Palmerston Pre-School and Nursery - 12/11/2018

1 Evaluation of Palmerston Pre-School and Nursery

How well placed is Palmerston Pre-School and Nursery 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.


Palmerston Preschool and Nursery is a privately-owned education and care service. New owners took over the centre in November 2017. The centre is licensed for 50 children from birth-to-school age and currently has a roll of 58 children. Infants and toddlers up to 2 years of age have their own indoor and outdoor play area, and sleeping area.

The centre's team leader oversees the day-to-day running of the centre and is having an increasing focus on centre leadership. Over 80% of the teachers are qualified.

The centre's philosophy is for children to learn through play and for them to have a strong sense of belonging to the centre. Teachers are to provide an environment for children to explore, and participate in planned and spontaneous experiences. Learning is to be based on Te Whāriki, the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum.

Since the 2016 ERO review:

  • a new governance structure has been put in place

  • there is a greater level of operational and professional support

  • the centre has made good progress in addressing almost all of the areas identified for improvement in the last report.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from the positive and caring relationships their teachers have with them. The teachers know the children and their families well. Teachers set up the environment and resources purposefully for greater engagement in meaningful play. Well-planned strategies and activities have developed children's social competencies.

Since the 2016 ERO review, teachers have improved planning and assessment practices. Teachers' planning is giving greater direction for teaching and authentic learning opportunities, especially for groups of children. They are at the beginning stages of developing more focused planning for individual children's learning and development.

The teachers of infants and toddlers have sensitive and responsive interactions with these children. The continuity of care contributes greatly to the secure relationships the infants and toddlers have with the teachers. Resources are easily accessible to the children.

Māori children have some opportunities to see and hear about Māori culture. Te reo Māori is used by teachers throughout the centre. Leaders acknowledge the need for ongoing development of teachers' confidence, knowledge and ability to provide a strong and meaningful bicultural environment.

The new owners and professional leaders are systematically building the collective capacity and sustainability of the centre. This includes effective internal evaluation and relevant professional learning and development. The increased levels of support have led to:

  • clear and useful strategic and annual planning

  • a greater focus on education and professionalism

  • improved organisational practices for assessment, planning and evaluation for children's learning

  • effective systems and processes to ensure licensing and Ministry of Education requirements are being met.

Leaders and teachers are improvement focused. They are more regularly reflecting on their practices and making relevant changes to improve positive outcomes for all children.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders and teachers need to:

  • embed the recent positive changes to ensure they are implemented to high standards

  • participate in professional learning to gain a greater working understanding of Te Whāriki (2017)

  • carry out a review of the effectiveness of practices in the under two area.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review & Improvement Services Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

12 November 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

50 children, including up to 11 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys: 33 Girls: 25

Ethnic composition

Other ethnicities


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2018

Date of this report

12 November 2018

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

March 2016

Education Review

February 2013

Education Review

October 2009

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.