Our Place Preschool - 16/08/2018

1 Evaluation of Our Place Preschool

How well placed is Our Place 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.


Our Place Preschool is a privately owned centre located in Frankton, Hamilton. The mixed-age centre is licensed for 40 children including up to 10 under the age of two years. It provides all-day education and care for 51 children including seven who identify as Māori, and small numbers come from diverse ethnic backgrounds.

The centre is owned and operated by two experienced early childhood educators who have overall responsibility for centre governance and management. They are involved in the day-to-day running of the centre. Most staff are qualified early childhood teachers. The centre maintains teacher-to-child ratios that are above minimum Ministry of Education requirements.

The shared philosophy is based on Catholic values and authentic relationships. The values of love, faith, respect, honesty, and care guide practice. There is a close relationship with the nearby St Columba’s Catholic Church and school.

The centre belongs to the Waikato Catholic School's Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako.

The centre has responded well to the recommendations in the 2015 ERO review.

The Review Findings

Teachers maintain warm, respectful and reciprocal relationships with children and families. Independence and self care are encouraged in thoughtfully resourced indoor and outdoor environments. There are strong focuses on developing oral language, early mathematics concepts and literacy skills. Learning opportunities are co-constructed by children and teachers. There are many examples of sustained cooperative play. Assessment portfolios are available for children to revisit their learning experiences.

Children aged two and under readily interact with their older peers and develop positive relationships. A calm, nurturing, responsive environment and respectful relationships support the learning and development of these young children. Primary caregivers communicate with families and whānau to ensure that each child's individual needs and rhythms are catered for. Children benefit from many opportunities to learn and explore in a warm and caring environment.

The curriculum consistently reflects the centre's philosophy. The responsive, child-led approach is supported by Te Whāriki: early childhood curriculum and the Catholic Early Childhood Education Curriculum. Individual planning is informed by assessment and includes learning outcomes and possible teaching strategies. Formalising the evaluation of learning plans would enhance possibilities for extending children's interests and thinking.

Children’s learning is regularly shared with families and whānau through digital means and portfolios. Parents have opportunities to give feedback. Further use of experiences shared by families and whānau would enrich planning for each child. Te reo and tikanga Māori practices are woven into the daily life of the centre. Māori children benefit from having their culture and identity affirmed. Transition to school is a planned, well-managed process. Teachers know children and their families well. Children’s sense of belonging and opportunities to learn are well supported.

Centre managers effectively promote a collaborative and positive team culture. They are dedicated and enthusiastic. Current knowledge and understanding of recent research and best practice in early childhood education informs decisions about curriculum and the daily programme. Leaders model and promote effective teaching strategies. A well-structured and managed appraisal process includes regular affirmation and feedback for teachers that enables them to improve their practice. Generous funding allows teachers to engage in professional learning opportunities. There is an inclusive and responsive environment for children from diverse cultures and backgrounds. Children with additional needs are included and very well supported. Children benefit from consistent teaching in a positive learning environment.

Centre managers have a clear vision which promotes and embeds the values and beliefs of the Catholic special character into the daily life of the centre. There is a strong focus on positive relationship building. The culture of care in the centre extends to families, whānau and children in need. Internal evaluation is well established and leads to improved teaching practices and positive outcomes for children. The strategic and annual plan effectively guides centre operations. Policies are established and reviewed regularly. Leaders agree that the philosophy should be reviewed to reflect the centre's emphasis on the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. Children, families and whānau and teachers appreciate the centre's warm, family-like environment which supports children to become competent and confident learners.

Key Next Steps

Leaders and ERO agree the key next steps for the centre are to:

  • revise and extend assessment practices to:

- reflect children’s language culture and identity

- formally evaluate individual learning plans

- include parent and whānau voice.

  • investigate opportunities for establishing relationships with local iwi and whānau to incorporate local Māori history and traditions in the centre programme.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Our Place 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 Our Place Preschool will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

16 August 2018

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

40 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 34 Girls 17

Ethnic composition



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

July 2018

Date of this report

16 August 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2015

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.