Tree Bears Nursery and Preschool - 24/03/2016

1 Evaluation of Tree Bears Nursery and Preschool

Tree Bears Nursery and Preschool How well placed isto promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Tree Bears Nursery and Preschool is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Tree Bears Nursery and Preschool is a small, family owned centre. Situated in a rural, alpine village where tourism is significant, transience of families and staff is an ongoing consideration for centre management.

The centre is located in purpose-built premises. It is the only full-day early childhood education and care service in Hanmer Springs that caters for babies to school age.

The centre director and many staff members are qualified early childhood teachers, with others in training.

The Review Findings

Centre leaders and teachers provide a nurturing learning environment for babies, toddlers and children. This is well reflected in their recently reviewed philosophy. Teachers have developed an inclusive culture where children and their families are welcomed and supported. Strong relationships with parents support teachers to meet children's interests and needs.

Teachers show flexibility with routines and adjust programmes to develop children's abilities and follow their interests. They make good use of the information they gather about children to support their wellbeing and promote their involvement in the programme. Children's and parents' decisions about routines, wellbeing and aspects of the centre programme are valued and respected.

Centre leaders and teachers work well as a team. Positive relationships are evident between teachers and children. Teachers quietly support children of all ages to play well together, affirming and encouraging their interactions. The close proximity of the nursery to the preschool supports children's transition through the centre.

Children have good access to a wide range of high quality resources and equipment. They actively engage in a variety of learning experiences. An increase in the use of natural resources is helping children to be more creative and imaginative in their play.

The large outdoor area supports children's ability to make choices about their learning and further develop their physical skills. Children often stay engaged in play of their own choosing for some time.

Children are well supported by teachers to develop their social skills, work cooperatively and show respect for others. Teachers help children to develop positive attitudes and value what children bring to their learning.

Centre leaders show an awareness of the importance of celebrating New Zealand's unique bicultural heritage. There is an ongoing commitment to strengthen use of te reo Māori in the programme. Teachers' strengths in this area are valued and well used to develop bicultural perspectives.

Centre leaders have a good understanding of self review and are using it regularly to make positive changes to the programme and centre operations.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre leaders have discussed the importance of the following key next steps to further improve centre practices and outcomes for learners. They include:

  • developing closer links between strategic and annual planning
  • strengthening teacher appraisal
  • increasing the focus on learning and teaching in planning and assessment
  • developing clear guidelines on the centre's expectations for teaching and learning
  • further extending bicultural practices and use of te reo Māori.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Tree Bears Nursery and 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Tree Bears Nursery and Preschool will be in three years.

Chris Rowe
Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

24 March 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


Hanmer Springs

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

26 children, including up to 8 aged under two

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 21; Boys 20

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

February 2016

Date of this report

24 March 2016

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

October 2012

Education Review

July 2009

Education Review

March 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.