The Cats Pyjamas Preschool - 22/03/2019

1 Evaluation of The Cats Pyjamas Preschool

How well placed is The Cats Pyjamas Preschool to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

The Cats Pyjamas Preschool is very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


The Cats Pyjamas Preschool (Cats Pyjamas) is a privately-owned, purpose-built centre. It is one of two centres operated by the same owners. Both owners are involved in the centre on a daily basis. A professional support leader is employed across the centres to provide ongoing support to teachers.

The centre provides education and care for infants, toddlers and young children in three separate rooms. Each room has its own spacious outdoor area. Since the last review, the owners have extended the outdoor play area to enhance learning opportunities for the children.

All permanent staff are qualified early childhood teachers.

There is low turnover of staff and a consistent group of relieving staff employed at the centre.

Since the 2014 ERO review, centre leaders and teachers have made very good progress towards addressing the key next steps in that report. Learning leaders and teachers have made significant steps in extending the contributions children make in the planning, design and evaluation of the curriculum. Teachers make children’s next steps in learning records more explicit. Assessment, planning and evaluation have a strong focus on positive outcomes for children.

The Review Findings

The Cats Pyjamas philosophy, vision, values and systems are effectively promoting positive outcomes for children.

Teachers and leaders are committed to ensuring the children in their care receive high quality care and learning. They quickly establish a sense of belonging for children with the centre. Building trust with them and their families, alongside developing social and emotional skills, is part of the planned learning.

A strength of this centre is the positive relationships evident between teachers, children, babies and infants, and adults and whānau. This is highly evident in the rich accounts of learning and care recorded by teachers about each child’s learning. The centre has formed positive relationships with the parents and whānau of Māori children, including local iwi. Staff have embraced and strengthened their commitment to using te reo and tikanga Māori as part of the life of the centre.

In particular, the centre environments, both internally and outdoors, provide ample opportunity for children to experience a rich range of learning. Teachers ensure a wide variety of resources are available and matched to meet children’s emerging and ongoing interests and dispositions for learning. A feature of the centre is the relevant and engaging experiences for learning provided for children, that meaningfully reflect events in their homes and local environment.

The specific learning, needs and care of all children, including those children under two years of age, are well met. In the under two area, teachers ensure a calm and unhurried pace of care and learning. In all three schools (rooms), children’s learning and wellbeing are closely monitored and planned for. In particular, teachers ensure their opportunities for professional learning benefit children. For example, all children have well formulated learning goals and ongoing opportunities to develop their physical skill and strength as they progress through the centre.

The centre is very well governed. The strategic plan provides a strong framework for the centre's future direction. Strategic priorities are well enacted in plans and practices in the centre.

Internal evaluation is very well used to identify and shape ongoing improvement. The centre's cohesive systems for evaluation and reflection are further strengthened by a culture of responsive actions from leaders. These evaluations help the owners to resource strategically in order to sustain and continue to improve outcomes for children.

Leadership is focused on the provision of high quality early childhood education. The professional support leader and head teachers promote effective teaching practices that are underpinned by in-depth knowledge of Te Whāriki (2017), The NZ Early Childhood Curriculum. This ongoing professional development includes drawing on current best practice research, including biculturally responsive practices that reflect the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Useful appraisal processes support teachers to critically reflect on and improve their practice. This approach ensures that children benefit from a rich responsive curriculum.

Head teachers and teachers collaborate effectively so that children benefit from their individual and collective strengths. Transitions are effectively managed so that children move in, through and out of the centre in well prepared, managed and supported ways. The bicultural programme in the centre is being increasingly strengthened for the benefit of all children through the collaborative leadership of team leaders.

The governance team of the two owner/managers and the professional support leader provides a positive leadership model for the head teachers and teaching teams. Leaders model the value of whanaungatanga. They have high expectations of themselves and teachers to be learners who continually grow and improve their practice. Their respectful and collaborative approach to leadership results in a strong, stable team and trusting relationships. This extends to the positive ways that teachers engage with parents and whānau. As a result of this good practice, children, whānau and staff engage in meaningful learning partnerships.

Key Next Steps

Leaders should continue to refine centre processes and practices by:

  • strengthening and embedding the bicultural curriculum
  • providing further opportunities for distributed leadership in building teacher capability.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of The Cats Pyjamas 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.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

22 March 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

70 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys: 58 Girls: 41

Ethnic composition

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

January 2019

Date of this report

22 March 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

September 2014

Education Review

August 2011

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.