Bright Futures Hastings 1 - 27/02/2018

1 Evaluation of Bright Futures Hastings 1

How well placed is Bright Futures Hastings 1 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.


Bright Futures is a community home-based education and care service operating under the governance of the Napier Family Centre. Educarers are available for children aged from birth to five years. This is a quality funded network licensed for 80 children and includes 80 up to two years old. Of the 33 children currently enrolled, seven are Māori and 11 are of Pacific heritage.

The recently reviewed philosophy emphasises the importance of relationships, community connections and supporting children's identity and culture.

There are four Bright Futures home-based education and care networks. These operate in Napier, Hastings and Central Hawkes Bay. A service manager is responsible for oversight of these services and oversees the work of visiting teachers. She reports to the Napier Family Centre chief executive officer (CEO) and board of governors.

Two qualified visiting teachers have responsibility for this network. Their role is to support educarers to implement suitable early learning programmes for children in their homes. They also provide community playgroups in Flaxmere and Hastings that many educarers and children attend.

Since the March 2014 ERO report, there have been significant changes in the management team, including the appointment of a new home-based service manager and the disestablishment of the divisional manager role. The service manager now undertakes the duties and responsibilities of this position alongside the manager of the Napier Family Centre Sunny Days service.

The previous ERO report identified areas for network improvements in: self review; educarer development; parent partnership; bicultural practice; and provision for children up to the age of two. Good progress has been made in these areas. Key next steps for governance around strategic planning, curriculum leadership and appraisals have also advanced.

This review is one of a cluster of three home-based network reviews in the Bright Futures service. 

The Review Findings

Children engage in a curriculum mostly based on their interests. They have plentiful opportunities to revisit and extend their learning. A range of experiences grows children’s knowledge of the world around them. Excursions into the community offer an extension to the programme.

Bright Futures playgroups give children and educarers the opportunity to form relationships with a wide range of children and access resources not always offered in the home. Visiting teachers should consider how they can better use this time to develop educarers' skills and knowledge. Documentation of playgroup planning, assessment and evaluation that is responsive to children's interests requires further strengthening.

Resources provided by educarers promote infant, toddlers and young children’s engagement in learning. Visiting teachers identify and supply additional resources to enable challenge and extension of children’s interests.

Infants and toddlers are well supported to achieve success in a mixed age environment. Visiting teachers and educarers carefully consider how to fully engage them in the daily programme. Educarers work with parents to ensure children's wellbeing is maintained through daily transitions.

Good relationships with parents are evident. Educarers regularly communicate with parents and whānau about their child’s progress and wellbeing. Some educarers use online services to share children's learning journeys with parents and whānau.  Visiting teachers inform parents of their children's progress after each home visit. It is timely to evaluate the effectiveness of the current system to promote learning partnerships with parents and whānau.

Visiting teacher reports and observations effectively reinforce assessment, planning and evaluation of individual children. Profile books record children's participation in activities, interests and progression of learning over time. The inclusion of visiting teacher observations, photographs and links to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, assists with the assessment of learning.

To further strengthen assessment, planning and evaluation, visiting teachers should ensure educarers:

  • regularly gather, record and respond to parent aspirations for their child’s learning and development
  • plan for and make visible connections to children’s culture, language and identity.

Educarers are well supported by visiting teachers. Regular visits provide useful ongoing feedback and opportunities to increase their knowledge of children’s learning. Recent changes to visiting teacher reports have increased the focus on key parts of the service philosophy. Educarers use this information to inform their programme and progress children's learning over time.

Management has identified that strengthening the bicultural curriculum is a next step. ERO's evaluation affirms this development. Visiting teachers and educarers require further support to deepen their knowledge and understanding of te ao Māori and how this can be meaningfully integrated within the home based context. Management should also consider how to better reflect the bicultural context of the service in guiding documents.

Developing adults’ confidence and capability to promote educational success for Māori is ongoing. Participation in community initiatives provides opportunities for visiting teachers to explore ways to achieve this.

Pacific children benefit from educarers that respond to their culture, language and identity. The Pacific project recently undertaken by the Hastings team has developed closer relationships between educarers, Pacific parents and local schools.

Self review contributes to improvements at all levels of the organisation. Spontaneous self review within the network is responsive to the needs of educarers and children. A key next step is to continue to increase understanding and use of internal evaluation to:

  • include clear, measurable indicators that align to the evaluative focus
  • monitor and evaluate how changes have impacted on outcomes for children.

Visiting teachers are encouraged to develop areas of the curriculum and service operation. Ongoing opportunities for professional learning are focused on the organisation’s strategic goals. Regular meetings provide collegial discussion. Appraisal allows teachers to set goals for growth that relate to the needs of the service. Further improvements to the appraisal process are required to meet Education Council expectations.

The strategic plan is clearly focused on outcomes for children. Increased representation of Bright Futures Home Based Childcare and Learning on the Napier Family Centre Executive Board has resulted in a clearer alignment of strategic direction between levels of the governing organisation.

Systems and policies that guide operation continue to be developed. These are regularly reviewed in collaboration with educarers and parents. Health and safety in homes is monitored through spot checks by visiting teachers. Steps to improve quality assurance have been taken. These should be further developed to ensure more timely monitoring of documentation and actions required.

Key Next Steps

ERO has identified that leaders and visiting teachers should continue to develop and strengthen:

  • implementation of the bicultural curriculum
  • assessment, planning and evaluation that responds to individual children’s whānau and culture
  • understanding and use of internal evaluation
  • appraisal for staff.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Bright Futures Hastings 1 completed an ERO Home-based Education and Care 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.

To improve current practice, the service manager should:

  • ensure systems and processes to monitor educarers' health and safety records are consistently applied.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Bright Futures Hastings 1 will be in three years.

Alan Wynyard
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

27 February 2018 

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 Home-based Education and Care Service



Ministry of Education profile number


Institution type

Homebased Network

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

80 children, including up to 80 aged under 2

Service roll


Standard or Quality Funded


Gender composition

Boys 19, Girls 14

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


Number of qualified coordinators in the network


Required ratios of staff educators to children

Under 2


Over 2


Review team on site

January 2018

Date of this report

27 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2015

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 the draft methodology for ERO reviews in Home-based Education and Care Services: July 2014

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.