Little People Learning Centre - 07/11/2012

1 Evaluation of the Service

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

Little People Learning Centre in Glenfield, Auckland, is reasonably well placed to promote positive outcomes for children. The centre opened in 2010 and is licensed for 30 children from two years of age.

Little People Learning Centre is privately owned and operated. Centre managers are committed to maintaining a culturally inclusive learning environment that is reflective of the community it serves. Strategic appointment processes attract teachers with expertise in working with children and families from the diverse ethnic backgrounds. The staff consists of four qualified teachers and one teacher in training.

Managers have established administrative and operational systems to guide teaching practices and to implement strategic plans for the centre. They support staff through providing opportunities for ongoing professional learning and development. This support has benefited the programme and has helped to improve teaching practices.

The centre’s philosophy clearly outlines the intentions to provide a home-away-from-home environment, where children, their families and whānau feel welcomed. The centre’s desire for a holistic programme that meets individual children’s developmental and learning needs is fostered by staff. The programme reflects the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Review Findings

Relationships between adults and children are respectful and positive. Children are encouraged to develop social skills and build their confidence. Parents and whānau are warmly welcomed into the centre and appreciate teachers’ willingness to discuss and share their children’s progress and activities.

The learning environment is attractive. The design of indoor and outdoor areas maximises space available for secure but unconstrained play. The large enclosed outdoor area is enjoyed by children and allows for more imaginative and robust play. It enables children to acquire new skills and to experience physical challenge.

The supervisor manages the programme, and provides support and guidance for staff. Teachers are working through a new planning process that is guided by Te Whāriki, the New Zealand early childhood curriculum. Teachers work collaboratively to facilitate effective transitions to school for children in partnership with families and school personnel. The promotion of literacy and numeracy concepts and learning experiences is evident. This teaching is deliberately woven into the programme and group and mat times.

Centre managers have made a good start in establishing the centre. Leadership is collaborative and inclusive. Teachers are committed and professional. They provide resources and activities for children to explore. Photographs of children engaged in learning are well displayed.

Teachers have an inclusive approach and value the richness of cultural diversity that children and their families bring to the centre. They encourage families to celebrate their uniqueness through the sharing of cultural materials, language and songs in a variety of ways. They include aspects of New Zealand’s dual cultural heritages in the programme.

During the review, centre managers and ERO agreed that children’s learning would now benefit from:

  • reviewing the centre philosophy to gain a shared understanding of, and agreement about, how this philosophy could be reflected in practice
  • making the programme more child-initiated and challenging
  • continuing to strengthen assessment, planning and evaluation processes to show clear links to how the programme is helping children to learn.

Centre managers also agreed that there would be value in continuing to enhance self-review systems. Discussion also identified the need to:

  • develop a long-term strategic plan that clearly identifies the centre’s priorities and associated goals towards achieving its vision
  • develop annual plans for implementing long-term goals
  • develop a policy for how the centre will support children and families who are new speakers of English
  • strengthen and align appraisals to the registered teacher criteria, the graduating teacher standards, the centre’s philosophy, and clearly identify next steps for teacher development in appraisal documents
  • continue to strengthen leadership roles through a focus on improving the quality of education and care through ongoing and systematic self review.
  • Before the review, the staff and management of Little People Learning Centre 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.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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.

To sustain and improve practice centre managers should strengthen excursion plans to include a robust risk analysis process.

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. 

Violet Tu'uga Stevenson
National Manager Review Services
Northern Region (Acting)

7 November 2012

Information about the Early Childhood Service 


Glenfield, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

All Day Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children over 2 years of age 

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls       16
Boys      11

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Cook Island Māori


Review team on site

August 2012

Date of this report

7 November 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports


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.