ABC Pukekohe - 01/12/2017

1 Evaluation of ABC Pukekohe

How well placed is ABC Pukekohe 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.


ABC Pukekohe is near to the Pukekohe town centre. It is licensed for 65 children, including up to 20 children under two years of age. The centre provides a full day learning programme to a diverse range of families within the local community. The centre operates in a recently upgraded facility with spacious outdoor settings. A transport service, provided by the centre, has helped make early childhood education accessible to more families. Children play in two age-specific spaces in the facility.

ABC Pukekohe is led by a centre manager, head teachers, and a team of teachers. The centre's recently reviewed philosophy acknowledges children's capability. It also recognises the diversity of teachers' cultural backgrounds that reflect those of children and families/whānau in the centre.

Centre leaders have responded positively to recommendations for ongoing improvements, made in the 2014 ERO report. These included providing more challenging resources for the younger children, and conducting regular programme evaluation and parent education on the value of play.

Internal evaluation promotes changes that have strengthened partnerships with parents, and improved planning, assessment and evaluation practices.

The centre is operated by BestStart Education and Care Centres organisation, which provides an overarching governance and management framework, as well as personnel to support individual centres.

This review was part of a cluster of eight reviews of centres in the BestStart organisation.

The Review Findings

ABC Pukekohe promotes positive learning outcomes for children, who play in a peaceful, settled learning environment. Infants and toddlers respond to the kindness and care of the teaching team. Teachers work closely with children fostering language, and nurturing their ability to explore and make choices through their play. These effective practices help children as they make transitions into and through the centre.

Older children are curious, capable learners. Independence, cooperation and collaboration are encouraged. Children are supported to see themselves as successful learners in an environment where learning is celebrated. They have opportunities to explore as independent learners and to collaborate with their peers. Teachers are highly skilled in programme design and adapting their teaching skills to promote successful learning outcomes.

Teachers know children well. They facilitate children's choices, and support child-led learning in a calm, unhurried environment. Warm, respectful relationships are nurtured. There is a strong sense of aroha and belonging. Adults listen to and respond to children's ideas. They offer provocations for children to extend their oral language, social skills, confidence and self-management skills. The large, recently landscaped outdoor areas provide a wide variety of play opportunities and physical challenges.

The programme aligns well with Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Teachers value and acknowledge parent/whānau aspirations for their children. Individual plans for the children guide assessment and planning. Online portfolios inform parents of their child's learning progress. Teachers could extend children's creativity and understanding of scientific concepts.

Bicultural practice is integrated into children's learning opportunities. Teachers are building their understanding and knowledge of te reo me ōna tikanga Māori. Teachers who are confident, model practices and encourage colleagues. Centre environments reflect the multicultural community.

Leaders understand the family and wider community contexts. They are committed to creating positive change for children who attend the centre. Leaders encourage family participation in the centre. They maintain good connections with agencies that offer support to the children and families. Teachers use inclusive and responsive practices to achieve equitable outcomes for all children.

There is a strong focus on continual improvement. A recently developed philosophy, and internal evaluation processes, guide changes in practice. The centre's strategic plan underpins current and future practice. Professional learning has influenced teaching practices, and enhanced learning outcomes for children.

BestStart supports teachers' professional growth. Teachers benefit from relevant and ongoing professional learning and development. The organisation continues to refine its appraisal system, which encourages teachers to reflect on their teaching practice. Leaders recognise they could further build teacher capability by guiding teachers to collaboratively inquire into the impact that their teaching practice has on outcomes for children.

Relevant governance systems guide centre operations. The professional services manager and the business manager conduct internal audits, and regularly share quality assurance reports that identify strengths and any improvements needed. Centre staff use internal evaluation to review aspects of centre operations, and they would benefit from support to strengthen their evaluation practices.

The centre's strategic plan is linked to the BestStart vision and its strategic plan, which is currently under review. Centre goals will be aligned with BestStart strategic goals.

Key Next Steps

Centre managers agree that key next steps include:

  • embedding teaching practices that promote children's engagement in their learning

  • extending older children's opportunities for creativity and discovery

  • increasing the use of te reo Māori within the programme

  • strengthening the documentation of teachers' evaluative thinking to promote ongoing improvements to practice.

BestStart managers have identified the need to:

  • continue developing BestStart strategic intentions and goals to provide a clearer guide for centre development

  • refining the appraisal system to include a focus on professional collaboration and teaching as inquiry.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of ABC Pukekohe 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 ABC Pukekohe will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

1 December 2017

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

65 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 46 Boys 41

Ethnic composition

Cook Islands Māori


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2017

Date of this report

1 December 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Previously known as: ABC Pukekohe Tahi ABC Pukekohe Rua

Education Review

September 2014

Education Review

June 2011

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.