Small World Preschool and Nursery - 23/07/2015

1 Evaluation of Small World Preschool and Nursery

How well placed is Small World Preschool and Nursery to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Small World Preschool and Nursery is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


This centre provides education and care for children from infants to school age. It is privately owned and operates in a home that has been suitably adapted to meet the needs of the children at the centre. There are plans to build a new learning space for children. This will support the service to meet its vision.

Financial challenges that disrupted the ongoing management of the service after the Christchurch 2011 earthquakes are being resolved. The owner, who is also the manager, is gradually building a strong collaborative team culture with the staff, and strengthening partnerships with parents and the children.

Since the June 2012 ERO review, the service has made some progress in addressing the recommendations from the report. This includes improved planning and assessment practices and a newly developed appraisal process.

The Review Findings

Senior leaders and teachers have developed effective shared relationships that focus on children and their families’ health and wellbeing. They know the children well and strongly advocate for infants, toddlers, young children and their whānau.

The physical environment is thoughtfully organised and allows for easy access to resources, independent play and space to play with others.

The nursery teachers provide infants and toddlers with nurturing relationships and are very responsive to their needs. They encourage the natural development of communication skills and work alongside, and with children to extend their ideas.

The centre has a supportive process for helping children settle into the centre and move within the centre. The transition process ensures parents are included in making decisions about how this occurs.

Leaders and teachers work in partnership with parents of children with special and diverse needs to enhance their learning. The strength of their support is the employment of a teacher to provide one-to-one assistance, and regular informative reports to parents about learning milestones the children have successfully achieved.

Parents’ and children’s opinions are responded to appropriately by leaders, and in some instances have led to changes in children’s learning direction. Leaders seek and receive strong support from parents of Māori children.

Leaders and teachers have high expectations for children’s learning. There is a strong focus on identifying individual children’s needs and interests and responding in ways that extend and challenge children’s emerging theories. Children are encouraged to inquire and find out about things that interest them, by using the wide range of books in the centre.

Literacy is well promoted by the purposeful selection of authentic tools for writing and the creative avenues children have to use reading and writing skills. Leaders and teachers are building children’s oral communication skills. This is evident in the ways children confidently respond to teachers’ questions and engage in discussions with their peers.

Music appreciation and movement is fostered by teachers. This has been further reinforced with the use of a skilled teacher. Children participate with enthusiasm in sessions that involve this aspect of the curriculum.

The teachers are committed, supportive and some have a long history of employment at this centre. The appraisal process is useful for leaders in identifying teachers’ strengths and skills and helping them to improve their practice. Leaders use a range of purposeful ways to develop staff skills and leadership potential.

Key Next Steps

The managers and ERO agree that the next steps to improve learning outcomes for children include continuing to:

  • seek aspirations from parents of Māori children to succeed as Māori and to identify how the service can support the goals in the centre’s curriculum
  • increase the inclusion of the unique bicultural elements of New Zealand with a focus on the use of te reo and tikanga Māori in the curriculum
  • evaluate the effectiveness of the process to support children and parents to successfully move to school
  • refine the framework and expectations for staff for planning and assessment including the visibility of children’s language, culture and links to the home
  • strengthen the analysis part of the self-review process.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Small World Preschool and Nursery 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.

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to staffing and appraisal. To meet requirements the service needs to make sure the manager’s appraisal is completed annually.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Small World Preschool and Nursery will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

23 July 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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

28 children, including up to 8 aged under two

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 18; Boys 16

Ethnic composition











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

June 2015

Date of this report

23 July 2015

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

June 2012


Education Review

September 2008


Education Review

June 2005

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.