Portobelo Kaiapoi - 11/06/2020

1 Evaluation of Portobelo Kaiapoi

How well placed is Portobelo Kaiapoi to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Portobelo Kaiapoi is very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Portobelo Kaiapoi Preschool is in North Canterbury and is one of three services that make up the privately owned Portobelo Preschools Limited. It provides full-day education and care for children from two years to school age. A director is part of the centre management team. Centre leaders, under the direction of a recently appointed principal leader, oversee the learning programme. The leaders and most of the long-serving teachers are qualified early childhood teachers.

The service is licenced for up to 31 children. Those on the current roll come from a diverse range of cultures and backgrounds. The preschool has a number of classrooms and a natural outdoor area that includes gardens, a worm farm and mature trees and plantings.

The preschool's philosophy has been recently reviewed and emphasises the key Māori values of: Whanaungatanga (connections and relationships); Manaakitanga (inclusion, respectful welcoming), Ako (reciprocal teaching and learning), Kaitiakitanga (environmental care), Tangata Whenuatanga (sense of belonging), and Wānanga (partnerships and collaboration).

The service has responded effectively to the recommendations in the 2016 ERO report. There has been progress in strengthening self-review practices, improvements in group planning and evaluation, increased references to Māori values in documentation and practices, and increased use of te reo and tikanga Māori in the learning programme.

The Review Findings

The preschool's newly reviewed philosophy is clearly evident in the day-to-day practices at the service. Strong, shared values and beliefs are promoted in service documentation and practices. Teachers know children and their families well and are responsive to children's interests and strengths, in the context of their families and cultures. Children's sense of belonging is nurtured through calm, caring and respectful relationships in an environment of trust. Regular celebrations of identity, culture and language enhance the centre's inclusive practices.

Children are encouraged to learn about Māori and other cultures. Māori values, perspectives and world view are increasingly authentic in teachers' day-to-day interactions with Māori and other children and are aligned with the centre's values.

Children and their families are at the centre of programme-planning discussions and decisions. Families' aspirations for their children's learning and wellbeing are highly valued and are well documented in assessment records. Quality relationship building with families/whānau is at the heart of the centre's successful learning partnerships.

Children have many opportunities for self-directed, uninterrupted play with a wide range of resources. The spacious outdoor area provides activities and resources for children to enjoy appropriate physical challenges and safe risks. Children learn about the environment and sustainable practices in the natural outdoors environment. Their learning experiences are enriched by excursions and participation in the wider community. Children's transitions into the preschool and on to school are well supported. The centre's specific transition-to-school programme has strengthened its relationships with the wider educational community.

Leaders and teachers are improvement focused. Targeted professional learning and effective teacher quality assurance processes are aligned with centre priorities to meet the learning and wellbeing needs of children. Planned and spontaneous internal evaluation practices and processes are effectively aligned with strategic priorities to improve outcomes for children.

Children's learning and development are extended by high quality individual planning and clear, intentional teaching strategies. Teachers work collaboratively, and with an holistic approach, to meet the diverse learning and other needs of all children and their families. Children with additional learning needs are well supported.

The well-structured management and leadership team has developed strong systems to support centre operations. Policies and procedures provide a framework for teachers to support and promote positive learning and care outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders have identified, and ERO's evaluation confirms, that the key next steps are to continue to:

  • develop practices and processes to meet the increasingly diverse learning and other needs of its community
  • build teacher capability and leadership in internal evaluation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and 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:

  • 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.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)

Southern Region - Te Tai Tini

11 June 2020

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

31 children, over 2 years of age

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 18, Girls 10

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
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

January 2020

Date of this report

11 June 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

July 2016

Education Review

February 2013

Education Review

April 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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.