Ottawa Gardens Preschool and Nursery

Education institution number:
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Not Applicable
Total roll:

49 Ottawa Road, Wainoni, Christchurch

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Ottawa Gardens Preschool and Nursery

ERO’s Akanuku | Assurance Review reports provide information about whether a service meets and maintains regulatory standards. Further information about Akanuku | Assurance Reviews is included at the end of this report. 

ERO’s Judgement 

Regulatory standards 

ERO’s judgement 

Curriculum ​Meeting​ 
Premises and facilities ​Meeting​ 
Health and safety ​Not meeting​ 
Governance, management and administration ​Not meeting​ 

​At the time of the review, ERO identified areas of non-compliance with regulatory standards that are an unacceptable risk to children. ​ 


Ottawa Gardens Preschool and Nursery is a small, privately owned early childhood service. Most of the staff are certificated teachers, including the centre owner and manager. Children of families who attend are from diverse cultural backgrounds, including a number of Māori children and a small group of Pacific heritage.   

Summary of Review Findings 

The service’s curriculum is consistent with Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Teachers engage with children in meaningful and positive ways. Teacher interactions with children, including infants and toddlers, are calm and responsive to both verbal and non-verbal cues. Children have opportunities for a range of planned and spontaneous experiences indoors and outside, both individually and in groups.   

The purpose-built facility supports the provision of children's indoor and outdoor play experiences. Premises, equipment, and materials are kept hygienic and maintained in good condition.  

At the time of the review the service was not maintaining compliance with the regulatory standards in a number of areas relating to health and safety and governance and management. Current systems for monitoring compliance with the licensing criteria do not assure leaders that all requirements are being met. 

Actions for Compliance  

ERO found areas of non-compliance in the service relating to: 

  • having a record of the emergency drills carried out and evidence of how evaluation of the drills has informed the annual review of the service’s emergency plan 
  • having a documented risk management system that shows how hazards are minimised, isolated, or eliminated 
  • having records of all injuries and illness that occur at the service, including the time that these occur 
  • having a record of written authority from parents for the administration of medicine and evidence of parental acknowledgement 
  • ensuring all children’s workers who have access to children are safety checked every three years in accordance with the Children’s Act 2014.  

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood and Care Centres 2008, HS8, HS12, HS27, HS28, GMA7A. 

Since the onsite visit, the service has provided ERO with evidence that shows it has addressed the following non-compliances:  

  • Securing heavy furniture, fixtures and equipment that could fall or topple and cause serious injury or damage (HS6). 

Recommendation to Ministry of Education  

​ERO recommends that the Ministry reassess the licence issued to this service provider. ERO will not undertake a further review of this service until the Ministry of Education is satisfied that the service meets regulatory standards.​  

Next ERO Review  

​The next ERO review will be in consultation with the Ministry of Education. ​  

​Patricia Davey​ 
​Director of Early Childhood Education (ECE)​  

​22 November 2023​    

Information About the Service 

Early Childhood Service Name Ottawa Gardens Preschool and Nursery
Profile Number65043
Service type ​Education and care service​
Number licensed for 20 children, including up to 4 aged under 2 
Percentage of qualified teachers  ​80-99%​ 
Service roll 19 
Review team on site February 2023  
Date of this report ​22 November 2023​ 
Most recent ERO report(s) ​Education Review​, ​April 2020​; ​Education Review​, ​December 2016​ 

General Information about Assurance Reviews  

All services are licensed under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008. The legal requirements for early childhood services also include the Licensing Criteria for Education and Care Services 2008.  

Services must meet the standards in the regulations and the requirements of the licensing criteria to gain and maintain a license to operate.  

ERO undertakes an Akanuku | Assurance Review process in any centre-based service: 

  • having its first ERO review – including if it is part of a governing organisation 
  • previously identified as ‘not well placed’ or ‘requiring further development’ 
  • that has moved from a provisional to a full licence 
  • that have been re-licenced due to a change of ownership 
  • where an Akanuku | Assurance Review process is determined to be appropriate. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements 

All early childhood services are required to promote children’s health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements. Before the review, the staff and management of a service 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.  

As part of an Akanuku | Assurance Review ERO assesses whether the regulatory standards are being met. In particular, ERO looks at a 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; safety checking; teacher certification; ratios) 
  • relevant evacuation procedures and practices.  

As part of an Akanuku | Assurance Review ERO also gathers and records evidence through: 

  • discussions with those involved in the service 
  • consideration of relevant documentation, including the implementation of health and safety systems 
  • observations of the environment/premises, curriculum implementation and teaching practice.  

Ottawa Gardens Preschool and Nursery

1 Evaluation of Ottawa Gardens Preschool and Nursery

How well placed is Ottawa Gardens Preschool and Nursery to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placedRequires further developmentWell placedVery well placed

Ottawa Gardens Preschool and Nursery is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Ottawa Gardens Preschool and Nursery is a small, stand-alone early childhood service that operates from 8.00am to 4.00pm, Monday to Friday in Wainoni, Christchurch. It is licenced to provide education and care for 20 children including up to 4 children under two years old.

The centre manager supports and oversees the day-to-day running of the centre. Most teachers are qualified and certificated early childhood teachers. Te Whāriki, the Early Childhood Curriculum, guides the teaching and learning programme.

Key strategic themes that guide the centre's direction are:

  • planning for the future
  • investing and growing leadership capability
  • expanding curriculum
  • sustaining excellence in teaching and learning.

The preschool philosophy is underpinned by the core values of respect, manaakitanga and whanaungatanga. It aims to provide a 'loving, engaging and pleasing place of learning for babies, children, parents and teachers'.

Leaders and teachers have made good progress with addressing most of the recommendations identified in the December 2016 ERO report.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from an inclusive learning environment that supports their sense of belonging and identity in the centre. The mixed-age setting assists children to develop friendships through cooperative and independent play. Children are very settled and engaged in a variety of learning experiences that supports their developing competencies.

Positive relationships are evident between children, their peers and adults. Children's interests, needs and preferences are well known by teachers who use this knowledge to plan activities and routines, and to adapt the learning environment to support children to make choices about their learning. 

The curriculum is broad and offers children a range of interesting and meaningful learning experiences. The physical environment offers challenge and appropriate risk for children of all ages and abilities. Daily care routines are well managed and understood by children.

High levels of care and respect support infants and toddlers to learn and develop in a safe, calm and settled environment. Teachers provide a curriculum that is responsive to young children's interests. Children under two years benefit from strong attachments with key contact teachers.

Leaders and teachers respond appropriately to the interests, strengths, and capabilities of diverse groups of children. Children with additional learning needs are appropriately identified and planned for. 

Teachers use te reo me ona tikanga Māori in ways that value and recognise New Zealand's bicultural society. They participate in professional learning to further develop bicultural practices in the centre.

The centre manager prioritises effective professional and collegial support for all staff. Teachers benefit from a shared leadership approach which supports professional practice and grows their capability.

Assessment and planning processes for children's learning are becoming established. Some records of learning show children's progress and how teachers plan to support their next steps. Refining this process should strengthen the quality and consistency of assessment and planning practices across the service.

The service is planning to review its strategic and annual plans, including its philosophy. Once completed, the service should ensure that internal evaluation processes and practices consistently align with its strategic priorities and annual actions.

Key Next Steps

Ottawa Gardens Preschool and Nursery have identified, and ERO's evaluation confirms, that the key next steps to improve outcomes for children are to continue to consolidate and embed:

  • assessment, planning and evaluation practices and processes to strengthen the quality and consistency of assessment and planning for children's learning
  • internal evaluation practices to strengthen evaluative thinking and reasoning which will help guide assessment and planning for children's learning and inform ongoing improvements for children
  • the appraisal system to ensure a more cohesive and consistent approach for all staff.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Ottawa Gardens Preschool and Nursery 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.

Dr Lesley Patterson
Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)
Southern Region - Te Tai Tini

30 April 2020

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

LocationWainoni, Christchurch
Ministry of Education profile number65043
Licence typeEducation & Care Service
Licensed underEducation (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008
Number licensed for20 children, including up to 4 aged under 2
Service roll29
Gender composition

Female 20

Male      9

Ethnic compositionMāori

NZ European/Pākehā

Other ethnic groups



Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%+

Based on funding rates

80% +
Reported ratios of staff to childrenUnder 21:4Better than minimum requirements
Over 21:8Better than minimum requirements
Review team on siteDecember 2019
Date of this report30 April 2020
Most recent ERO reportsEducation ReviewDecember 2016
Education ReviewMarch 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.