Carterton Preschool - 03/02/2016

1 Evaluation of Carterton Preschool

How well placed is Carterton 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.


Carterton Preschool is owned and operated by two experienced, registered early childhood teachers. It caters for children aged from three to five years. There is a focus on literacy, numeracy bicultural curriculum and transition to primary school. A different programme is offered in the school holiday periods. The owners have clearly defined management roles and staffing is stable.

Since the March 2013 ERO report areas of the outdoors have been further developed. Elements to reflect te ao Māori have been incorporated into the environment and curriculum. An eel pathway is currently being constructed to reflect the centre’s involvement in the Mangatarere Stream restoration project. This is an area of historical importance to the local Kahungunu iwi.

The service’s previous ERO reports found the programme to be of high quality. Management and staff have continued to strengthen their knowledge and capacity for internal review and bicultural practice. Strong links have been developed with local iwi representatives. Areas identified for development in the previous report have been addressed.

The Review Findings

Children engage in a well-considered curriculum. It has a strong focus on the outdoors, sustainability and links meaningfully to the community. Learning experiences are planned from children's observed interests and are responsive to opportunities that arise. These link to the centre philosophy that is clearly evident in practice.

Children are articulate and confident. They ably interact with their peers and adults. Children benefit from playing and learning in a well-resourced, high quality, challenging environment. A calm, positive and productive atmosphere prevails.

Children's needs and interests are well known and teachers regularly engage with, and are respectful of, children.

Strongly inclusive practices ensure that all children have the opportunity to access the centre’s curriculum and interact with their peers.

Assessment practices have been strengthened. These clearly identify children’s significant learning and how teachers respond. Teachers share learning with whānau. Programmes are evaluated to show individual children and group learning and next steps for development.

Parent input into decision making about their children's education and care is sought and highly valued. A strong consultation process is used to gather parent input and to track changes in their views over time. Whānau and community links are strong. The local stream preservation project provides a vehicle for regular contact and contribution.

Strong, responsive, reciprocal and respectful relationships have been developed with local iwi. Extensive work had been undertaken to grow bi-cultural understanding and practices. This is evident throughout the centre and its environment. Centre staff have identified this as an area to continue to grow and further integrate into the curriculum.

Children benefit from a strong and positive teaching team culture with consistent, high quality early childhood practice. Staff and management have a shared commitment to their stated philosophical values. A useful and supportive appraisal process links to centre goals and supports teacher development. Staff development needs are well provided for.

Clear and robust practices are in place to sustain and improve centre operation. Comprehensive and ongoing internal review is evident in a range of formats. It is a shared process that considers input from a range of sources including research into current best practice. Subsequent actions are very well considered. Improvements are well monitored for effectiveness and their impact on outcomes for children. Continuing to strengthen internal evaluation processes to demonstrate how well teaching practices support children's learning is a next step.

The owners have a strong vision based on the provision of high quality education for young children. They are collaborative leaders and have a well organised approach to their governance and management roles. A good range of policy and professional guidelines are in place to support practice. Centre leaders have identified a next step to restructure and further review policies to ensure they are consistent with current practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Carterton 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 Carterton Preschool will be in four years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

3 February 2016

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

30 children over the age of 2 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 27, Girls 21

Ethnic composition



Other ethnic groups




Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2015

Date of this report

3 February 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2013


Education Review

March 2010

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.