Puddleducks' Nursery and Preschool - 25/06/2014

1 Evaluation of Puddleducks' Nursery and Preschool

How well placed is Puddleducks' Nursery and Preschool 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.


Puddleducks’ Nursery and Preschool is one of five privately owned centres operating under the umbrella of Aspiring Services Ltd. The centre is located in Feilding on the same site as Puddleducks’ Junior School. Three company directors and an advisory board undertake the governance role for all Puddleducks' services.

Centre management and teachers provide education and care for 50 children, including 22 up to two years old, five days a week. Meals are provided for all children. Teacher-to-child ratios are high.

The Review Findings

The centre philosophy and vision are evident in practice. Children are highly engaged, inquiring learners who take responsibility for themselves and others. Teachers are respectful and affirming in their interactions with children. They listen to children and know them well.

There is a strong focus on purposeful teaching. Teachers provide a curriculum that is responsive to infants, toddlers and young children’s interests. Consistency of primary care practices supports younger children's need for strong and secure attachments.

Planning is based on children’s interests, ideas and strengths. Documentation occurs through learning stories which are presented in attractive profile books and on centre walls. Teachers receive feedback from leaders about the quality of learning stories and in relation to centre expectations. Teachers have recently decided to make profile books more accessible to infants and toddlers. Staff continue to encourage more parent input into assessment.

The head teacher encourages developing leadership among teachers. A new appraisal process has been implemented, linked to professional growth and teacher registration. Self review is ongoing and responsive. Leaders establish a collaborative culture in which children are valued, celebrated and affirmed for who they are and what they bring to the service.

Centre owners and managers are committed to the development of the service as an organisation where innovative practice is valued, staff are well qualified and practice is sound. A well-organised approach to governance is evident. Regular meetings and reports from centre leaders are well used to enhance outcomes for children.

Parents have many opportunities to be involved in contributing to the life of the centre. Thoughtful consideration is given to transition practices as children move through the centre. Teachers actively support children’s transition to primary school through visits and providing parents with information about this next step for their child. Leaders have identified that further strengthening liaison with local schools should assist children to make good transitions.

Bicultural practice is developing. Te reo Māori is used by some teachers in their interactions with children. An ongoing focus on whanaungatanga is strengthening links with homes and children’s heritages. Teachers express commitment to continued improvement in their understanding of te ao Māori.

Teachers are aware of the importance of being culturally responsive in order that all learners are suitably supported. They agree on the need to further develop thinking around provision for learners from Pacific ethnic backgrounds.

High expectations for staff practice, behaviour and improvement are clearly stated. A good range of documents guides teaching practice. Feedback is sought about the quality of employees’ practice which is used to promote improvement and develop capable teachers. Staff wellbeing is actively supported. Succession planning is in place to ensure sustainability.

Key Next Steps

Centre managers and leaders have identified that they need to:

  • develop a matrix to better guide feedback to teachers about their practice
  • further develop self review to be more evaluative, linked to quality and strategic.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Puddleducks' Nursery and Preschool 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 Puddleducks' Nursery and Preschool will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

25 June 2014

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

50 children, including up to 22 aged up to 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 41, Girls 32

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā

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

May 2014

Date of this report

25 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2011

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.