Elmwood Preschool Ltd - 05/07/2016

1 Evaluation of Elmwood Preschool Ltd

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


Elmwood Preschool is located in a refurbished villa. The centre is one of two preschools that are privately owned. It caters for children from babies to school age. Under-two-year old children are cared for in a separate nursery.

The centre's philosophy recognises parents as first teachers, commitment to the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa and Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. The philosophy emphasises a child-centred approach and promotes fun and challenge in children's learning. Being open to new learning and genuine engagement with children are expectations of teachers within the philosophy. The philosophy is strongly represented in the daily life of the centre.

The centre has met all the recommendations outlined in the 2013 ERO report.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from caring, supportive relationships with teachers. Teachers value parents and extended whānau, working with them to support children's wellbeing and learning. The centre is homely and welcoming.

Tuakana teina, where older children support younger ones, is actively promoted. These positive interactions support the evident strong sense of family. The centre's values of kindness, caring and respect also contribute to the inclusive culture of the service.

The well-planned programme provides children with a wide range of learning experiences. Children have ready access to digital devices that help and extend their thinking and problem solving skills.

Literacy and mathematics are thoughtfully woven into the programme. Children are well prepared for ongoing learning as they transition to school.

Teachers actively encourage children to take responsibility for their learning and become more independent learners. Children's assessments are clearly linked to their individual goals.

The world of Māori (te ao Māori) and environmental sustainable practices support holistic learning experiences for children. Teachers have gained a deeper understanding of te reo and tikanga Māori. They are effectively integrating these understandings into children's individual plans, programmes and assessments. Professional development has strengthened teachers' understanding of success for Māori as Māori.

There is strong commitment to working with parents. Teachers value and record parents' aspirations in children's individual planning. They work in partnership with whānau, sharing skills that support and extend children's learning.

Children are fully involved in their learning. Their wellbeing, learning needs and interests drive the programme. Teachers work well together and share practices that excite and promote children's curiosity and engagement in learning.

Children under two years learn in a calm, peaceful environment with predictable routines. Infants and toddlers are well supported by their teachers. They benefit from transitions into the over two area that are tailored to meet their individual needs.

Children over two years of age interact and learn together. Teachers share the care and education of all the children in the preschool. Both the nursery and preschool learning areas have outdoor spaces with trees and natural plantings for children to explore.

The centre is very well organised, managed and led. The manager and head teachers have high expectations and collaboratively develop useful guidelines for teaching and learning with staff. Clear roles and responsibilities and effective systems support the accountability and smooth running of the centre. Teachers' skills and strengths are recognised and leadership is promoted across the staff.

Leaders and teachers effectively use well-considered strategic plans to promote positive outcomes for children. Self review and professional development are making a significant difference to teaching and learning and the smooth running of centre operations. There is a strong culture of reflective practice. Teachers readily seek feedback and challenge, to improve their practices and extend children's learning.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders have identified and ERO agrees that:

  • planning and assessment could be further refined

  • reciprocal relationships with the schools that children transition into could be strengthened.

ERO identified that the centre's strategic goals should be more strongly linked to its annual plans.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

5 July 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

26 children, including up to 7 aged under two

Service roll


Gender composition

Boyes 19; Girls 15

Ethnic composition





Percentage of qualified teachers 0-49% 50-79% 80% Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2016

Date of this report

5 July 2016

Most recent ERO reports


Education Review

April 2013

Education Review

April 2010

Education Review

March 2007

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.