Small World Preschool and Nursery - 29/04/2019

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 requires further development to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Small World Preschool and Nursery is a privately-owned and operated service. It provides care and education in a mixed-age setting for up to 28 children, including eight children aged under two.

Since the 2015 ERO review there have been a number of staff changes, including the centre manager. The centre owner has now returned as the manager and oversees the governance, daily management and pedagogical leadership of the service. She works alongside teachers to plan and implement the programmes.

The manager and teachers aim to: 'cultivate and nurture each child's natural talents and abilities'. The philosophy is based on respect for children as capable and competent learners.

The 2015 ERO report identified key next steps for improvement. These were:

  • increasing te reo and tikanga Māori
  • seeking aspirations from parents of Māori children to succeed as Māori and supporting these in the curriculum
  • providing guidance for teachers' planning, assessment and evaluation
  • improving aspects of internal evaluation.

Some progress has been made in these areas. However, these remain next steps to develop.

The Review Findings

Children participate and learn in a carefully designed play-based programme that gives them choices and responds to their interests. They experience a calm and unhurried learning environment and are well supported to develop a positive sense of wellbeing and belonging.

Teachers are nurturing and responsive to children's cues and positive in their interactions. They use current knowledge of appropriate strategies to guide and encourage children to be caring and respectful of others, and to develop appropriate social skills. The teachers intentionally plan and implement programmes to help children develop oral language, gain confidence in and control of their bodies, and discover ways to be creative and expressive.

While there has been some focus on building Treaty of Waitangi-based practices, this has not been sustained and remains a key next step for improvement.

Infants' and toddlers' learning and wellbeing benefit from teachers' close knowledge and recognition of the children's individual preferences and requirements.

The manager and teachers deliberately build whānau connections to support the health and wellbeing of all children and their families. Children with additional needs are identified and effectively supported. The manager provides additional resourcing to enable their equitable access to the curriculum.

Children's learning priorities are used to guide the implementation of programme planning. Robust systems and processes need to be developed to ensure ongoing assessment for learning for all children is regularly carried out. Teaching strategies need to be regularly evaluated for their effectiveness in supporting children’s learning.

The manager is building a team culture of reflection, focused on improvement. The manager has identified the need to build leadership capacity and capability for ongoing sustainability and improvement. ERO‘s evaluation confirms this need.

Aspects of the appraisal system need further development.

Key Next Steps

ERO and the centre manager agree the next steps to improve outcomes for children are to develop:

  • guidelines and clear expectations for the regular and ongoing documentation of assessment for children's learning
  • teachers' capability to document assessment for learning and evaluate the effectiveness of teaching strategies in supporting children's learning, language, identity and culture
  • teacher capability to lead robust and rigorous internal evaluation for improvement
  • a strategic approach to implementing a Treaty of Waitangi-based curriculum and teaching practices

  • long-term planning to ensure that key priorities for the service are implemented, monitored and evaluated

  • embed and strengthen appraisal.

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.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to governance, management and administration. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following area:

  • the appointments process needs to clearly reflect the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.
    Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA7A.

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service, in consultation with the Ministry of Education, develops a plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

29 April 2019

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 28 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 13

Girls 12

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnicities


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2019

Date of this report

29 April 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

July 2015

Education Review

June 2012

Education Review

September 2008

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.