Paula's Preschool Richmond - 30/06/2017

1 Evaluation of Paula's Preschool Richmond

How well placed is Paula's Preschool Richmond to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Paula's Preschool is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Paula's Preschool Richmond is a privately-owned early childhood education and care service serving an increasingly diverse community. Most staff have been working at the centre for a long period of time. Nearly all the staff are qualified teachers or are training to become teachers. The preschool has purposeful links to the wider education community to support young adults with work experience in early childhood education.

There have been some significant changes to the service since the previous ERO review in 2013. A new centre manager has been appointed in 2014. During term 1 of 2017 'Paula's Tiny Tots' was transferred onto the same site as the preschool. The centre now caters for the needs of different age groups in three separate rooms. The shared outdoor areas provide opportunities for younger and older children to play together.

Leaders and teachers have purposeful links to the community, including other local schools, to help support children and families.

The Review Findings

The service philosophy is well embedded in centre practices. Leaders and teachers place a strong emphasis on fostering inclusive and reciprocal relationships with children, parents, whanau and community. They respect the language, culture and identity of each child and their family. Regular social events at the centre promote a positive sense of belonging for families. Teachers' value parent contributions to the centre programme and to their children's learning.

Teachers actively promote te reo Māori and ngā tikanga into the programme in ways that are respectful of the Māori culture and help Māori children to succeed as Māori. All children benefit from bicultural practices that are an everyday part of the curriculum and well led by centre leaders.

Children are at the heart of centre practices and the curriculum. Transitions into, within and beyond the centre are personalised to the needs of each child. Teachers notice and respond to the individual interests, strengths and capabilities of children. They promote children's oral language, thinking and reasoning skills. Teachers successfully involve themselves in children's play, fostering children's independence, confidence and self-help skills.

Children play well with and alongside others. They engage in sustained exploratory play and creative experiences. They have many opportunities to be involved in physical challenges and to learn about the natural world. Literacy and mathematics are well integrated into the programme through play-based learning activities. Planned excursions into the community enhance teaching and learning opportunities.

Infants and toddlers are well supported by familiar, nurturing and caring teachers. Consistent caregiving enables teachers to respond sensitively to each child's changing needs and interests. They work with parents to provide respectful routines that are well-paced and aligned to parent preferences. Children are encouraged to freely explore the environment, developing confidence and physical skills.

Centre leaders are supportive and responsive to community and centre needs. They value and make good use of teacher strengths. Distributed leadership successfully promotes team work. Centre leaders encourage reflective practices that are focused on ongoing improvement and positive outcomes for children and families.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, that future priorities should include further improving the quality of:

  • strategic and annual planning

  • internal evaluation and appraisal systems

  • assessment planning and evaluation practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Paula's Preschool Richmond 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 Paula's Preschool Richmond will be in three years.

Dr Lesley Patterson
Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Te Waipounamu)

30 June 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

40 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 28; Girls 26

Ethnic composition



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

April 2017

Date of this report

30 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

July 2013

Education Review

April 2010

Education Review

February 2007

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.