Elmwood Preschool Ltd - 09/04/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

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


Elmwood Preschool is a small centre located in Elmwood, Christchurch.

It is one of two centres owned by the licensee. The licensee and leaders of the two centres are increasingly working together to share ideas and plan for centre improvements.

Long-serving centre leaders have built positive relationships with the staff, children, parents and the wider community.

The centre roll declined after the Canterbury earthquakes although there was minimal damage to the buildings and grounds. It is now gradually rising again.

The centre keeps the ratios of teachers to children higher than required by its license.

Review Findings

Teachers’ relationships with children and families are responsive, supportive and respectful. Teachers seek children's permission before helping them, and give them choices about taking part in routines and play. A strong emphasis is given to encouraging children to be independent and make decisions about their learning.

Teachers respond in a caring manner to support all children. They are particularly sensitive to the special needs of children and take appropriate action to support their learning and their families. These practices actively foster children’s sense of wellbeing and belonging.

The quality of the care and education of children in the nursery is very good. This quality is most evident in the:

  • conversations that teachers have with children to extend their understanding and use of language, and help them to have their needs well met
  • interactions that keep children interested and engaged in their learning
  • detailed records of children's learning in individual profile books.

These younger children were happy, confident and willing to explore the indoor and outdoor areas during the review.

A mix of child-led, interest-based and teacher-led activities give all children good opportunities to follow their interests and learn about the wider world. Older children were seen having fun as they explored different play areas.

The integration of literacy and numeracy, along with good opportunities for children to develop and extend their physical skills, are positive features of the programme.

Children benefit from a wide range of indoor and outdoor learning experiences. These include easy access to a varied range of resources, including natural resources, with a focus on learning about, and caring for, nature.

Teachers are strengthening their use of te reo and tikanga Māori in the programme and routines. Good use is made of staff strengths and skills to extend the knowledge and confidence of other staff in this area.

A recent and ongoing review of assessment and planning is leading to improvements. These include:

  • a clearer focus on identifying individual children’s learning
  • a greater consideration of the different ways teachers will extend this learning
  • developing with parents shared learning goals for their children.

Teachers are aware of the need to broaden the scope of some learning goals by working with parents to focus on all aspects of children’s learning. They could also involve older children more in assessing their own progress.

Teachers and managers work well in partnership to make ongoing improvements to the programme and practices.

Appraisal practices help to acknowledge teacher strengths, identify future goals and make decisions about professional development.

Teachers are encouraged to think about their practices and consider how these are extending children's learning. Leaders and teachers have a growing awareness of, and willingness to improve, areas where further development is needed.

Key Next Steps

ERO agrees with the leaders’ and teachers’ plans to build on the steps being taken to improve the quality of assessment and planning.

Leaders and teachers should now complete the review into how successfully group times are meeting the needs of individual children.

Leaders and teachers should explore ways of extending the use of interactions that keep older children interested and focused on their learning.

Key centre documents such as the vision, philosophy, and long and short-term plans should be reviewed and updated to:

  • better reflect existing good practices
  • give greater emphasis to priority learners including under two year olds, Māori children, and children with special needs
  • make future priorities more specific.

The centre owner and leaders recognise the need to further develop self-review programmes and practices. The planned engagement of an external adviser should assist in this process. Professional development needs to result in teachers developing a shared understanding about the purpose of self review and better guidelines for more systematic and effective review processes. There is also a need to make sure that findings lead to ongoing centre improvement.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Elmwood 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.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Graham Randell National Manager Review Services Southern Region

9 April 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

18 children, including up to 7 aged under two

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 20; Boys 14

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā




Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Exceeds minimum requirements


Over 2


Exceeds minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2013

Date of this report

9 April 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

April 2010

March 2007

September 2003

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.