Busy C's Preschool Lyttelton - 17/05/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

Children’s wellbeing and sense of belonging are strongly supported at the centre. Improving aspects of planning, assessment and self review would put the centre in a stronger position to extend and promote positive learning outcomes for children.


Busy C’s Preschool is located in the grounds of a primary school in Lyttelton. Infants to school-age children from a wide geographical area attend the centre. Children and their teachers regularly use the facilities in the adjoining school grounds. Teachers use the local harbour environment to extend children’s learning experiences and enjoyment in their local area. They provide a strong programme of support for children’s transition to school.

The service provider and staff have responded sensitively and proactively to the needs of the children and their families following the Canterbury earthquakes. Parents speak highly of the care and support their children receive at the centre.

The centre will be affected by the planned merger of the two Lyttelton schools at the end of 2013. It has been advised by the Ministry of Education (MOE) that it can remain on its current site until 2016. Since the on-site stage of the review, the centre has met the documentation requirements of the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008.

The 2010 ERO Education Review report identified assessment and self review as areas requiring further development. Although progress has been made regarding some aspects of self review and assessment, these remain areas for ongoing improvement.

Review Findings

Teachers’ relationships with children are respectful, warm and nurturing. Children are encouraged to participate in the programme in ways that build creativity and cooperation.

Teachers take care of and have responsibility for particular children. This primary-caregiver approach provides continuity that contributes to the confidence and sense of security children show.

The programme is planned around children’s interests and provides them with a range of interesting and worthwhile experiences that benefit their learning. These include:

  • learning about and caring for the environment in sustainable ways
  • opportunities to explore and make discoveries in the centre and the local area
  • using literacy and numeracy knowledge and skills in their play
  • integrating te reo and tikanga Māori so that children hear and use the Māori language often.

Teachers recognise and value children’s different strengths, needs and capabilities. They use children’s home languages during the programme and together with children are learning sign language to recognise its importance as an official language of New Zealand and to support a child with hearing loss. The supervisor and staff have a close relationship with external agencies to provide further support for children with special needs.

Teachers have made good use of a review of the outdoor area to make changes to better meet children’s learning needs.

Parents are kept well informed about their children’s involvement in learning activities. Their views about the centre are welcomed and responded to positively.

The supervisor provides teachers with good support and direction for ongoing improvements to the centre programme and practices. She has worked effectively with teachers to maintain positive relationships with the community. Teachers have good opportunities to share leadership and use their strengths and interests to extend children’s learning experiences.

The service provider works closely with the supervisor and staff to support programme developments and the operation of the centre.

Key Next Steps

The service provider and staff should now review how well the indoor areas are planned and used to promote children’s learning. In particular, this review should investigate how well all aspects of the philosophy are evident in the centre programme and practices.

Although some progress has been made with assessment and planning, teachers have yet to develop consistent practices in identifying children’s learning or the specific ways they will extend this learning. Children’s learning would also benefit from increased opportunities for parents and children to contribute to records of learning.

In order to sustain and extend current improvements, the service provider and staff need to continue to strengthen the quality of self review. The centre now needs to develop:

clearer expectations, guidelines and procedures to guide the review of all aspects of the centre’s performance

long and short-term plans that identify goals, priorities and indicators of success for ongoing improvements to teaching and learning.

Staff have a range of opportunities to provide feedback about the centre programme and operations. As a good employer, the service provider intends to give staff regular opportunities to comment anonymously on their working environment and relationships.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the management of Busy C's Preschool completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they select ‘have’ or ‘have not’ taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • administration
  • health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial and property management.

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.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

17 May 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

34 children, including up to 10 aged under two

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 28; Boys 22

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā








Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements


Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2013

Date of this report

17 May 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

March 2010

April 2007

September 2004

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.