The Cat's Pyjamas Preschool and Nursery West Melton - 12/03/2019

1 Evaluation of The Cat's Pyjamas Preschool and Nursery West Melton

How well placed is The Cat's Pyjamas Preschool and Nursery West Melton to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

The Cat's Pyjamas Preschool and Nursery West Melton is very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


The Cat's Pyjamas Preschool and Nursery West Melton (The Cat's 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 four separate rooms. Each room has its own spacious outdoor area. Since the last review, the owners have extended the building and outdoor play area to enhance learning opportunities even further for the children.

All permanent staff are qualified early childhood teachers. There is low staff turnover and a consistent group of relieving staff employed at the centre.

Since the 2016 ERO review, centre leaders and teachers have made very good progress towards addressing the key next steps in that report. Centre owners and learning leaders have made significant steps in building the bicultural capability of all staff in order to provide a curriculum that includes bicultural concepts and practices. Assessment, planning and evaluation have a strong focus on outcomes for children.

The Review Findings

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

Children and whānau have a strong sense of belonging in the centre. Teachers enact the values of the centre and use practices that work very well for children and their whānau. They are welcoming and inclusive, and create positive relationships with children and their families. Teachers gather information from parents and use it to design and evaluate learning programmes, including the centre's bicultural curriculum. As a result, the needs and priorities of children and whānau are effectively responded to.

Māori children and all other children are being provided rich opportunities for learning te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. Teachers’ cultural competence and understandings are being continuously built within teaching teams. Visits to and input from local iwi are further strengthening the rich learning made available for children, parents, staff and whānau.

A strong feature of this centre is the generously resourced and spacious indoor and outdoor environments for learning. Within these areas, teachers provide a wide range of well-planned learning experiences that respond to the strengths, needs and interests of children. Children benefit from a specialised local curriculum that supports their physical and cognitive development. Both the environment and the intentional curriculum approach maximise choice and challenge for children.

Teachers support, and extend children's play through skilful guidance. This includes appropriate literacy, and numeracy in the context of children's play, with a strong emphasis on supporting children to develop social and emotional competencies.

Teachers have developed very good transition practices across the centre that contribute to children feeling comfortable and cared for. Babies and toddlers experience nurturing and responsive approaches from their teachers. Teachers work closely with parents and whānau to follow children's home routines, respond effectively to their individual cues, and capably support them to explore their interesting learning environment.

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.

The governance team of the two managers and the professional support leader provide 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.

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 early childhood curriculum. This ongoing professional development includes drawing on current best practice research, including bicultural practices that reflect the principles of The Treaty of Waitangi. Useful appraisal processes support teachers to critically reflect on and improve their practice.

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.

Key Next Steps

Leaders should continue to refine the processes and practices involved in:

  • 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 Cat's Pyjamas Preschool and Nursery West Melton 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

12 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


West Melton

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

94 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 54%, Girls 46%

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

January 2019

Date of this report

12 March 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

October 2016

Education Review

August 2013

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.