Lollipops Grey Lynn - 12/09/2014

1 Evaluation of Grey Lynn Nursery and Preschool

How well placed is Grey Lynn Nursery and Preschool to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Changes in leadership and management over the past year are improving the overall performance of Grey Lynn Nursery and Preschool. The centre is well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.

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


Grey Lynn Nursery and Preschool is located in the inner city Auckland suburb of Grey Lynn. The early childhood education centre was purchased by new owners in 2012 and has undergone extensive changes in management and operation. The quality of care and education for children has improved significantly since ERO’s 2011 education report.

The centre occupies a large site and provides services for up to 68 children, including 18 up to the age of two years. The infant and toddlers’ nursery is situated in a re-modelled house, close to the refurbished cottage for two years olds. The indoor areas of both the nursery and the cottage have been completely renovated and the outdoor areas are newly landscaped.

The indoor area of the preschool for 3 to 5 year olds has also been refurbished. Improving the quality of the learning environment and the resources has been a priority for the new owners. The grounds have been cleared and further development is planned for the outdoor area of the preschool. Over the past two years, a new philosophy has been introduced and new teaching teams have been employed.

The owners successfully operate three other early childhood centres in Auckland. Many of the administrative policies and procedures used in these centres have been implemented at the Grey Lynn Nursery and Preschool. The centre has been relicensed under the 2008 Licensing Criteria and now has a single licence to cover the nursery, cottage and preschool.

The new centre managers are well supported by the owners and have opportunities to develop their leadership skills. They are working collaboratively with the new staff to develop teaching teams, strengthen partnerships with parents and establish effective self review.

The Review Findings

Children in each of the three areas of the centre initiate their own play and select from easily accessible equipment to support their learning. Teachers notice and recognise children’s progress and development, and respond to their interests effectively. Literacy and numeracy is part of the centre-wide program, and children’s transition between the rooms is carefully managed by teachers in consultation with parents.

The child-centred philosophy is evident through learning programmes that extend children’s interests and promote their independence. Programmes are purposefully planned and displayed in each of the rooms. Children nearing 5 years of age are positively supported to transition to school. Children are confident communicators, and their records of learning include their voice. Children enjoy revisiting their learning through these attractively presented portfolios.

Children experience trusting relationships with teachers and make friends with other children. The arrangement of the rooms and equipment enables children to persist with imaginary play and return to favourite activities. The preschool art room supports children’s creative play through painting drawing and storytelling. Outdoor activities encourage physical and cooperative play. Teachers respond to children’s questions and encourage their inquiry and exploration.

Teachers provide good quality care and learning experiences for infants and toddlers. They are nurturing and affectionate, managing the needs of children up to the age of two years in gentle and sensitive ways. Teachers maintain the individual routines of each infant in an environment that is calm and unhurried. Respectful interactions and relationships support infants to explore their environment and practice early communication skills.

Teachers are building positive partnerships with parents. Newsletters, emails, and portfolios are used to engage parents in discussions around children’s progress and learning. Parents are encouraged by the positive changes in centre leadership and management. Teachers are developing an awareness of children’s diverse cultural backgrounds. They encourage English language learning, and include te reo and tikanga Māori in daily routines.

The two centre managers are providing good leadership throughout the centre. They are positively engaging staff in implementing the centre’s vision and philosophy. New performance management procedures have been introduced to support teacher’s learning and development. The emphasis on individual mentoring and feedback supports teachers to evaluate centre operations and reflect on their own teaching practice.

Clear strategic priorities are guiding centre improvements and self review. Written reports focus on centre goals and are well aligned to operational planning. Centre leaders are aware that ongoing support and professional learning is needed to fully embed the new directions and strengthen the team work of staff. They seek feedback from staff and parents to review centre progress and plan their next steps.

Key Next Steps

In order to further improve outcomes for children, centre managers agree that ongoing professional learning for staff should include:

  • maintaining the balance between child-led and teacher-led learning
  • exploring successful outcomes for Māori and Pacific children
  • reflecting on the role of teachers in responding to children’s interests, knowledge and skills as they transition through the centre.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Grey Lynn Nursery and 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Grey Lynn Nursery and Preschool will be in three years.

Dale Bailey National Manager Review Services Northern Region

12 September 2014

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


Grey Lynn, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

68 children, including up to 18 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 47 Girls 38

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā



Latin American

other European









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

July 2014

Date of this report

12 September 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Previously reviewed as:

Pre-School Irene II


Education Review

February 2011


Education Review

December 2007


Supplementary Review

October 2005

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.