Minnies Pre-School - 14/01/2016

1 Evaluation of Minnies Preschool

How well placed is Minnies Preschool to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Minnies Preschool is well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.

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


Minnies Preschool is one of four centres owned and administered by Canterbury Early Learning Centres Limited (CELC). The centre provides for babies to children of school age in two separate rooms. Each classroom has its own outdoor area. Most teachers are registered early childhood teachers.

The centre leader, the head teachers in the preschool and the nursery and a number of teachers have been appointed since the 2014 ERO review. Nearly all the staff are qualified early childhood teachers.

The centre has made significant progress since the 2014 review. The quality of the education and care programmes in the nursery have improved. Child assessment and programme planning procedures are well established. The centre is establishing good processes for self review, strategic planning and staff appraisal. The inclusion of te ao Māori is an area for continuing development.

Leaders and teachers have been well supported by the Ministry of Education (MoE) and advisory support services to improve systems and practices that promote positive outcomes for all children.

This review was part of a cluster of three centre reviews within CELC.

The Review Findings

Children experience positive and supportive relationships with their teachers. Teachers engage children in interesting conversations that help them connect their home and centre experiences. They ask questions that help children extend their thinking and problem-solving skills.

The environment is calm and well organised. Teachers know their roles and responsibilities, and how best they can support children and each other in the programme. The playrooms are well presented and equipped. Children can easily access resources and choose the space where they would like to work. Literacy, mathematics, science and physical activity are well integrated into the programme.

Children have time to think, select and work independently at their own pace. Teachers have an in- depth knowledge of each child. They make good use of the information to provide additional activities that build on the children’s interests and extend their knowledge and skills. Children participate in a wide range of experiences.

Infants and toddlers in the nursery enjoy nurturing relationships with their teachers. Children have time to explore their environment. Teachers are responsive and flexible to the needs and routines of the children. They skilfully introduce new activities that interest young children and help them to have positive social interactions with others.

Systems and procedures for child assessment and programme planning are well established. Teachers have been effectively supported by the curriculum leader to complete learning stories to a consistent high standard. They regularly discuss assessments and plans so that all teachers are aware of, and can respond appropriately to children’s interests and learning. Children’s individual learning plans also help to ensure all teachers have a good knowledge of each child’s learning.

Parents are kept well informed about their child’s learning through assessments, wall displays and planned meetings with the teachers.

Managers and teachers have made effective use of professional development to improve their management knowledge and skills. They have developed a useful self-review framework and have completed a well-constructed review. This review included good monitoring processes that identified outcomes for children. The strategic plan gives clear direction for the ongoing development and improvement of the centre.

The managers, leaders and teachers have established effective systems and practices for health and safety and care routines. These systems and practices are efficiently implemented by staff and regularly monitored by leaders and managers.

Key Next Steps

The managers and ERO agree that the key next steps for the centre include:

  • embedding and extending self review, strategic planning and staff appraisal processes and practices
  • further strengthening child assessment and programme planning practices
  • building teacher confidence in integrating te reo and tikanga Māori in the programme and documents.

Canterbury Early Learning Centres Limited (CELC)

CELC is making a number of improvements to the operation of the organisation at centre and management levels. These include:

  • appointing a curriculum leader and providing the curriculum leader and business manager with clear roles and responsibilities
  • making effective use of professional development initiated by the MoE for two centres to establish useful self review and strategic planning models across the four centres
  • establishing effective systems and practices for child assessment and programme planning
  • developing an operations manual for the organisation to provide policy and direction
  • building collaborative approaches by involving staff in the operations and decision making for their centre.

Key Next Steps

The CELC managers and ERO agree that the next key steps for the organisation should include:

  • establishing and embedding strategic planning and self review at the organisational level that is closely linked to the centre’s strategic planning, self review, staff appraisal and professional development
  • a planned approach for building bicultural capacity within the centres and at an organisational level
  • extending ways that parents and children can be involved in decision making for the organisation, centres and learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Minnies 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 Minnies Preschool will be in three years.

Chris Rowe

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

14 January 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



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 12 aged under two

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 30; Girls 27

Ethnic composition




Other ethnicities





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


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2015

Date of this report

14 January 2016

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

May 2014


Education Review

March 2011


Education Review

February 2008

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.