Sunnynook Pre-School - 11/03/2015

1 Evaluation of Sunnynook Pre-School

How well placed is Sunnynook 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.


Sunnynook Pre-School in Glenfield, Auckland, has been operating for nearly 40 years. It is licensed for a maximum of thirty-five children over two years of age for sessional and all day education and care. Children attending are three and four years old. Traditionally, centre programmes have had a strong focus on preparing children for school.

The centre is privately owned. The current owner, who took over the centre in 2013, has considerable experience in early childhood education. The teaching team is headed by the centre manager and consists of qualified, registered teachers. It includes long-serving staff members as well as two more recently appointed Chinese teachers, who further strengthen the centre’s capacity to support the high proportion of Chinese children attending the centre.

The change of ownership has brought support, guidance and expectations for excellence that have been welcomed by the centre manager and teachers. A new strategic direction and philosophy statement has been collaboratively developed. Areas for development identified in the 2012 ERO report are being addressed. They include developments in programme planning and assessment, and self review.

The Review Findings

Children are well supported to become confident, competent learners and communicators. They have a strong sense of belonging. They are self-managing learners who happily engage with teachers and each other. Parents are warmly welcomed and are encouraged to involve themselves in their children’s learning. Trusting relationships underpin children’s learning and wellbeing.

Children are provided with a stimulating, educational environment. The plentiful resources are well organised and accessible for adults and children. Prominent in the environment are resources that promote children’s learning in literacy, mathematics and science. The thoughtfully planned and resourced indoor and outdoor environments promote children’s social, physical, and intellectual wellbeing.

Teachers know the children very well. They are aware of the children that have Māori or Pacific heritage. They are supportive of children for whom English is a new language. Children are encouraged to use their home language and to help each other. Teachers are very responsive and nurture children with special learning needs.

The centre is well managed. The owner works strategically with the centre manager and staff to promote high quality education and care.

After purchasing the centre, the owner in consultation with staff, parents and community quickly reviewed and established short term priorities for centre redevelopment. These priorities included ensuring the physical and emotional safety for all staff and families, and building effective administration and management processes. New approaches encourage the centre manager and teachers to extend their capabilities through professional learning and through participation in good quality teacher appraisal processes. Self review and strategic planning for continued improvement are becoming a more integral part of centre operations.

Key Next Steps

ERO, the owner and centre manager agree that from 2015 centre strategic planning should include goals for:

  • aligning programme planning, assessment, and evaluation with current educational theory and teaching practice
  • strengthening biculturalism to better reflect Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum
  • staff professional learning and development in te reo Māori and tikanga Māori.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

11 March 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


Sunnynook, Auckland

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 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 41 Girls 29

Ethnic composition











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

December 2014

Date of this report

11 March 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2012


Education Review

October 2008


Education Review

September 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.