Wellsford Preschool Education Centre - 24/06/2016

1 Evaluation of Wellsford Preschool Education Centre

How well placed is Wellsford Preschool Education Centre 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.


Wellsford Preschool Education Centre is a well-established privately owned all day service. In 2015 it moved to new purpose-built premises within the township of Wellsford. The centre has increased its licence from 25 to 50 children, with up to eight children under the age of two.

The centre philosophy supports children playing and learning in a homelike environment that offers a programme that reflects the aspirations of parents and whānau.

The centre has a history of positive ERO reviews. Good practices identified in previous ERO reports continue to be evident, and centre leaders have made good progress in improving strategic planning and self-review processes.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from positive relationships with staff and other children. Teachers are respectful of children. They are caring and attentive to their requests and needs. Teachers often work at children's levels, engaging them in conversations and making good use of questioning to extend their thinking, language and interests. They encourage children to lead their own play and support them to access resources.

The new centre is spacious and well resourced. There are many opportunities for the older children to engage in physical activity. They move freely between the indoor and outdoor areas. Resources are well organised enabling children to sustain their play for long periods of time. Infants and toddlers have a separate well-resourced room and outdoor deck area.

The programme allows for long periods of uninterrupted play. Teachers support children who engage in imaginative play with additional resources. Children are eager participants in the brief mat times. Meal times are social occasions where children learn social skills and self-help skills. Teachers sit with children for meals and promote conversations.

Infants and toddlers benefit from having an allocated primary caregiver that communicates regularly with their parents/whanau. The primary caregiver approach helps to ensure that each child is able to follow their individual routines while at the centre. Teachers provide many language learning opportunities for infants and toddlers.

Teachers plan for group interests and set up activities to promote children's learning through these interests. They record individual children's learning and interests in portfolios. They could now consider ways to more consistently document how they support the learning and interests of each child.

Children with special needs are well catered for. Teachers and teacher aides receive appropriate professional development so that they can best support these children and the families. Staff work with the local schools to support smooth transitions to school.

The centre continues to be well led. The move to the new centre and the growth in the centre roll and staffing were well managed. Managers have ensured that the staff continue to work effectively as a team. The home-like atmosphere has been maintained. Staff are encouraged and supported to take leadership roles. Policies are kept up-to-date and self review has been strengthened with a focus on ongoing improvement.

Key Next Steps

Centre managers agree that the centre should continue to strengthen:

  • programme planning, by documenting how teachers support individual children's interests and dispositions

  • strategic planning, by developing specific improvement goals, and supporting staff to monitor progress towards those goals

  • staff appraisal practices, by helping staff develop specific and measureable goals and getting feedback on the extent to which those goals are achieved

  • the use of te reo Māori within the programme and teachers' knowledge of tikanga Maori.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Wellsford Preschool Education Centre 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 Wellsford Preschool Education Centre will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

24 June 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


Wellsford, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 37 Girls 20

Ethnic composition











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


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2016

Date of this report

24 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

June 2013

Education Review

April 2010

Education Review

May 2007

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.