St Albans Community Preschool - 17/07/2017

1 Evaluation of St Albans Community Preschool

How well placed is St Albans Community Preschool to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

St Albans Community Preschool is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


St Albans Community Preschool is a not-for-profit, parent-governed, early childhood education and care service. Many of the teaching team have been employed at the service for a number of years. Most staff are certified teachers. They provide education and care for children from birth to school age.

Leaders and teachers have made good progress in meeting the recommendations in the previous ERO 2014 report. This includes developing management processes, such as strategic planning and self review of curriculum areas.

Leaders and teachers have good links to the community, including the local school and other early learning services.

The Review Findings

The service philosophy is highly evident in practice. Leaders and teachers have a strong shared vision and values about ways of working with children and promoting teaching and learning. The specific needs of children under and over two-years-old are well considered in a mixed-age group setting. Older children (including siblings) have good opportunities to care for younger children in the home-like family environment.

Teachers work respectfully with children and families. Children are encouraged to make a successful transition into the service. A personalised approach supports their sense of belonging and well-being.

Leaders and teachers foster positive, reciprocal relationships with children, parents and whānau. They actively promote partnerships in children's learning with families. Parent contributions are highly valued. Parents are well informed of their child’s learning through well-written stories, informative wall displays, informal discussions, and joint goal setting.

Teachers provide a curriculum that is child-led and very responsive to the individual interests, strengths and capabilities of each child. Teachers carefully listen to children's views and help them develop and extend on their ideas, capturing their curiosity. Teachers are intentional in the ways they empower children to make progress with their learning.

Child-paced routines help to give the children a sense of responsibility and promote their independence and self-help skills.

Literacy, mathematics, science and creativity are well integrated into the play-based learning programme that is centred on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Children enjoy real-life learning activities that link closely to home experiences.

Leaders have established a reflective team culture that has an ongoing focus on improvement and positive outcomes for children. They make good use of an internal evaluation framework to inquire into practices and processes.

The governance board is supportive and makes good provision for professional development of staff to build teacher and leadership capacity. The individual strengths of staff are valued and well used to support others.

Key Next Steps

Service leaders and ERO agree that the key next steps are to:

  • extend bicultural understandings and practices
  • align and evaluate strategic and annual planning
  • build on all teachers' capability to lead in-depth internal evaluation inquiries
  • further develop appraisal processes to clearly reflect Education Council requirements.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of St Albans Community 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 St Albans Community Preschool will be in three years.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Te Waipounamu)

17 July 2017 

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

35 children, including up to 4 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys: 37

Girls: 19

Ethnic composition

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

May 2017

Date of this report

17 July 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review


Education Review


Education Review


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.