Little People Preschool Wakefield - 09/08/2016

1 Evaluation of Little People Preschool - Wakefield

How well placed is Little People Preschool - Wakefield to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Little People Preschool Wakefield Requires further development to promote positive outcomes for children. The centre was purchased by the owner of Little People Preschool Richmond in May 2016. Management policies, systems and practices to ensure the centres meet the legal requirements, provide safe and healthy environment and good quality education for children need to be established at both centres.

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


Little People Preschool Wakefield provides care and education for children from two-years old to school age. Nearly all staff are qualified early childhood teachers and have recently been employed at the centre.

The centre is well supported by families from Wakefield village and the rural community. The centre and the school maintain close links. Visits between the two institutions occur regularly.

The Review Findings

Children are settled, confident and engaged in the programme. The new teaching team has quickly established good relationships with the children and their families. The staff-to-child ratio allows teachers to spend long periods of time with individual or small groups of children to build friendships and shared understandings.

Teachers have high expectations and use a range of effective strategies to help children in their learning, and to develop good social skills. Children are respectful and inclusive. Children with additional needs are well integrated into the programme.

The learning environment successfully invites children to explore, select and work at their own pace. The programme gives children considerable time to develop their ideas, work cooperatively with others and take responsibility for their own wellbeing.

Parents are confident in the programme, take an active role in settling children and often involve themselves in children's play. Wall displays, internet links and regular communication with staff keep them well informed about the programme. The manager is establishing systems and practices to involve families more in decision making for their children's learning and in the development of the centre.

Key Next Steps

The manager urgently needs to establish an effective management framework that will build capability, improve and sustain good quality learning and teaching for all children. To achieve this objective the next steps include:

  • establishing clear roles and responsibilities for managers, leaders and staff
  • ensuring policies and procedures meet legislative requirements, cover all areas of centre operations and are regularly reviewed
  • establishing internal evaluation practices that result in regular, indepth and completed evaluations
  • developing strategic planning that is useful, gives clear direction and is regularly monitored
  • embedding the new staff appraisal process and establishing appraisal for the manager
  • improving the usefulness of child assessment, individual and group planning to guide learning and teaching
  • establishing systems and practices to ensure health and safety requirements are met at all times
  • increasing the inclusion of te reo and tikanga Māori, and encouraging Māori families to share their aspirations for their children and their culture within the centre.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Little People Preschool - Wakefield 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

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to management and health and safety. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following areas:

  • effective governance and management practices including self-review and personnel
  • document systems and procedures to promote the safety of children enrolled.

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, 47(GMA4. GMA6, GMA7); 46(HS8, HS31)

Development Plan Recommendation

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 People Preschool - Wakefield will be within two years. 

Lesley Patterson
Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

9 August 2016 

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


Wakefield, Nelson

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, two years and older

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 25; Boys 23

Ethnic composition

Cook Island
Other ethnicities

 n 1

Percentage of qualified teachers
0-49%       50-79%       80%
Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2016

Date of this report

9 August 2016

Most recent ERO report

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.