Morning Star Preschool - 12/08/2015

1 Evaluation of Morning Star Preschool

How well placed is Morning Star 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.


Morning Star Preschool is a privately owned centre in Epsom catering for up to 30 children over the age of two years. The service offers full day care and education. The majority of children attending are of New Zealand European or Chinese decent.

The centre maintains a stable staff. Its management committee employs a centre manager, two senior teachers and a team of three teaching staff. Four staff are qualified teachers and two are in training. Three teachers are also fully registered, and another is in the process of obtaining her provisional registration.

The centre’s philosophy emphasises the importance of play in children’s learning. It seeks to promote a positive learning environment that values people, caring and nurturing relationships, and strong connections between families and teachers as educators. Children’s development is viewed holistically, with strong focus on literacy and numeracy.

The teaching team has established sound relationships with parents. There is a clear commitment to supporting the Mandarin language and Chinese culture, while also affirming and promoting both the English and Māori language and culture.

Since the 2012 ERO review teachers have continued to work together to build teaching capability and to use self review to improve the environment. They continue to respond to a next step noted in the 2012 ERO report outlining the benefits of further working with parents to develop shared understandings of the intent of the centre’s curriculum and its connection to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

The Review Findings

Children are supported by teachers to play and explore in an orderly and attractive learning environment. Children show a sense of belonging and benefit from the positive way is which their language, culture, and identity is affirmed by teachers. A prominent feature is the use of the Mandarin language by both children and teachers, with children also provided with good opportunities to develop their literacy skills in English.

Teachers have good relationships with children and are available to provide for their interests and needs. Clear routines are evident within the daily programme. Teachers could now reflect further on how they facilitate learning. A focus on a more child-centred approach would extend authentic learning opportunities for children. The inclusion of more opportunities for uninterrupted, child initiated play would allow children to engage more deeply in sustained, focused play while promoting increasingly complex learning and social interactions.

Teachers’ planning is individualised to each child. It is a shared process that enables all teachers to contribute, and shows predicted next steps in learning for each child. Children’s individual portfolios attractively present their learning journey. These are available to parents to make comments on and to add further information about their children’s accomplishments.

The head teacher has purposefully built relationships with a local primary school, and there are opportunities for centre staff and children to visit and familiarise with the school. This is helping to foster a smooth transition to school process for children and their families.

Leaders encourage teachers to develop their strengths and capabilities. A new appraisal process to promote ongoing improvement in teaching and learning is under development in preparation for full implementation. Teachers could now be encouraged to develop more of a collaborative inquiry approach to enable them to reflect together on the effectiveness of their teaching practices. Shared professional development opportunities could also enhance the development of centre practices.

Key Next Steps

The centre leaders and ERO agree that the next steps are to continue:

  • developing approaches that respond more to children’s interests and provide open-ended learning opportunities
  • reviewing the programme to ensure that child-led learning is recognised and valued, and that there are opportunities for children to develop complex play
  • developing the teacher appraisal process to include external support and networking opportunities
  • to help parents to understand Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

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


Epsom, Auckland

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 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 22
Girls 17

Ethnic composition

South African


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2015

Date of this report

12 August 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2012

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.