Paula's Preschool Tahunanui - 25/02/2019

1 Evaluation of Paula’s Preschool Tahunanui

How well placed is Paula’s Preschool Tahunanui to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


Paula’s Preschool Tahunanui is one of two privately-owned centres and provides care and education for up to 22 children over two years old. There are 30 children enrolled. The current owner/director purchased the centre in 2016. A manager was appointed in 2018. Most staff, the majority of whom have early childhood qualifications, have been with the centre for a number of years. The centre is organised into open plan, flexible spaces, enabling a range of activities both inside and out.

The centre’s philosophy has recently been reviewed and is underpinned by the values of respect, joy, wonder, love, trust, peacefulness, manaakitanga, kaitiakitanga and ako. A new strategic plan has recently been completed.

The centre belongs to Te Kāhui Ako o Omaio ki Tahunanui|Community of Learning.

The Review Findings

Children are engaged, settled and confident to explore their interests and challenge themselves. The appropriately-resourced environment offers opportunities for them to develop knowledge and learning dispositions, to work with others or enjoy time alone. Thoughtful activities and routines affirm and celebrate children and their learning. Children have a genuine voice in activities and resourcing, thus enhancing their sense of belonging.

The rich curriculum, based strongly on Te Whāriki, the NZ Early Childhood Curriculum, is responsive to children’s needs, interests, culture, language and identity, and to parent aspirations. Teachers carefully balance intentional teaching and the informal aspects of the programme, which enables extended periods of individually driven, creative play that is linked to children’s goals.

Clear, embedded and authentic bicultural elements are evident throughout the programmes and the centre. This is the result of the intentional approach by leaders and teachers to building staff and children’s knowledge and understanding of te reo and te ao Māori.

Thoughtful, respectful interactions between teachers and children encourage and support children’s learning and wellbeing. Teachers work collaboratively to assess, plan and evaluate children’s learning. Reciprocal relationships with parents are fostered and parents are kept well informed of their children’s learning and wellbeing. Parent and community voice is regularly sought and included in decision making.

Leaders are fostering the development of a reflective culture. Planned, strategic and useful internal evaluation, which is embedded in centre practice, has built new knowledge and improved practices. Leaders need to continue to strengthen internal evaluation and complete an evaluation cycle to identify the impact of changes on outcomes for children.

The philosophy, vision and values are strongly reflected in planning and practices throughout the centre. Effective leadership has ensured changes have been introduced in a considered and consultative manner, with a clear focus on positive outcomes for children. A new strategic plan clearly sets out the centre’s directions and ongoing focus on improvement. The director has empowered other staff members to take on leadership roles, and has developed a collaborative approach to all aspects of the centre.

Key Next Steps

In order to ensure consistency of practice and continuity of learning, leaders and teachers need to strengthen practices around:

  • setting and revisiting children’s goals
  • specific teaching strategies to support identified goals
  • documentation of children’s learning progress
  • evaluation of the impact of teaching strategies
  • identification of clear next steps for learning
  • planned evaluation of the impact of changes on outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services

Southern Region

22 February 2019

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

22 children over the age of 2 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 13 ; Girls 17

Ethnic composition

Other ethnicities


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2018

Date of this report

25 February 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

August 2013

Education Review

March 2010

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.