Portobelo Kaiapoi - 01/02/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

Portobelo Kaiapoi Preschool is well placed to promote children’s wellbeing and learning.


Portobelo Kaiapoi is one of three centres privately owned by Portobelo Preschools Limited. The licensee is also the owner. This preschool is located in a quiet suburban street in a converted house and caters for children aged three to five years old.

Since the April 2009 ERO review Portobelo Kaiapoi has gone through some significant changes. Staff from the central city Portobelo Cranmer centre transferred to the preschool as a result of the February 2011 Canterbury earthquake. At this time there was also a change in centre leadership.

The nursery has been relocated and is under a separate licence. This has resulted in the redevelopment of the outdoor play area. The indoor learning spaces now include a separate space for eating and group activities.

The Review Findings

Children are provided with interesting learning experiences. Teachers make good use of their knowledge of the children and feedback from their parents. Children’s profile books show how teachers effectively use this information to build on children’s interests and skills and plan suitable programmes.

Children are actively involved in play. Teachers use a good range of teaching practices that help children link and understand their learning. Children’s language development is well supported. There is a wide range of interesting and real life resources that promote children’s creative play. Close links with the local community support children’s sense of belonging and wellbeing.

Teachers work well together and use their individual strengths to extend children’s interests and learning. The Portobelo philosophy and Māori values are well integrated in the way children learn in the programme. Children and parents are well prepared for transition into the centre particularly from the Portobelo Nursery and into local schools. Teacher appraisal goals incorporate individual teachers’ interests and next steps for professional development.

Parents are provided with good information about learning programmes. The large number of photographs and displays explain the learning in ways that are meaningful for children and families. Recent planning developments focus on the ways that children learn and how teachers and parents can extend children’s learning further.

The licensee and senior teacher have high expectations and promote leadership. The senior teacher and supervisor give direction that helps teachers to continue to improve their knowledge and understanding of children’s learning. They have developed a clear long term plan for the preschool’s future development. This is closely linked to the Portobelo philosophy and includes parents’ views and aspirations. The centre’s polices have recently been reviewed. They effectively support the daily and long-term operation of the preschool.

Under the strong and committed leadership of the senior teacher and supervisor, self review is used very effectively to identify what is going well and where further improvements can be made to improve outcomes for children. They have identified that to continue to improve children’s learning teachers will review:

  • planning and assessment for groups of children
  • how well group times meet the needs of all children
  • how they can further extend the use of te reo and tikanga Māori in the programme.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the management of Portobelo Kaiapoi 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:

  • administration
  • health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial and property management.

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.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

Information about the Early Childhood Service


Kaiapoi, North Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

44 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 22

Girls 19

Ethnic composition

NZ European/ Pākehā






Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Over 2


Exceeds minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2012

Date of this report

1 February 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

April 2009

November 2005

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

  • 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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.