Little Pukeko's Preschool - 25/05/2018

1 Evaluation of Little Pukeko's Preschool

How well placed is Little Pukeko's Preschool to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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


Little Pukeko's Preschool is situated in the centre of Pukekohe. It is one of three privately owned centres situated close to each other in the same street. The service provides all-day education and care for up to 30 children from infancy to three and half years old, in a mixed-age setting. At the time of this ERO review there were 32 children enrolled including eight identified as Māori. Children transition at three and a half years old to a sister centre catering for older children up to school age.

The owner is also the licensee and director and takes responsibility for governance oversight. A manager provides professional and administrative support for the three centres. The centre supervisor takes overall responsibility for day-to-day operations and professional support for teachers and staff. There are currently six qualified teachers, a teacher in training and a support staff member. There have been changes to leadership and staffing in recent times.

The service aims to provide children with opportunities to be competent, confident learners in a safe, secure and caring environment.

There have been significant upgrades to indoor and outdoor environments. The 2015 ERO report identified the need to strengthen planning for curriculum areas, develop assessment and planning that focus on children's learning and to further develop self-review systems and practices. These areas continue to require attention.

The Review Findings

The curriculum promotes positive outcomes for children through activities and themes related to identified children's interests. The programme is a mixture of teacher-led routines with opportunities for child-initiated play. Active learners explore and adventure in spacious indoor and outdoor environments and enjoy a good variety of appropriate physical challenges. Trusted friendships enable children to engage in dramatic play for sustained periods. Teachers plan regular opportunities for children to take trips and make contribution to their local and wider community. Children learn about the natural world through gardening alongside teachers. There are tools and materials available that support children's early mathematics, writing and creativity skills. Children would benefit from greater access to resources to enhance their learning.

Children's participation in the programme is documented in both digital and centre-based portfolios and displays. This enables them to revisit their learning and celebrate their success. There is a need for teachers to provide further opportunities for families to contribute their ideas and aspirations as partners in their children’s learning. Children are developing their social and problem-solving skills. Well planned transitions are supporting children's growing sense of belonging and wellbeing.

Māori children and whānau benefit from positive and meaningful relationships with teachers and learning in a home-like mixed-age setting. Aspects of tikanga and te reo Māori are included in the daily programme. Teachers recently attended professional development related to building bicultural practice in the centre. A next step is for the service to implement the intent of Ministry of Education guidelines, Ka Hikitia and Tātaiako. In addition, the language, culture and identity of each child and their family should be visible and present in the curriculum, assessment portfolios and the environment.

Children up to two years old experience responsive care from consistent teachers. Routines maintain their familiar rhythms from home. Infants join with older children when appropriate, they also have a separate space for quiet times and sleep. They are settled and confident.

Teachers work inclusively with children identified as priority learners, their whānau and specialist agencies. This has resulted in positive progress and outcomes for these children. Teachers need to significantly reduce noise levels inside to protect very young children.

Teachers have established positive and caring relationships with children and their families. There are models of good teaching practice that promote positive learning outcomes for children. Teachers make consistent use of strategies that positively guide children’s behaviour. Conversations and use of open questioning and rich oral language encourage children to share their ideas and express their opinions. Children are building their understanding about concepts such as emotions, mathematics, science and literacy. Good teaching strategies are promoting children's thinking, problem-solving skills and social competency.

Centre leaders have established a positive team culture after a time of change. They work in a professional and collegial partnership with the centre owner and the teaching team. They have established positive and trusting relationships with families over time. Currently, a review of the centre philosophy is underway to reflect the values and views of staff. It is important to gather the views and priorities of whānau and families and include these in the review process.

Some aspects of centre governance require improvement. Quality assurance systems and processes need strengthening to enable the service to be assured the centre is meeting all regulatory requirements. Currently there is a useful framework to guide strategic planning and self-review processes. Strategic goals are aligned to the centre’s values. To improve the effectiveness of goal setting it is important to include indicators and criteria linked to guiding documents, regulatory requirements and best practice in early childhood. This would enable the service to more effectively evaluate the outcomes of review and planning.

Key Next Steps

Leaders need to continue to strengthen:

  • systems and processes for effective self review

  • bicultural practices that promote success for Māori as Māori, this should include implementing the intent of Ka Hikitia and Tātaiako

  • assessment and planning to meet individual children’s interests and responding to their language culture and identity

  • consultation with whānau and families.


Leaders should seek support from the Ministry of Education to address the areas for improvement identified in the key next steps.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Little Pukeko's Preschool 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.

ERO found areas of non-compliance with regard to:

  • implementing performance management systems and processes to align with Education Council requirements, guidelines and best practice in early childhood education

  • noise levels that may negatively affect children's learning or wellbeing

[Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008:GMA7; PF12].

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Little Pukeko's Preschool will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

25 May 2018

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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 18 Girls 14

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2018

Date of this report

25 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2015

Education Review

May 2012

Education Review

June 2009

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.