Little Guppies Private Kindergarten & Childcare - 25/07/2013

1 Evaluation of Little Guppies Private Kindergarten and Childcare

How well placed is Little Guppies Private Kindergarten and Childcare to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

The service is in the early stages of developing sustainable systems to support ongoing improvements in the curriculum and teaching practices to promote better learning opportunities for children.

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


Little Guppies Private Kindergarten and Childcare Centre first opened in January 2012. This privately owned service provides sessional and all-day education and care for 25 children, including nine aged up to two years. The centre is one of three Little Guppies early childhood centres in Hawke’s Bay. It is currently operating under a provisional Ministry of Education licence while teachers develop the centre curriculum and teaching practices and review practices.

Significant staff changes have occurred. At the end of 2012, a new team leader was appointed. Three teachers began in 2013 resulting in a new teaching team. In the week before ERO’s review, an experienced teacher went on three months leave. The team leader is beginning to provide leadership and direction for the teaching team and particularly for the two provisionally registered teachers.

Children learn in a spacious and well resourced environment that includes an interesting, attractive outdoor area. This review finds some positive progress in 2013. However, much more work is needed to strengthen effective teaching and learning.

The Review Findings

Children are provided with warm, respectful care and attention by staff. They play amicably alongside each other or independently. Caring adults join in children’s play. They extend individual thinking and oral language through good conversations. Adults are affirming and responsive to each child’s needs and interests. Centre routines allow a calm and flexible structure to the day. This includes times for meals, music, storytelling and dancing. Literacy and numeracy experiences are provided for children.

Children quickly settle into the centre when they arrive. Infants and toddlers display a sense of belonging and security. Teachers give useful information to parents to promote continuity of care between home and the centre. Adults consistently support turn-taking, sharing and problem-solving. Children are learning strategies to support their wellbeing and resilience.

Teachers are starting to notice and respond to children’s interests through planning, focused on providing relevant resources and activities. Children’s time at the centre is regularly recorded and described by staff in detailed profile books. The team leader is helping recently qualified teachers to formally assess and plan. They are considering how to evaluate the impact of teaching on children's learning and development.

Children choose from a wide variety of resources. Teachers continue to build confidence in use and understanding of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. This includes karakia, waiata and team leader modelling of te reo Māori. Recent professional development has increased staff awareness of how they can cater better for children and families from Pacific and other cultures. Strategies to support children with additional learning needs are in the initial stages of development.

The staff induction programme gives good support and direction for recently qualified staff. Teachers are starting to take on curriculum leadership roles and setting goals for development through this process. Employment practice for growing and supporting teachers is in the initial stages and includes appraisal, professional learning and development and mentoring programmes for newly qualified teachers.

The service’s self-review practice focuses mainly on becoming familiar with policies and procedures to provide a safe physical and emotional environment and meeting legislative requirements. 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 up to two years
  • Māori children and their whānau, and how they support Māori success, as Māori
  • responding to parents’ and whānau wishes for children’s education
  • continue to develop teaching practices for assessment and planning
  • strengthen employment policies, procedures and practices
  • continue to improve their knowledge and use of self review and evaluation to develop and sustain effective teaching and learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Little Guppies Private Kindergarten and Childcare 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.

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 and actions outlined in this report.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Little Guppies Private Kindergarten and Childcare will be in two years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

25 July 2013

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


Havelock North

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 9 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 17,

Boys 11

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā

Other Ethnic Groups




Percentage of qualified adults

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

May 2013

Date of this report

25 July 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports


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.