Little Oaks Pre-School - 04/03/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

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

Little Oaks Preschool is well placed to promote positive outcomes for children. The centre’s management and curriculum provide strong direction for the ongoing development of the centre and good quality learning and teaching.


Little Oaks Preschool is in the rural town of Amberley and enrols children from the surrounding area. The centre provides education and care for children from birth to five years. In 2011, managers and staff broadened the centre’s philosophy to include some Montessori principles, along with Te Whāriki, the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum, which strongly influences the programme.

The indoor playrooms are decorated to create a homely environment. There are separate areas for children under two years and those over two years of age. The outside areas are well equipped and laid out with appropriate sheltered areas, and are inviting for children.

Areas of strength

Teachers build positive relationships with children and parents. Interactions are warm, caring and respectful. Teachers’ discussions with parents contribute to the parents’ increased confidence to contribute to and participate in their children’s learning.

Teachers are very responsive to the needs and interests of the children. Planned programmes for infants and toddlers are individual and based on children’s identified interests, strengths and needs. Children lead their learning and teachers support them with ideas and resources. Literacy and numeracy understandings are encouraged through a range of well-planned and challenging activities.

ERO observed teachers interacting with children in positive ways that support their learning and language development. Children are encouraged to solve problems and develop independence in their learning. Teachers promote children’s leadership and confidence through extending their interests.

Since the 2009 ERO review, the centre has made good progress in using te reo and tikanga Māori in the programme.

Teachers make good use of meetings to share information about children’s learning and progress. Learning stories appropriately record children’s broad range of learning experiences, interests and strengths.

The senior leaders provide strong leadership in all aspects of the centre organisation. They make good use of questionnaires and surveys with parents and staff to help them make decisions about resourcing and improving the quality of teaching and learning. Senior leaders are working together with staff to improve the effectiveness and usefulness of performance appraisal. This should lead to better identification of staff strengths and needs.

Self review is well established, systematic and effectively led. The process is thorough and useful in identifying where improvements are needed. The planned approach to self review is focused on improving teaching and learning and aspects of management. There is a regular cycle of review in place for the review of policies and procedures. Parents and whānau have suitable opportunities to say what they think is going well and where improvements could be made.

Areas for development and review

The centre manager has identified, and ERO agrees, that the next steps for the centre are to:

  • continue to develop teachers’ skills in assessment, in particular, using assessment information to plan children’s next steps in learning
  • maintain the progress made in developing bicultural practices by making use of the outcomes of the current review.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Little Oaks Pre-school 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

4 March 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 8 aged under two

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 49;

Boys 49

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā



Other ethnicities





Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Exceeds minimum requirements


Over 2


Exceeds minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2013

Date of this report

4 March 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review


September 2009

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.