Barnardos KidStart Childcare - Petone Early Learning Centre - 06/03/2015

1. Evaluation of Barnardos KidStart Childcare - Petone Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Barnardos KidStart Childcare - Petone Early Learning 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.


Barnardos KidStart Childcare Petone Early Learning Centre, located in Petone, offers all-day education and care for up to 36 children aged over two years.

Significant staffing changes have occurred since ERO's July 2013 review, including changes to leadership. All teachers are qualified or in training. They are representative of the range of cultural backgrounds of children attending the centre. Operation hours have been extended to meet community needs.

Barnardos, as the umbrella organisation, provides strategic direction and a policy framework to guide centre operation. The practice leader and business manager work collaboratively to manage the centre and guide teaching and learning. The service manager has responsibility for the daytoday administration of the centre.

The July 2013 ERO report identified that the head teacher and staff should develop sustainable systems to improve teaching practices and learning experiences for children. Key next steps included curriculum planning and assessment, improving teaching practice, staff appraisal and self review. Since then service managers, with regular Ministry of Education monitoring, have worked with centre staff to make improvements in these areas.

The Review Findings

Barnardos' service managers, with centre staff, have made good progress improving centre performance. The service managers have provided high levels of support and advice to the centre leader and staff. There remains a need for this support to continue to build centre leadership and staff capability for maintaining, sustaining and improving practice.

Children appear confident, cooperative and settled. There is a strong focus on children’s social and emotional wellbeing. Teachers engage positively with children. They listen to their views, challenge their thinking and promote their sustained interest in learning.

Recent deliberate changes to the centre’s physical layout and provision of high quality resources enable children to set up their own learning environment. These changes have contributed to a teachers’ focus on fostering children’s independence and sense of ownership. Teachers provide many opportunities for creativity and dramatic play, which learners enjoy.

Teachers prioritise the development of respectful and responsive relationships with families. The language and symbols of children’s cultural backgrounds, including the diversity of Pacific heritages, are visible. Teachers write learning stories in Pacific languages, to enhance children’s sense of belonging and identity.

A strong commitment to the continued improvement in teachers understanding of te ao Māori and Te Tiriti o Waitangi partnership is evident. Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are integral parts of daily activities. Staff are continuing to enact and embed the service’s Māori strategy, Ngā Pou E Wha, to ensure their work with Māori is effective.

Since the previous ERO review teachers have engaged in ongoing professional learning and development to improve their assessment practice. Assessments, in the form of learning stories, increasingly show children’s progress in a range of contexts, including literacy and mathematics.

Teachers are beginning to analyse assessment information to understand children’s learning pathways and then plan to extend them. Parents are encouraged to contribute about learning at home. Staff have identified that they should continue to strengthen their analysis and evaluation of children’s learning and reflect their cultural identity. ERO agrees with this further development.

Children’s transitions into the centre are carefully planned and implemented. Teachers are strengthening their liaison with local schools. They are exploring links between the early childhood and school curriculums that can be built on in meaningful ways for children.

A positive, collaborative and professional teaching team culture is developing. Constructive feedback, about practice, is growing among the team. Quality indicators have been developed to guide teaching and learning practices.

The staff appraisal process includes goal setting in relation to the Registered Teacher Criteria and teacher reflection on practice. Fully implementing this process, with feedback and evidence, should support continued improvement to teaching and learning.

Self review is valued as a tool to promote improvement. A review of the centre philosophy to include the aspirations of the new team and reflect their recent professional learning is planned. A greater focus on using self review to evaluate the quality of practice and new developments is a next step for improvement.

Managers are committed to the development of the service as a professional organisation characterised by sound practice and positive learning outcomes for children. High expectations for staff practice are clearly stated. A good range of documents guide teaching practice. The centre’s practice leader continues to work with the staff to extend their capacity to deliver a high quality programme, leading to positive outcomes for all children.

Key Next Steps

Centre management and ERO agree that the areas of concern, identified in the July 2013 ERO report, remain the focus for development. These include:

  • regular evaluation of the programme to ensure that it continues to offer quality learning opportunities for children
  • continuing to improve the analysis of assessment to identify and extend children's learning
  • increasing knowledge and understanding of self review.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Barnardos KidStart Childcare - Petone Early Learning 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 Barnardos KidStart Childcare - Petone Early Learning Centre will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

6 March 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


Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

36 children, over 2 years of age

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 8, Girls 6

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā

Other ethnic groups




Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2



Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2015

Date of this report

6 March 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

These are available at

Education Review

July 2013


Education Review

April 2010


Education Review

March 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.