Dunsandel Childcare and Preschool Ltd - 03/07/2018

1 Evaluation of Dunsandel Childcare and Preschool Ltd

How well placed is Dunsandel Childcare and Preschool Ltd to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Dunsandel Childcare and Preschool Ltd is very well placed.

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


Dunsandel Childcare and Preschool Ltd is one of two privately-owned centres. The centre manager and curriculum leader provide professional leadership and guidance for the teachers. The centre provides full-day education and care for up to 44 children, including up to 8 under the age of two years. Most of the teachers are early childhood trained and registered teachers or training to become early childhood teachers.

Since the 2015 ERO review the owner and teachers have fully addressed the key next steps in the report. This includes strengthening planning and assessment, including parents' involvement. They have made good progress with bicultural perspectives in the programme, extending children's thinking and learning in mathematics and supporting them to respect their learning environment.

The centre is a member of Ngā Mātāpuna o te Waihora Kāhui Ako/Community of Learning.

The Review Findings

The centre's philosophy provides a clear vision and direction for leaders and teachers. This was reviewed early in 2018 by managers, teachers, parents and whānau, with an emphasis on providing a welcoming, stimulating and safe learning environment through high quality teaching and learning. Children experience calm, unhurried routines and interactions with their teachers. Their learning is based on respectful relationships with each other and their teachers.

Teachers use a wide range of relevant, intentional teaching approaches to support children's learning, development and wellbeing. Teachers communicate regularly with families and whānau and make meaningful connections to the children's home life. They successfully include this information in their assessment and programme planning for individual children. Parents and children are provided with well-written learning stories that provide detailed information about children's participation in the programme. Leaders and teachers work closely with parents/whānau and outside agencies to support children with learning needs. Teachers have a strong, shared commitment to providing many opportunities for children to learn te reo and tikanga Māori. They celebrate children's home cultures and languages and integrate aspects within the learning programme.

The centre is well equipped and children have easy access to the wide range of challenging and attractively-presented resources that invite them to explore. Teachers show respect for children as capable, self-directed learners. Children have opportunities to develop leadership roles and support for others. Transitions into, within and from the centre are flexible, considered and well planned to meet the needs of the individual child. The curriculum leader is developing partnerships with local schools to help support children's transitions to school.

Children in the nursery benefit from nurturing and caring interactions and relationships. Infants and toddlers experience close connections with a small number of adults. Centre routines are used as opportunities for learning and times of enjoyment with other children and teachers. Teachers are sensitive to infants' needs and prioritise oral language development, sometimes using sign language. They communicate well with parents to ensure they are meeting each child's needs.

There is an effective working relationship between owners, centre leaders and teachers. This has led to a strong culture where shared leadership is encouraged.

Children's learning is enhanced through capable, reflective leadership practices. Leaders are making good use of professional learning and development. Strategic planning clearly identifies the centre's priorities and goals for achieving the centre's vision and is regularly monitored. The centre has very good management systems and internal evaluation processes. Governance policies and procedures are regularly reviewed along with systems to monitor health and safety. The appraisal of teachers' practices is consistent and well documented.

Key Next Steps

The centre leaders and ERO agree that leaders need to continue to refine existing sound practice through:

  • continuing to embed the 2017 Te Whāriki early childhood curriculum and align it to all relevant teaching and learning documents.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Dunsandel Childcare and Preschool Ltd 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 Dunsandel Childcare and Preschool Ltd will be in four years.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

3 July 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

44 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 29 : Girls 32

Ethnic composition



Other ethnicities




Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2018

Date of this report

3 July 2018

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

November 2014

June 2011

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.