The Tree Hut Preschool Limited - 02/07/2015

1 Evaluation of The Tree Hut Preschool Limited

How well placed is The Tree Hut Preschool Limited to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

The Tree Hut Preschool Ltd is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


The Tree Hut Preschool Limited provides for children from babies to school age in two separate groups. In 2013, a separate nursery was built to cater for babies and toddlers. It is spacious, fully self-contained and has its own indoor and outdoor play spaces.

Staffing is stable. Most of the teachers are qualified early childhood teachers or have nearly completed their training to become early childhood teachers.

The managers have successfully met the recommendations in the 2012 ERO report to improve programme planning and strategic planning. They have maintained the strengths identified in the report. This includes effective teaching practices, spacious, natural and well-resourced inviting indoor and outdoor learning spaces and strong links with families and community.

The Review Findings

Children are well supported in their learning by teachers who know each child’s strengths, abilities and personal characteristics well. Teachers use a range of effective approaches to help children become inquisitive, active explorers and enthusiastic problem solvers. Children are confident to take risks in their learning and to ask for help from teachers and other children to experience success in their learning.

Children have many opportunities to develop a good range of social and self-help skills and to learn to play cooperatively with others. Teachers skilfully help children to respect others and value their opinions and ideas. They actively encourage older children to support younger children and include them in their play.

Literacy, numeracy and science are well integrated into the programme. Children’s emerging interests are successfully built on by teachers who have good knowledge and understanding of the curriculum and make learning fun and meaningful.

Māori children and their whānau contributions are valued and respected. Te reo and tikanga Māori are included in natural and interesting ways. Teachers regularly use te reo Māori in their conversations with children. They acknowledge that they are learners and rely on the ongoing support of Māori whānau and regular professional development to continue to improve their skills, knowledge and confidence.

Children’s transitions into, across the centre and to school are well planned and organised to meet the needs of each child and their family. Children are included in the decisions, particularly when they move from the under two-year-old to the over two-year-old area. The centre and the school are working together to further strengthen transitions through a buddy system.

Managers and teachers share the same philosophy for children’s learning and the operation of the centre. Individual skills and interests are recognised and used to extend children’s learning and involvement in the programme. Professional development is appropriately linked to achieving the centre’s strategic plan, and vision for learning and teaching.

Child assessment and planning provide good guidance for a programme that successfully promotes children’s learning and wellbeing. Teachers skilfully identify children’s learning and next learning steps. Some learning stories include te reo Māori and make links to New Zealand’s bicultural heritage. Parent aspirations for their children’s learning are sought in systematic ways and are beginning to be used to set learning goals for children.

Managers and teachers have a good understanding of self review and use it effectively to make improvements to children’s learning and centre operations. It is systematic, well planned and has a strong focus on learning and teaching.

The strategic plan clearly states the centre’s vision, values and goals for the next three years. Steps to meet the goals provide appropriate direction for achieving the goals. Timelines allow for regular monitoring of achievement of the goals.

Key Next Steps

The managers and ERO agree that the next key steps for improving outcomes for children include:

  • use of more child and parent voice in child assessment, programme planning and self review
  • ensuring the strategic plan includes clear measureable outcomes towards the goals, and is reviewed regularly
  • fully implementing the new staff appraisal process with teachers and managers.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of The Tree Hut Preschool Limited 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 The Tree Hut Preschool Limited will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

2 July 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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 10 aged under two

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 14; Boys 11

Ethnic composition



Cook Island

Other ethnicities





Percentage of qualified teachers 0-49% 50-79% 80% Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements


Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

April 2015

Date of this report

2 July 2015

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

February 2012


Education Review

June 2008


Education Review

June 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.