St Peter Chanel Preschool - 30/06/2016

1 Evaluation of St Peter Chanel Preschool

How well placed is St Peter Chanel 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.


St Peter Chanel Preschool caters for children from birth to five years of age. Catholic teachings and beliefs form a base that guides the daily programme and the tone of relationships between adults and children.

The preschool provides predominantly for Samoan children and their families. Its Catholic special character is clearly evident in the environment and centre practices.

The centre roll is becoming increasingly culturally diverse. Teachers also come from diverse ethnic backgrounds, reflecting that of the community. Children benefit from high teacher-to-child ratios, enabling good provision for individualised interactions and support for learning.

The centre's 2013 ERO report noted the inclusive and nurturing environment provided for children. The bicultural nature of programme planning was being developed, and aspects of Māori language, tikanga and culture were being enhanced with support from Māori parents.

The report also suggested management and staff could strengthen centre practices by further:

  • strengthening self-review processes

  • imbedding the principles of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, in centre planning

  • developing clear expectations of effective teaching strategies throughout the programme

  • focusing on the promotion of children's self-management and creative skills

  • developing transition to school programmes

  • reorganising and regularly reviewing preschool policies.

The centre manager has worked with teachers to progress these developmental areas, and initial improvements are evident in most areas. Further strengthening in all areas could help to develop high quality centre practices.

The Review Findings

Children have a strong sense of belonging in the centre. They are encouraged to be independent explorers and have opportunities to select from a wide range of activities and equipment. Teachers are consistently nurturing, caring and appreciative of children.

Parents find teachers positive and approachable. Families are well informed about their children's participation in the programme through a range of documents and displays. Parent events and children's excursions are well attended. Exploring ways in which teachers can share their knowledge and expertise with parents about how children learn and how parents can support their children's learning at home could be a useful next step in building strong and productive partnerships with families.

Learning is based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Teachers are committed to maintaining Gagana Samoa in their interactions with children. The bicultural heritage of Aotearoa/New Zealand is affirmed and children's diverse cultural backgrounds are acknowledged and valued.

Children with special learning requirements are well cared for by teachers. Specialist staff provide them with individual programmes and specific support.

Infants and toddlers explore and play independently in well designed, age-appropriate learning environments. Teachers are beginning to explore the use of technology as a way of further enriching children's learning.

There are good opportunities for children to be physically active, including provision of a range of equipment and play options to help children develop their physical dexterity. Older children often organise their own physical activities, and toddlers display developing physical competencies in their play. The promotion of healthy food choices is enabling both children and families to learn about wise food choices and the importance of a nutritionally balanced diet and regular eating patterns.

Leadership roles are being redefined and strengthened. Governors are separating their roles from centre management responsibilities, enabling them to focus more specifically on governance matters.

The centre manager is being mentored by an external early childhood advisor and, in turn, is providing mentoring for team leaders to help establish shared understandings about effective teaching and learning. Team leaders are also beginning to take more of a leadership role in mentoring and supporting staff under their supervision. This well defined leadership development structure is in the early stages of implementation and has potential to increase the professional capabilities of all staff.

Key Next Steps

The centre manager and governors have self-identified useful areas where centre operations could be further developed. Team leaders also agree that they could continue to strengthen centre practices and children's wellbeing and learning by:

  • using indicators of high quality practices, including He Poutataki, to guide programme and curriculum implementation

  • further imbedding and standardising the quality of planning, assessment and evaluation (PAE) processes across teaching staff

  • continuing to progress strategies for extending children's learning, creativity and early literacy and numeracy development within the context of play.

It could also be useful to reduce/rationalise the number of centre policies, and introduce a regular cycle of review for policies and procedures.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of St Peter Chanel 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.

To further improve practice, centre managers should:

  • ensure that preschool policies reflect changes in legislation, including those relating to the Vulnerable Children's Act 2014
  • use the Practising Teacher Criteria to strengthen the centre's performance appraisal system.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of St Peter Chanel Preschool will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

30 June 2016

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


Manukau, Auckland

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 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 30 Girls 19

Ethnic composition



Middle Eastern












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

March 2016

Date of this report

30 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

February 2013

Education Review

December 2009

Education Review

April 2006

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.