Little Guppies ECLC Nursery - 30/07/2013

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

The service needs to develop sustainable systems to support ongoing improvements in the curriculum and teaching practices to support better learning opportunities for children.

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


Little Guppies Nursery, established in 2009, is located in a remodelled dwelling near Little Guppies Pre-school in Taradale. This privately owned service provides sessional and all-day education and care for up to 28 children, including 25 aged under two years. It is one of three Little Guppies early childhood centres in Hawke’s Bay. An operations manager oversees the day-to-day operation of all three centres. The centre is currently licensed under the Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations, 1998 while teachers develop the centre curriculum and teaching practices to meet the requirements of the 2008 regulations.

There have been significant staff changes since the 2010 review. At the beginning of 2013, a new team leader was appointed. She is one of four provisionally registered teachers on the staff. The centre also employs several teachers currently in training. The team leader is supported by the operations manager to lead the centre.

Children learn in an attractive, spacious and well resourced environment that includes an interesting and inviting outdoor area. This report finds some positive areas of operation in 2013. The area of literacy identified in the May 2010 ERO report has been addressed. However, more work is needed to address the centre's philosophy.

The Review Findings

Infants and toddlers are provided with warm and respectful care and attention by staff. They play amicably alongside each other, choosing freely from a wide variety of resources. Caring adults support children’s play. Children’s talk is encouraged and respected. Teachers aim to foster the development of children’s early language and communication skills. They are affirming and respond to each child’s needs and interests including those with additional learning needs. Teachers use a range of strategies to support the learning and development of these children.

Children quickly settle into the centre as they arrive. They display a sense of belonging and security. Useful information is exchanged between teachers and parents to promote continuity of care between home and the centre. Centre routines provide a calm and flexible structure to the day. Adults consistently support turn-taking, sharing and problem-solving.

Assessment practices are developing. Children’s time at the centre is recorded and described by staff in detailed profile books. The operations manager is helping recently qualified teachers to formally assess and plan. They are considering how they can evaluate the impact of teaching on children's learning and development.

Teachers continue to build their confidence in te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. This includes karakia and waiata at kai times. Recent professional development has increased staff awareness of how they can cater better for children and families from Pacific and other cultures.

The staff induction programme provides good support and direction for recently employed staff. Teachers take on curriculum leadership roles and set goals for development through this process. Management of employment practices for developing and retaining teachers requires strengthening. This includes appraisal, professional development provision and support programmes for provisionally registered teachers.

The service’s self-review practice focuses mainly on becoming familiar with policies and procedures to promote a safe physical and emotional environment and meeting legislative requirements. These policies and procedures are common to the three centres. Self review for improvement is at an early stage of development.

Key Next Steps

ERO recommends that management, team leader and teachers:

  • review the centre philosophy and curriculum to more clearly consider approaches for:
  • children aged under two years
  • Māori children and their whānau and how the centre supports Māori success as Māori
  • responding to parents and whānau wishes for children’s education
  • develop consistency in planning and assessment practices
  • strengthen employment policies, procedures and practices
  • strengthen their knowledge of self review and evaluation to develop and sustain effective teaching and learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the 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:

  • administration
  • health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial and property management.

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.

Development Plan to Ministry of Education

ERO recommends that the service consult with the Ministry of Education and plan to address the key next steps outlined in this report.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Little Guppies ECLC Nursery will be in two years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

30 July 2013

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

28 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 16,

Boys 13

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā

Other Ethnicities




Percentage of qualified adults

0-49% 50-79% 80% Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1 : 4

Meets minimum requirements


Over 2

1 : 4

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2013

Date of this report

30 July 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

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.