Northland Community Pre-School - 20/05/2020

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

Northland Community Pre-School requires further development to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Northland Community Pre-School is licensed to provide early childhood education for 30 children, including 10 up to two years old. It is a not-for-profit centre managed by a parent-elected committee and serves a diverse ethnic community.

Day-to-day operations of this service are the responsibility of the supervisor, who leads a team of four registered teachers. Since the April 2017 ERO review staffing has remained stable.

A welcoming, rich learning environment, guided by children’s interests and capabilities which nurture and meet the needs of tamariki, kaiako and whānau, is central to the centre's recently reviewed philosophy. Teachers’ practice is guided by parent aspirations, community values, Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and the principles of te Tiriti o Waitangi. It is strongly underpinned by values of whanaungatanga, belonging, and mana atua (wellbeing). The service’s aspirations are for tamariki to be happy, confident, resilient, keen learners and valued members of their wider community.

The previous 2017 ERO evaluation findings recommended that the teaching team strengthen and further develop: bicultural practices, understanding success for Māori, support for transition to school, assessment practice, appraisal, internal evaluation and the alignment of planned reviews with long-term planning. Progress is evident, however appraisal remains an area requiring improvement.

The Review Findings

Northland Community Pre-School’s vision and values are strongly promoted, shared and enacted by the children, the teaching team and the supportive community. A welcoming, inclusive culture, where all children are valued, is deliberately fostered by leaders and teachers.

Highly engaged children of all ages play and learn together in well-resourced indoor and outdoor environments. Children under two years benefit from attentive, responsive teachers who promote a strong sense of security and belonging. Older children are encouraged to support younger children.

Imaginative and creative play is intentionally promoted. Science, literacy and mathematics are effectively woven through the curriculum. Environmental sustainability and kaitiakitanga, guardianship of the land, is a strong focus.

Children are seen as confident, competent learners. Teachers closely observe their emerging interests, and plan collaboratively to deepen and extend their learning. Profile books consistently capture children's discoveries, experimentations and emerging understandings. A next step is to ensure their language, culture and identity are well reflected and represented in all documentation.

The teaching team effectively supports and guides children’s learning through group planning. This is strongly child-led and forms the basis of the enacted curriculum. Thoughtful wall displays clearly document children's learning discoveries and outcomes, and keep parents and whānau well informed.

The teaching team is improvement focused, collaborative and values the skills and strengths of each team member. Internal evaluation is well understood and results in positive outcomes for children.

Inclusive practice is highly evident. Children with additional needs are very well supported to improve and enhance their learning, in partnership with parents. Appropriate assistance is accessed as required.

The learning environment strongly reflects the cultures of all children. An important next step is for teachers to continue this journey with a strong focus on te reo and te ao Māori.

Transitions into the pre-school are well supported by a collective team approach, based on individual children’s needs. Leaders and teachers have identified the need to build relationships with local primary schools.

Appraisal remains an area for significant improvement. ERO also identified this as a priority in the centre's 2014 and 2017 reports. The policy and procedures require review and updating to reflect legislation. All teachers should have a robust appraisal process that includes targeted observations of their practice linked to identified goals, formal documented meetings and an annual summary report.

The parent committee receives useful information about centre operations from the supervisor. To improve practice, policies and procedures must be regularly reviewed and updated to reflect current legislation.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps for leaders and teachers are to:

  • strongly reflect children's culture, language and identity in centre documentation

  • continue to develop knowledge of the bicultural curriculum

  • review and update policies.

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.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to governance and management, and health and safety. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following areas:

  • suitable human resource practices are implemented, specifically a system of regular appraisal

  • heavy objects that could fall or topple and cause serious injury or damage should be secured.

[Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA7, HS6]

Since the onsite stage of the review the service has provided evidence that the safety issue related to heavy objects has been addressed.

To improve other compliance practice the service should:

  • ensure that sleep monitoring records are consistently completed

  • update the personnel policy to specifically reference the Children's Act 2014 in the appointment policy.

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service, in consultation with the Ministry of Education, develops a plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)

Southern Region - Te Tai Tini

20 May 2020

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

Boys 27, Girls 16

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2019

Date of this report

20 May 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 2017

Education Review

April 2014

Education Review

May 2011

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.