City Preschool - 22/02/2019

1 Evaluation of City Preschool

How well placed is City Preschool to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

City Preschool is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


City Preschool, located in Newton, operates from a two-storey historic house. The centre is licensed for 25 children, including 10 children up to the age of two years. Infants and toddlers occupy the upper floor and children over two years are on the ground level. All ages have access to a shared outdoor environment. Most children are Pākehā, with small numbers of children from other diverse cultural backgrounds. The centre continues to have stable staffing.

The centre philosophy is inspired by Reggio Emilia. It strives to support a rich and dynamic, nurturing and fun environment that enthuses children to grow and develop into unique individuals. The philosophy is founded on respect, trust and strong reciprocal relationships formed with children and their families.

ERO's 2015 report noted the calm and unrushed centre environment for children. Their learning needs were identified and supported, and teachers promoted te reo Māori me ōna tikanga in the programme. These positive aspects are still evident. The report's areas for development included strengthening assessment records and developing the quality of strategic thinking and planning over time. The owner/centre manager has made steady progress with these next steps.

The Review Findings

Children enjoy the Reggio stimulated learning environment. The importance of play for learning is respected and valued. Children have freedom of choice, and benefit from the strong focus on tuakana/teina relationships. Parents are partners in their children's learning journey. They contribute to the centre's high expectations that support children to be good citizens and lifelong learners.

Children are confident, articulate and secure in their identity in the centre. They are involved in sustained, cooperative and imaginative play experiences. Children take an active part in leading their learning. Positive and affirming relationships have been established between teachers, parents and children. As a result, children interact and converse well with each other and adults.

Infants and toddlers are well-supported in their development in an environment that is conducive to holistic learning. Teachers have established routines that generate opportunities for play. They are caring, and skilfully nurture a strong foundation for children's future development.

The learning programme is supported by strong teacher curriculum knowledge and skilful teaching practice. Staff have a good understanding of the revised Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Teachers know children as learners very well. Sound assessment and planning processes are followed. The centre manager agrees that teachers could be more intentional with planning for the development of children's physical skills. The manager and teachers acknowledge they are on a continual journey to understand and implement a bicultural programme.

Teaching practices are respectful and inclusive. Teachers have developed trusting relationships with children and support their exploration, creativity and risk-taking in an inclusive environment. Very good transitions into and through the centre are evident. It is now timely to review the centre's processes for children transitioning to school.

The centre manager ensures that teachers have access to relevant professional development to support a culture of ongoing improvement to teaching practice. The manager has identified the need to develop middle tier leadership and distribute roles and responsibilities across the teaching team.

The centre is well governed and managed. The owner and staff are committed to providing high quality early learning education for children. A policy framework guides centre practice. Reviewing and aligning policies to current legislation would strengthen the service's policy framework.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps include:

  • strengthening teachers' evaluative thinking to improve outcomes for children

  • reviewing and aligning strategic and annual planning and philosophy statements

  • ensuring that teacher appraisal processes align with Teaching Council requirements.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of City 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.

To improve practice the owner should review and improve health and safety practices, including risk analysis for excursions and sleep supervision.

Steve Tanner
Director Review and Improvement Services Northern
Northern Region

22 February 2019

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


Newton, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 17 Boys 14

Ethnic composition

other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2019

Date of this report

22 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2015

Education Review

October 2012

Education Review

April 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.