Happy Feet Childcare Richmond - 29/11/2019

1 Evaluation of Happy Feet Childcare Richmond

How well placed is Happy Feet Childcare Richmond to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Happy Feet Childcare Richmond is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Happy Feet Childcare Richmond, formerly known as Jigsaw Preschool 1, is an early learning service in Nelson that provides all-day education and care for up to 65 children, including 25 up to the age of two. At the time of this review it had a roll of 95, with 19 Māori children attending.

Since the August 2016 review, the service has had a change of ownership. In September 2017 it was purchased by Provincial Education Group (PEG) who provides governance and management support. A regional manager provides professional support and guidance to centre staff. Most teachers are qualified and two are in training. Day-to-day management is the responsibility of the centre manager.

The service's philosophy emphasises an holistic approach to building kind and respectful relationships through a responsive curriculum that supports children's agency as independent learners. It values effective communication and fostering the wellbeing of tamariki and their whānau.

The purpose-built centre is made up of four age-group rooms, catering for children from babies through to five year olds.

Changes in leadership have occurred with a new regional manager overseeing Provincial centres in the area since June 2018 and a new centre manager appointed in March 2019.

The August 2016 ERO report identified areas requiring further improvement. These included self review, strategic planning, the quality of planning and assessment documentation, and continuing to develop the outdoor environment. Good progress has been made against these recommendations.

The Review Findings

Children's learning and wellbeing is well supported through recently introduced individualised curriculum planning that is responsive to children's interests, observed needs, and the aspirations of their families. Transitions between rooms have been reviewed to ensure that children and their families are well informed about impending changes, and that each child's interests and needs are taken into account as transfers take place.

The diverse and changing needs of infants and toddlers are sensitively catered for by teachers who are attentive to their cues, and who take the time to get to know each child well. Teachers' practice is responsive to individual children's needs. Care routines are seen as teachable moments.

Respectful relationships between children, teachers and children are highly evident across all rooms. Teachers understand the strategies that promote children's social competence and intentionally foster children's positive interactions with one another.

Teachers know the children well. The knowledge and skills of each child is valued, and they are supported to lead their learning and develop their emerging interests. Wall displays celebrate and reflect children's cultures.

Māori children's language, culture and identity are highly valued. They are given opportunities to lead and share their learning about their world. The reciprocal nature of ako is well understood and reflected in practice. Māori whanau are beginning to actively contribute their knowledge and skills, adding richness to the service's learning practices. Continuing to build effective learning partnerships with whānau should further support educational success for Māori children.

Recent professional development is impacting positively on curriculum planning and assessment processes. Teachers work collaboratively on evaluating children's progress and writing individualised learning plans. This is a work in progress.

Since the change of centre ownership, strategic planning and its direct impact on service organisation, priorities and goals is highly evident. Annual planning is informed by PEG’s governance priorities. Expectations for monthly self review and subsequent follow up are enacted through specific developments that impact positively on centre organisation. A next step is to continue to build understanding and use of internal evaluation across the staff team.

New leadership is successfully guiding and developing centre practices and is focussed on modelling and implementing expectations for high quality practice.

Key Next Steps

Priorities for ongoing development are to continue to embed recent initiatives and to:

  • continue to strengthen curriculum planning and assessment and to fully embed recent professional learning and development

  • promote educational success for Māori learners through building whānau partnerships

  • develop shared understandings of review and internal evaluation for ongoing improvement.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Happy Feet Childcare Richmond 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.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

29 November 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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

65 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Male 49, Female 46

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2019

Date of this report

29 November 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2016

Education Review

August 2012

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.