Little Guppies ECLC Nursery - 14/12/2015

1 Evaluation of Little Guppies ECLC Nursery

How well placed is Little Guppies ECLC Nursery to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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


Little Guppies ECLC Nursery, in Greenmeadows, Napier is one of three privately owned and operated centres providing education and care. All three centres are closely connected and well supported by a director of operations.

The nursery operates Monday to Friday from 7.15am until 5.30pm. It is licensed for 28 children, including 25 aged up to two years. The current roll of 27 includes 11 children who identify as Māori. Most staff are qualified and registered teachers.

There are opportunities for children to interact between two separate outdoor areas. They successfully transition from the nursery to the nearby Little Guppies ECLC PreSchool.

The centre philosophy was recently reviewed to strengthen the commitment to providing quality care and education in a safe, respectful and embracing environment.

A new team leader oversees the nursery and is supported by the director of operations.

The July 2013 ERO report identified that the centre required further support to improve. Areas identified included reviewing the centre philosophy and curriculum; assessment and planning; employment policies, procedures and practices; self review and evaluation.

Since the previous ERO report, management and staff have had considerable professional development with external support. This has resulted in progress which is contributing to ongoing improvement.

This review was part of a cluster of three reviews in the Little Guppies centres. 

The Review Findings

Considerable work has been undertaken to align systems and processes. Strategic and annual planning is based on the philosophy. The teaching team, parents and management have worked positively to review the centre philosophy and ensure it links to the agreed values. Aspects of the philosophy are evident in practice.

Children experience a calm, safe, settled environment where there is space to explore. They are happy, confident and competent and a strong sense of belonging is fostered. There is a strong emphasis placed on manaakitanga.

Positive outcomes for children are promoted by teachers working collaboratively. Ongoing communication ensures the needs of children are responded to throughout the day. The environment is organised to make the most of learning opportunities. Children engage in child initiated play and access a wide range of activities and resources. They are supported to develop physical skills, problem-solve, and grow their social competencies. Teachers and children enjoy learning and have fun.

Teachers regularly share and reflect on children’s current learning and development and plan how they will respond in an authentic and meaningful way. Portfolios are an attractive record of aspects of children’s learning and how teachers foster this. They provide opportunities for parents to comment. It is timely to review these to ensure that the full range of learning is captured and the individual learning of children is clearly visible. Staff identify that ongoing development of learning stories and assessment practices is needed.

Teachers are responsive to the needs, routines and rhythms and care of all children. Strong, respectful relationships with families ensure that children’s ongoing sense of belonging is fostered. Planning is responsive to children’s strengths and emerging interests. It is visually displayed. Parents are encouraged to contribute. The dual cultural heritage of Aotearoa is acknowledged through waiata, karakia and te reo Māori. Teachers acknowledge that development of the bicultural curriculum needs to be a continuing focus. ERO’s evaluation supports this as a next step.

Teachers and management recognise the importance of valuing children’s cultures, languages and identities, and developing partnerships with parents and whānau. Teachers should consider how to include te reo Māori and parent aspirations in learning stories. This should contribute to practices that acknowledge and support children’s success as learners in their own culture and better identify and meet family and community needs.

Transitions are well considered and planned. Information sharing between the centre and its sister service, Little Guppies Preschool, ensures a smooth transition for children and their whānau.

Teachers have developed a framework to guide their internal evaluation practice and improve the quality of learning outcomes for children. With the assistance of an external facilitator, teachers are beginning to enquire into their practice. Staff should consider shifting the focus to show how well practices and curriculum are promoting positive learning outcomes for children. 

Clear direction and expectations are now in place to support consistency of practice and positive outcomes for children. Teachers’ individual appraisal goals are aligned with Little Guppies strategic and centre-wide goals. Professional learning opportunities are contributing to collaborative teaching and understanding of effective teaching and curriculum.

Key Next Steps

Teachers and leaders are focused on improving outcomes for children. They should strengthen:

  • their cultural competencies and understanding of te ao Māori
  • knowledge and understanding of effective assessment practice
  • self review practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Little Guppies ECLC Nursery 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 Little Guppies ECLC Nursery will be in three years. 

Joyce Gebbie
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

14 December 2015

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

28 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 16, Boys 11

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


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

September 2015

Date of this report

14 December 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

July 2013

Education Review

May 2010

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.