Small Miracles Pre-School - 30/04/2014

1 Evaluation of Small Miracles Pre-School

How well placed is Small Miracles Pre-School 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.


Small Miracles Pre-School operates under the governance and management of the St Heliers Presbyterian Council and is managed by a centre operations manager. The centre has been relicensed under the 2008 Regulations. It caters for up to 30 children over the age of two years, and offers all day and sessional education and care for children.

Children attending the centre are representative of an increasingly diverse multicultural community. The preschool serves as an outreach mission of the church and provides a service for the local community.

Small Miracles Pre-School’s philosophy promotes belonging and wellbeing through positive relationships and Christian values of love, peace, empathy and tolerance. The centre has maintained a stable leadership and teaching team since ERO’s previous review in 2011. Staff work well together and remain committed to providing a warm, welcoming environment for children and their families. Three of the six teachers are qualified, and one is in training.

The Review Findings

Children are settled and enjoy the opportunity to be involved in free play with and alongside other children and adults. Many children are confident and competent communicators. They enthusiastically interact with each other and confidently approach adults to support their play. Children participate in experiences that promote the development of their early literacy and numeracy skills. They interact well with children from their own and other cultures.

Teachers continue to reflect on ways to incorporate learning experiences that acknowledge children’s diverse cultural backgrounds and that build on the links that have been established with local tangata whenua. Teachers agree that their next step towards promoting success for Māori and Pacific children is to further consult these families about their aspirations for their children.

The centre runs mixed-age programmes, and staff work across the group. Six children between the ages of two and three years have started attending the centre this year. With the recent enrolment of these toddlers, teachers have begun to review how they can better meet the specific needs of this age group.

Teachers are committed to promoting the centre philosophy and acknowledge the importance of nurturing children’s sense of belonging within a caring environment. Teachers foster children’s self management skills by encouraging children to be caring towards one another and to become independent learners.

Staff engage in meaningful conversations with parents and children and build a good knowledge of children and their families. Parents are affirming of the positive and inclusive environment provided for their children. Teachers are looking at ways to continue strengthening consultation with all families.

Some good systems for planning, assessment and evaluation are in place. Teachers plan learning opportunities for children with special needs and monitor their progress well. They are working on ways to extend the programmes for four year olds and two year olds. More individualised planning would now help teachers to further support all children’s learning and development.

Centre managers have established some effective self-review processes that have led to improved outcomes for children. There have been significant improvements to the indoor environments and shared use of the outdoor play areas has been introduced to better meet the needs of children. Children have greater access to resources and equipment, supporting their independent play choices. Centre managers and ERO agree that in order to strengthen self review, the centre’s planning, reporting and teacher appraisals should now be more clearly linked to desired learning outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

Centre managers and ERO agree that the next steps for the centre should include continuing to:

  • develop self-review practices that are more rigorous and contribute to improvements in the curriculum and all aspects of centre operations
  • ensure that teachers’ appraisals are aligned to registered teacher criteria.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Small Miracles Pre-School 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 Small Miracles Pre-School will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

30 April 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


St Heliers, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 36

Girls 28

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā

















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

February 2014

Date of this report

30 April 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2011


Education Review

August 2007


Education Review

June 2004

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.