Monkeys & Munchkins Preschool and Nursery - 02/03/2018

1 Evaluation of Monkeys & Munchkins Preschool and Nursery

How well placed is Monkeys & Munchkins Preschool and Nursery 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.


Monkeys & Munchkins Preschool and Nursery offers all day education and care for a maximum of 59 infants, toddlers and young children to school age. In 2016, the centre was purchased by the Evolve Education Group.  Since ERO's visit to the centre, the centre has had a name change to Active Explorers Tai Tapu.

The centre is organised as two rooms so that children can interact with others of a similar age. One room is for children up to three years of age and the other room is for the older children.

The majority of staff are qualified early childhood teachers with two teachers in training. A centre manager oversees the day-to-day operation of the centre. A manager from Evolve Education Group visits the centre to provide additional management and leadership support.

The Review Findings

Respectful relationships between teachers and children contribute to children's sense of wellbeing and belonging. Teachers work well together to respond sensitively to children's needs. They take time to listen carefully to children and understand what they want to communicate.  

Children engage in a wide variety of learning opportunities. Literacy and mathematics learning is well integrated throughout the daily programme and environment. Children's confidence and independence is actively promoted. Children have many opportunities for individual and group play.

Teachers are effective in the ways they respond to children's ideas. They maintain a good overview of the programme. Teachers recognise and value the importance of children learning through play. They join children's play in purposeful ways that respect the child's choices and supports them to develop their own ideas.

Infants and toddlers are well supported by responsive teachers who are alert to their needs and non-verbal cues. Teachers are caring and nurturing in the ways they interact with these children. They encourage infants and toddlers to join in activities that might be unfamiliar to them and extend their experiences and confidence.

Regular assessments effectively identify children's interests and learning. Teachers have increased the opportunities for parents to share information about children's learning and contribute to planning.

Managers and staff have been involved in a well-managed ownership transition process. The new ownership has built on existing centre and staff strengths. Leaders and managers are provided with consistent support to promote centre development. 

Clear guidelines and useful professional learning and development are ensuring shared understandings of future directions and priorities. There are useful strategies to ensure consistency in practices across the centre. Teachers are valued and respected as professionals. They are focused on the development of practices that prioritise improved outcomes for children.

Managers and teachers have increased collaboration with local schools and other early childhood services over time. They are part of the Ngā Mātāpuna o Ngā Pākihi Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps to improve outcomes for all children are for managers and teachers to strengthen:

  • the consistency of assessment and planning documentation
  • bicultural practices, including increasing the use of te reo Māori in documentation and the programme and continuing to develop understandings of te ao Māori
  • internal evaluation so that a shared understanding of evaluative practice is developed and more is known about the impacts for children as a result of any changes made.  

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Monkeys & Munchkins Preschool and Nursery 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 Monkeys & Munchkins Preschool and Nursery will be in three years.

Dr Lesley Patterson
Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

2 March 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 


Tai Tapu, Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

59 children, including up to 14 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 36

Girls 31

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

2 March 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2013

Education Review

February 2010

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.