Northland Community Pre-School - 06/04/2017

1 Evaluation of Northland Community Pre-School

How well placed is Northland Community Pre-School 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.


Northland Community Pre-School is licensed to provide early childhood education for a maximum of 30 children, including 10 up to two years old. It is a not-for-profit centre managed by a parent-elected committee. The centre has a stable roll and a small waiting list.

All teachers are qualified and registered.

Building strong reciprocal relationships with families and whānau is an important part of the preschool's philosophy. Play-based learning is valued as a tool to support meaningful and authentic learning. Tuakana teina is seen as an integral part of the way children learn.

In the June 2014 ERO report, key next steps included: revisiting the philosophy statement and guiding documents; developing bicultural practices; promoting success for Māori children as Māori; and implementing teacher and leader appraisal.

The Review Findings

The pre-school's philosophy is strongly enacted in practice. Teachers are welcoming to all. They respond positively and respectfully to children and have well-established relationships with parents and whānau. Communication and sharing of information happens regularly. Children are happy and confident and support each other in their play and learning. The pre-school is well supported by the community.

Teachers use a range of effective strategies to extend children's learning, promote their engagement and foster their social skills. Many children are able to sustain their play for extended periods.

The pre-school works with external agencies to develop strategies for children requiring additional learning support. Plans are put in place to enhance their participation in the programme. 

Bicultural practices have been strengthened since the previous ERO review. Children are learning te reo Māori through waiata, stories and teacher modelling. The pre-school has identified that there is a need to continue to strengthen this aspect of practice, and ERO agrees. Including whanaungatanga in the philosophy has been identified as a next step. This could be a useful basis for continued work on developing understanding of success for Māori as Māori.

Transitions into and out of the pre-school are supported by teachers. They work with parents and whānau so that transitions into the centre are sensitively handled and at the child's own pace. Relationships with two local schools have been established. Teachers acknowledge that they need to continue to develop the school transition process.

Teachers notice, recognise and respond to opportunities to engage with children and extend their understanding and ideas. Learning stories record children's particular interests and skills and show how teachers are progressing their learning. There is a need to more consistently represent children's cultures in assessment practice.

The supervisor encourages others to take responsibility for leading aspects of the programme. The collaborative team culture enriches teaching and learning.

Spontaneous self review is embedded in practice and has led to positive change. There is a regular cycle of policy review, however, a number of key guidelines are in need of urgent development. Teachers have engaged in some recent strategic review. They need to strengthen their understanding of the purpose and process of internal evaluation to better support ongoing improvement.

Leaders continue to work on the implementation of the revised appraisal process.

The parent committee has identified the need to align annual and strategic planning in order to better define operational priorities for improvement.

Key Next Steps

The committee chair, supervisor and ERO agree that the key next steps for Northland Community Preschool are to strengthen and further develop:

  • bicultural practices

  • understanding of success for Māori as Māori

  • support for transition to school

  • assessment practice

  • staff appraisal

  • internal evaluation and alignment of planned reviews with long-term planning. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Northland Community Pre-School 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 Northland Community Pre-School will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

6 April 2017

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

30 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 19, Boys 18

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

January 2017

Date of this report

6 April 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

June 2014

Supplementary Review

May 2011

Education Review

March 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.