Portobelo Otaki Street - 26/01/2015

1 Evaluation of Portobelo Otaki Street

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


Portobelo Otaki Street is one of three centres owned by the service provider. It provides full-day education and care for children from birth to three years. There are separate programmes for infants and toddlers. The adjoining preschool caters for children from three to five years of age. The centre is licensed for 38 children at any one time, with up to 25 under-two year olds.

The centre has high-quality governance and management structures in place. The owner delegates the management and leadership of the centre to a principal leader and a centre leader. The centre is staffed above required minimum ratios and has a well-established teaching team.

The centre philosophy is consistent with Te Whāriki, the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum. There is a strong focus on supporting children’s sense of belonging, wellbeing and exploration, with many options for children to make choices. Programmes are influenced by the centre’s vision, values and a framework that guides the centre’s purpose, priorities and aspirations. Developing and maintaining positive relationships within the centre and with the local community is valued and promoted.

The centre has made very good progress towards meeting the recommendations identified in its first ERO review in January 2012. This is particularly evident in the review and development of bicultural practices that support and promote Māori culture, language and identity.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from relationships with staff that are warm, respectful and focused on supporting children’s individual wellbeing, learning strengths and needs. They are provided with an interesting range of choices, experiences and activities that build confidence and social skills. Children are supported to make friends and be a friend. ERO observed teachers and children enjoying learning together.

Routines and learning opportunities for children occur in a calm and unhurried manner. A focus on accessible natural materials helps children to explore their creative and imaginative responses. There is an emphasis on the development of appropriate oral language and mathematics learning for children.

Teachers’ planning is based on noticing, recognising and responding to children’s individual interests and needs. Teachers make very good use of learning stories to:

  • record observations and reflections of children’s progress and learning over time
  • provide children with regular opportunities to revisit their learning
  • encourage children and their parents to contribute their views and thoughts
  • review individual children’s progress and identify strategies for ongoing development.

Babies and toddlers are very well supported through respectful and nurturing interactions with teachers. ERO observed teachers being responsive to children’s individual emotional and physical needs. Learning programmes promote ongoing opportunities for children to freely explore their environment. Routines are flexible and well placed to allow children time to make choices and follow their own interests.

Transitions into, within and out of the centre are managed sensitively and effectively. Parents are warmly welcomed and their feedback and ideas are valued.

Comprehensive self-review practices are contributing to:

  • a culture of collaboration, reflection and continuous improvement
  • systems and practices that are well linked to the centre’s philosophy and goals.

Leadership of the centre is a significant strength and is evident in a variety of ways.

Effective structures and systems are in place to sustain and improve centre practices and programmes. Leaders model and value the contribution of individual teachers and use their strengths to build team practices to support positive outcomes for children. Teachers have clear roles and responsibilities and use research and evidence-based improvement for planning and review.

Key Next Steps

Leaders and staff have identified, and ERO agrees, that the next steps are to:

  • continue to increase the presence of te ao Māori in programmes, practices and interactions, and make more visible the culture, language and identity of children and their families
  • make clearer links between individual assessments and group planning, and evaluate how well the programme and teaching are contributing to positive outcomes for children.

It is now timely for the centre to further refine current approaches to self review by including the use of evaluative questions to guide practices in this area.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Portobelo Otaki Street 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 Portobelo Otaki Street will be in four years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer-Southern

26 January 2015

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


Kaiapoi, North Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

38 children, including up to 25 aged under two

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 27

Girls 24

Ethnic composition



Other European

Other Ethnicities





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 2014

Date of this report

26 January 2015

Most recent ERO report

Education Review

January 2012

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.