Northland Community Pre-School - 24/06/2014

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 children 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.

In February 2013, as a result of significant fundraising and community support, the centre moved from the Northland Community Hall to its own premises in Wilton. In the past year, there have been many significant changes, including new premises, community and personnel. The leader is managing the changes well through collaborative leadership and use of self review.

The centre has responded to recommendations made in the May 2011 ERO report. The new team of teachers and managers is currently reviewing the philosophy to ensure it matches the new community’s goals, beliefs and aspirations. All teachers are qualified and registered. Building strong reciprocal relationships with families and whānau is an important part of the centre’s philosophy.

The Review Findings

The philosophy is evident in practice. Children participate enthusiastically in a curriculum that is based on their interests and ideas. Their wellbeing, sense of belonging and opportunities to contribute, communicate and explore are well supported. Routines are flexible and responsive to children’s needs.

Children are settled and engaged in their learning. Teachers use a range of teaching strategies to engage children in learning and extend thinking and encourage problem-solving. Teachers are developing a bicultural curriculum and children frequently hear te reo Māori. Children’s early literacy and mathematical concepts are fostered within the context of their play. Children with diverse learning needs contribute within an inclusive environment.

Information gained from individual and group assessment is used to guide the centre’s programmes. Teachers are highly attuned to children's needs. Staff recognise and respond to opportunities to extend children’s learning and observations are analysed and used for planning. Children’s individual progress is evident throughout their learning stories.

Older children support younger children through tuakana teina relationships in a mixed-age group setting. Children’s independence is fostered. They are empowered to take increased responsibility for their own wellbeing and that of others.

Children up to two years old have key teachers who know them well. Children are developing language through appropriate activities and use of resources. They are becoming confident communicators and explorers.

Children have a spacious, purpose-modified environment that supports free play and offers challenge to younger and older children. The new environment invites children to explore and become fully involved in a wide variety of activities that are meaningful and enjoyable for them.

Managers and teachers work collaboratively to use self review. Information from a range of sources is analysed and used for future planning. Self-review processes enable the team to develop and make changes together. The centre’s community is invited to participate in review processes.

The head teacher guides teachers effectively, with a focus on team building. Teachers work collegially, taking responsibility for those areas in which they show strength. Teachers are encouraged to reflect critically on their practice. They are provided with professional development that supports improved teaching practice and outcomes for children.

Parents’ participation in their children’s learning is valued and encouraged. Parents contribute to their children’s learning portfolios. Transitions to school are supported through effective partnerships between families, the preschool and schools, with plans for ongoing development of these processes.

Key Next Steps

There have been many recent, significant changes at Northland Community Pre-School in premises, community and personnel. The centre’s managers agree with ERO’s external evaluation that they should continue to:

  • revisit the philosophy statement and guiding documents to align with the current community beliefs, goals and aspirations
  • develop bicultural practices and promote success for Maori children as Māori, through ongoing development in understanding Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success 2013–2017
  • implement the appraisal process for the new leader and teachers.

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

National Manager Review Services Central Region

24 June 2014

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 and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including 10 aged up to 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 23,

Boys 20

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā


Other European





Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1 : 5

Meets minimum requirements


Over 2

1 : 10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2014

Date of this report

24 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)


Supplementary Review

May 2011


Education Review

March 2010


Education Review

September 2006

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.