Heathcote Valley Preschool - 23/04/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

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

Heathcote Valley Preschool is well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.


Heathcote Valley Preschool opened in July 2010. The centre is divided into three main rooms where separate programmes are planned for the interests and needs of infants, toddlers and preschool children.

The licensee is a qualified and experienced early childhood education (ECE) teacher. Eighty percent of the staff are also qualified teachers.

Review Findings

Teachers successfully promote children’s wellbeing and sense of belonging. They are caring and nurturing and communicate effectively with infants, toddlers and children. Children and their families are warmly welcomed into the centre. They happily learn in a positive and nurturing environment where they know the routines well. They experience positive interactions with adults that successfully build their confidence and extend their social skills.

Children can select from a wide range of information and communication technologies (ICT) to use in their play. They are able to make their own decisions about the activities they will explore and for how long. This self-choice approach is clearly evident throughout the programme.

Children are provided with nutritious meals each day. They are happy, settled and highly engaged in their chosen activities. The head teachers and teachers readily respond to the children’s needs and to those of their families. The licensee and staff work collaboratively, and regularly seek and use the ideas of children and their parents when planning the centre programme.

Teachers thoughtfully provide a good balance between planned and spontaneous play. They plan and provide a programme that reflects children’s interests and is visible around the walls. Children positively respond to the wall displays by reflecting on past learning and on the progress they have made over time. Children have many opportunities to hear and use te reo Māori throughout the day. Aspects of Māori culture are appropriately included in the programme.

Children are well prepared and supported when they start at the centre and move from one area to the next and on to school. Teachers have established a relationship with the local school that positively supports children’s transition.

Strong management, effective leadership and well-established systems support and promote good quality practices in all aspects of the service. The centre has developed useful self-review procedures that include the aspirations and contributions of children, parents and teachers. Teachers benefit from a strong professional learning and development programme linked to children’s needs, appraisal and the centre’s goals. A culture of self-reflection and an emphasis on ongoing improvement help to ensure that programmes and systems continue to improve.

Key Next Steps

The licensee has led a number of sessions to develop shared understandings and consistent practices among teachers. These include sessions on identifying and reporting children’s learning in their portfolios. Teachers have begun identifying the learning more consistently in children’s portfolios. This practice needs to continue to be strengthened so that it becomes a regular feature of the way teachers report to children and parents.

The licensee has decided to further strengthen teachers’ good practices by appraising them against the registered teacher criteria for ECE from 2013 onwards. ERO supports this decision.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Heathcote Valley 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

23 April 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service


Heathcote Valley, Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

85 children, including up to 15 aged under two

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 52%

Girls 48%

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

23 April 2013

Most recent ERO report

New Centre


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.