Little Wonders Greenmeadows - 20/02/2018

1 Evaluation of Little Wonders Greenmeadows

How well placed is Little Wonders Greenmeadows to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

The centre was purchased by Evolve Education Group in May 2015. The centre manager, appointed in July 2016, has overseen the appointment of a new teaching team. Some initial progress in establishing a curriculum and understandings around centre systems is underway. However, more work is required to promote positive outcomes for children, including alignment with the new centre philosophy.

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


Little Wonders Greenmeadows, previously known as Parent and Child Taradale, is a mixed age early learning centre catering for 40 children, including 18 aged up to two years. The service very recently changed its name and has increased its daily licensed hours. It continues to cater for some parents or family members who wish to attend the service with their children. There has been an Increase in the numbers of children who participate in a teacher-led programme without family members in attendance.

In May 2015, the centre was purchased by Evolve Education Group. A new centre manager was appointed in July 2016 and most staff were appointed in the past year. In addition, there have been changes in Evolve area management. More recently, additional local management support has been provided for the centre manager to lead improvements.

The Review Findings

Children make choices in their play in an environment that encourages exploration and physical development. A growing focus on the natural environment is evolving. Staff are included in child-initiated play. Warm, positive relationships between children and centre adults are evident.

Extended conversations between adults and children foster oral language. Open-ended questioning and reflective listening are evident. A focus on early literacy, numeracy and science continues to grow.

The environment has been reorganised to create a quiet space for younger children and their parents to better cater to specific age requirements. Infants and toddlers play alongside their peers in a mixed-age setting. Other priority groups of learners are identified, monitored and supported.

Children who require additional support with their learning are well catered for. The centre manager and staff work collaboratively with whānau to monitor and progress individual learning goals. Appropriate external agencies and expertise are proactively accessed.

Teachers recognise the importance of continuing to build bicultural teaching practices and understandings. The recent appointment of staff with strengths in this area is assisting with tikanga and its central role in promoting success for Māori children and their whānau.

Assessment, planning and evaluation practices are under review. Profile books enable parents and children to revisit their learning and participation in group activities and centre events. An online assessment programme encourages parents to provide feedback and share learning aspirations for children.

A recent restructure within Evolve Education Group has led to the introduction of new management roles that aim to provide increased support for centre staff. Evolve managers should continue to strengthen systems to provide continuity in guidance and support for centre leaders and teachers for ongoing improvement in teaching and learning. This includes ensuring teacher appraisals are completed and lead to improved practices.

The outcomes of ongoing reviews of centre practices by the centre manager provide a useful foundation for improvement. This should be a platform to build team practices, the quality of teaching and learning and timely responses to emerging trends and issues. Deepening the shared understanding about the role of evidence and research should assist with using of internal evaluation to support the quality of teaching and learning.

Key Next Steps

Evolve Education group managers, centre manager and staff should improve:

  • the clarity about the role of teachers in supporting parents and whānau members who attend the service with their children

  • assessment practices, to be responsive to individual children and their families and how this links to programme planning and evaluation

  • alignment of the newly adopted Little Wonder vision to the centre philosophy

  • processes to build teacher capability and teamwork through appraisal and the use of internal evaluation to support better outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Little Wonders Greenmeadows 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 the completion of teacher appraisal. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following area:

  • ensure all teachers participate in and complete an annual appraisal process that meets the Education Council requirements for teacher certification.
    [Professional Practice Criterion GMA7 - suitable human resource management practices implemented]

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service, in consultation with the Ministry of Education, develops a 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 Wonders Greenmeadows will be within two years.

Alan Wynyard Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

20 February 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

40 children, including up to 18 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 45, Girls 26

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers

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

December 2017

Date of this report

20 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

December 2014

Education Review

May 2011

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.