Fernside Preschool Limited - 27/02/2018

1 Evaluation of Fernside Preschool Limited

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


Fernside Preschool Limited is a family-owned, semi-rural service that provides education and care for children from 3 months to school age. Most teachers are qualified and certified in early childhood education. One of the owners is also the centre manager. The co-owners and head teachers make up the centre management team.

The service is part of the Puketeraki Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning.

The centre management team and staff have addressed all the areas for improvement outlined in the 2014 ERO report. Leaders and teachers have ensured that changes to the mat time are now more beneficial to children's learning and interactions. The centre owners have extended the non- contact time for head teachers to enable them to carry out their leadership responsibilities more efficiently. The centre management team has clearly outlined how it will work with the staff to achieve the centre's long-term goals.

The Review Findings

Children experience welcoming, positive and caring interactions. They are actively involved in a calm, unhurried learning environment. Teachers support children well to be confident communicators. One-to-one and responsive interactions are highly evident to support the security, wellbeing and development of infant children.

Children confidently choose from a range of stimulating and challenging activities. They have time to develop their problem solving skills and learn from observing others. They have good opportunities to experience their natural, spacious outdoor environment and key places in the wider community.

Teachers prepare a thoughtfully-planned environment to carefully build children's confidence and independence. They have a strong sense of collective responsibility for children's wellbeing, learning and physical development. Children have appropriate levels of challenge to support this. The programme also provides opportunities for older children to play and learn with younger children.

Teachers confidently use te reo Māori throughout the day. They plan different experiences to build children's respect and awareness of their own and others' home cultural backgrounds. This culturally-responsive approach further develops individual children's confidence and feeling of inclusion.

Children with additional needs are also well supported.

Teachers proactively use professional development to extend their practice and improve outcomes for children. They collaboratively plan activities to meet children's needs and interests particularly when learning as part of a group. They effectively use internal evaluation to identify strengths and what needs to be improved and promptly act on findings.

Leaders and teachers provide a range of ways, including the use of technology, to effectively aid communication between home and centre. Parents are regularly invited to contribute ideas and feedback to enhance assessment and planning practices. Teachers appropriately respond to this feedback. Children enjoy the comments their parents make in their learning stories.

The centre management team has effectively established a number of useful operational systems, processes and procedures. Their internal evaluation is meaningful and well focused on outcomes for children and their progress over time. They are currently updating key policies and procedures. This includes the child protection policy and the appraisal process. These policies and processes have yet to be implemented and embedded in centre practice.

Key Next Steps

The centre owner and ERO agree, that the key next steps to improve outcomes for children are to:

  • strengthen planning and increase the consistency of practice across the centre

  • complete, implement and embed the updated appraisal process.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Fernside Preschool Limited 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 and 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 Fernside Preschool Limitedwill be in three years.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

27 February 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


Fernside, Rangiora

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

62 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 51%; Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

Other ethnicities


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2017

Date of this report

27 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2014

Education Review

July 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.