Piccolini Private Nursery & Kindergarten - 26/02/2016

1 Evaluation of Piccolini Private Nursery & Kindergarten

How well placed is Piccolini Private Nursery & Kindergarten 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.


Piccolini Private Nursery & Kindergarten is one of four early childhood services under common private ownership. The centre opened in 2014 and is located in the Napier suburb of Greenmeadows. The service caters for up to 89 children aged from three months to five years, in three age-specific areas. Of the 85 children enrolled, 16 are Māori.

Two directors manage the financial, marketing and business aspects of the services. The group education operations manager (GEOM) has responsibility for overseeing day-to-day operations, management and programme, and teacher development.

Nine out of the eleven teachers at the centre are qualified and registered.

The philosophy emphasises Christian principles and values such as respect, honesty, compassion and integrity.

This is the centre’s first ERO report.

The Review Findings

Children have environments that are well developed for play and learning. A wide range of high quality resources supports children’s investigation and participation in a variety of experiences. The outdoor area provides adventure, challenge and opportunities for exploration of the natural environment.

Children exercise free choice in the level and timing of their participation and they are well engaged in learning. They are cooperative and confident and enjoy the opportunities provided. It is timely for teachers to revisit the philosophy that underpins teaching and learning to clarify meaning and explore practice in relation to the enactment of agreed ideals.

Teachers are respectful, responsive and mindful of children’s wellbeing. There is a strong focus on supporting social competence and self-management. Conversations support children’s perseverance in play and affirm their ideas.

The programme is responsive to individual children’s interests and needs. Inclusive practice is evident. Literacy, mathematics, science and creativity are well integrated into learning experiences.

There is some weaving of te ao Māori through the programme. The GEOM and teachers agree that te reo me ngā tikanga Māori should be enhanced through the continued exploration of local history and building of sustained iwi connections.

Planning for learning is well developed. Strategies are collaboratively identified by teachers to support the progress of individual children. Regular evaluation identifies the impact of these actions on children’s achievement. An online programme is supporting two-way communication between parents and teachers. The identification of children’s next learning steps and more defined evaluation of group plans should be considered to further strengthen teaching.

Individual profile books are attractive records of children’s participation in the programme, and aspects of their learning and interactions. The integration of learning plans and evaluations in these books, and a stronger focus on identifying children’s learning dispositions and working thinking should improve their value as records of progress and achievement. Also, formally planning to meet parents’ aspirations for their children’s learning should be developed.

Support for children’s and their families’ transitions into the preschool and nursery and on to kindergarten is carefully considered. This includes a range of information, visits and development of learning records and routine information to share.

Teachers work well as a team. They are improvement focused and reflective. Regular meetings support the sharing of ideas about teaching and learning. Internal evaluation is a collaborative undertaking that results in improved outcomes for children. Further consideration should be given to clarifying aspects of the process in order to strengthen the internal evaluation so that it better informs decision making about next steps.

The head teachers are focused on establishing collaborative, cohesive teams. The GEOM provides high levels of guidance and support for the teaching team. This includes implementation of a sound appraisal process, and a mentoring and induction programme for provisionally registered teachers. The recently developed education plan, outlines the expected quality of outcomes linked to teaching and learning. The identification of goals and actions should strengthen the usefulness of this plan for review and development of the programme.

Good governance supports centre operations. A range of up-to-date guidelines and well-developed personnel and communication processes promote successful leadership, awareness of centre and legislative expectations, and consistent practice across the organisation. Quality assurance is effective.

A strategic plan outlines priorities for the four Piccolini services. More emphasis on children's educational outcomes is needed at this level of planning. The development of centre-based strategic goals should help facilitate a more focused approach to internal evaluation, ascertaining the effectiveness of teaching and learning, and subsequent improvements.

Key Next Steps

ERO and management agree, teachers should be supported to continue to develop:

  • understanding and use of internal evaluation
  • partnership with parents in children’s learning
  • a bicultural perspective in the curriculum and operations.

Management should develop:

  • strategic goals that include outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Piccolini Private Nursery & Kindergarten 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 Piccolini Private Nursery & Kindergarten will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

26 February 2016

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

89 children, including up to 30 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 51, Girls 34

Ethnic composition



Other ethnic groups




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

December 2015

Date of this report

26 February 2016

Most recent ERO report(s) No previous ERO reports

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.