Nature's Play Preschool - Pegasus - 03/09/2015

1 Evaluation of Nature's Play Preschool - Pegasus

How well placed is Nature's Play Preschool - Pegasus to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Nature’s Play Preschool is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Nature’s Play Preschool is a purpose-built, privately-owned centre located in the new township of Pegasus, north of Christchurch. The centre is licensed for up to 65 children with up to 16 under 2.

The centre has a nursery for infants and toddlers up to 2½ years of age and a preschool. Children benefit from a centre chef and a specialist Arts teacher who facilitates the arts programme.

The centre is strongly influenced by the principles of the Reggio Emilia approach and Te Whāriki , the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum. A feature of the philosophy is that children are able to discover and explore in their own time with the close support of teachers.

The centre has experienced a number of staff changes since it opened in 2013. The majority of staff are qualified early childhood teachers. A new management structure has recently been established. This includes the appointment of a team leader to each room.

This is the first ERO review for this new centre.

The Review Findings

The shared centre philosophy is evident throughout the programmes. Children are able to follow their own interests at their own pace. They are focused and engaged in a wide range of stimulating activities. Children are becoming self-directed learners and independence is fostered.

Children are encouraged to care for and explore the natural environment. The indoor and outdoor environments are very well resourced and purposefully and attractively presented.

Teachers establish close relationships based on respect. They use a wide range of ways to interact positively with children. They celebrate children’s discoveries, learning and successes.

Assessment and planning processes are well established. Teachers plan projects that are linked to children’s interests. They actively work with children for sustained periods of time. Teachers provide many challenging experiences and extend children’s learning and development.

Teachers are developing close links with parents. Feedback from parents is positive and shows teachers are approachable, genuine, friendly and communicate regularly.

The manager has well established transition procedures with the local school and with whanau to support children moving into and beyond the centre. Transition is flexible well planned and follows the child's pace.

In the nursery ERO observed:

  • caring, nurturing and responsive interactions between children and teachers
  • calm and unhurried routines
  • uncluttered and well resourced learning environments
  • teachers communicating frequently about children’s needs and routines.

Centre leaders have established useful processes for strategic and annual planning that identifies priorities and goals for continual improvements.

Self review is effectively contributing to the quality of education and care. Managers and teachers use self review for ongoing reflection and promoting positive outcomes for children.

A recently revised appraisal system provides a good framework for further teacher development. It recognises teachers’ good practice, allows for goal setting and ongoing reflection to improve teaching practice.

Key Next Steps

The management team has identified, and ERO agrees, that the following next steps are necessary for continuing to improve outcomes for children. The managers need to:

  • include indicators when evaluating the impact self review is having on what happens for children
  • increase and strengthen the use of te reo and tikanga Māori throughout the centre
  • review the philosophy to include a commitment to the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa NZ
  • support teachers to increase their knowledge and use of te reo and tikanga Māori

To further strengthen assessment planning and evaluation practices teachers need to: 

  • make next steps for learning more visible for children and parents
  • review and develop further ways that children and parents can have increased access to child assessment records.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Nature's Play Preschool - Pegasus 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 Nature's Play Preschool - Pegasus will be in three years.

Chris Rowe
Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

3 September 2015 

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 


Pegasus, North Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

65 children, including up to 16 aged under two

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 57; Boys 43

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


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2015

Date of this report

3 September 2015

Most recent ERO report

No previous ERO reports


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.