Cardrona Nursery & Ski Kindy - 12/01/2018

1 Evaluation of Cardrona Nursery & Ski Kindy

How well placed is Cardrona Nursery & Ski Kindy to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

This centre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


The Cardrona Nursery and Ski Kindy is owned by the Cardrona Alpine Resort and operates from the resort complex at the base of the Cardrona Skifield. The Cardrona Nursery and Ski Kindy is open seven days a week during the ski season to cater for the needs of New Zealand and overseas families at the resort.

The centre provides learning and care for children mostly from 3 months up to five years of age. It has recently been licensed for 50 children, including up to 15 aged under two. Most of the children are enrolled short term, with some attending more regularly. Some children also attend the resort ski programmes.

Since the October 2013 ERO review, the centre and resort have changed ownership. An experienced centre supervisor and some returning teachers provide continuity for the team. Most of the teachers are employed for just one season. Some teachers are from overseas. The organisation provides induction and training at the start of each season for the new teaching team. The centre's philosophy is to develop children's life-long love of snow, skiing and the mountain.

The Review Findings

Children and their families are warmly welcomed when they arrive at the centre. Teachers strive to quickly build a sense of belonging for the children, within a short period of time.

Children's feelings are sensitively managed, at drop off time, in transitions within and between the centre's indoor and outdoor experiences and with the resort's ski programme. Teachers show genuine care for children and effectively collaborate to positively manage children's behaviour and ensure their wellbeing. They are responsive to the very young children’s non-verbal cues and support them to settle into the programme at a calm and gentle pace.

Centre programmes strongly integrate the mountain environment to develop children's life-long love of snow, skiing and the mountain. Teachers seek and quickly respond to children's interests. Children's creativity is encouraged through a range of art, drama and other activities of interest. Parents are kept well informed about their children.

Teachers, particularly those new to the centre, are well supported to develop their knowledge and teaching capabilities. They are provided with clear guidelines and expectations for fulfilling their roles and responsibilities.

Where possible, teachers seek to acknowledge aspects of the children’s culture and language in their time at the centre. The children are introduced to aspects of Māori culture, language and New Zealand’s bicultural heritage. The centre's value for manaakitanga, whanaungatanga and ako are highly evident in centre practices.

The centre is well led. The Cardrona resort organisation has many systems and structures that support the centre operations and the wellbeing of children and staff. Teachers at the centre use effective communication/systems. The centre leader models strong relational trust, reciprocity and respect for staff, children and parents. She has strengthened the use of internal evaluation and strategic planning to foster improvement to programmes and operations. Effective partnerships, such as those with resort managers and the ski programme, are maintained within and beyond the centre.

Key Next Steps

Managers, leaders and ERO agree that teachers should extend planning for children to show:

  • what teachers will do to extend children's learning

  • more regular and ongoing planning for returning children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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 Cardrona Nursery & Ski Kindy will be in three years.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

12 January 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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition


Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2017

Date of this report

12 January 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2013

Education Review

November 2009

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.