the centre.

Centre leaders recognise the enthusiasm and capabilities of their teachers. A new team is being built with a shared leadership model. This is helping teachers to share their individual strengths and build the overall capacity of the centre.

Key Next Steps

The next steps to support centre improvement are for centre leaders to:

  • articulate the current centre philosophy, share its meaning and relate its vision with all staff
  • review planning and assessment in line with developing children's individual learning dispositions, interests and skills, to enhance complexity of play and individual challenge
  • strengthen documentation of the service's strategic priorities to guide ongoing monitoring and to support internal evaluation practices
  • build teachers' confidence in bicultural practices
  • align teachers' appraisal goals, inquiry and professional development to focus on building leadership capacity.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Browns Bay 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 Browns Bay Preschool will be in three years.

Julie Foley
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

8 February 2018 

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 


Browns Bay, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

39 children, including up to 9 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys      32
Girls       25

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2017

Date of this report

8 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2014

Education Review

April 2011

Education Review

December 2007

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.