Ka Poipoia Tairawhiti Home-Based Service - 12/09/2017

1 Evaluation of Ka Poipoia Tairawhiti Home-Based Service

How well placed is Ka Poipoia Tairawhiti Home-Based Service to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Over the past two years considerable effort has been put into improving operation and the education programme. However, systems that support sustainability and ongoing improvement continue to require development. Aspects of compliance also need to be addressed.

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


Ka Poipoia Tairawhiti Home-Based Service (Ka Poipoia Tairawhiti) is a community-based early learning service run, by Tairawhiti REAP (Rural Education and Activities Programme). The service covers the area from Pōtaka to Kotemaori and inland to Waikaremoana. It is licensed to provide home-based education and care for up to 80 children. At the time of this ERO review, five educators were contracted to work with 15 tamariki. Most enrolled children were aged under three. The service attracts predominately Māori educators and whānau. Most educators have whānau connections with the children they care for.

A board of trustees maintains oversight of the service. A Tairawhiti REAP manager oversees the work of two qualified teachers (coordinators) who are employed to support in-home educators to provide suitable care and learning programmes for children.

The intent of Ka Poipoia Tairawhiti, is to provide a culturally responsive environment, in partnership with whānau, that supports each child’s learning and development. The philosophy underpinning teaching, learning and operation emphasises the importance of whanaungatanga (relationships), manaakitanga (respect), rangitiratanga (leadership) and kotahitanga (togetherness). The intended outcomes for children are to enhance their mana and wairua, promote their identity as tangata whenua and encourage them to learn and use te reo Māori.

The board made a decision, just prior to this ERO review, to temporarily close the service until January 2018.

This is the first ERO report for Ka Poipoia Tairawhiti Home-Based Service. 

The Review Findings

The programme and operation are highly geared to supporting Māori children's success as Māori. Whānau, hapū and iwi connections are known, valued and supported. The importance of culture, language and identity is strongly acknowledged. Whānau aspirations for their children's learning are sought. Priority is given to the development of whanaungatanga and the removal of barriers to children's participation in the service.

ERO agrees with the coordinators' decision to further define the philosophy guiding teaching and learning. A review undertaken in collaboration with educators and whānau should help to develop a shared understanding and agreement about the learning that is valued at Ka Poipoia Tairawhiti.

A range of support is provided to assist educators in their roles. This includes written guidelines outlining clear expectations around provision for children's health and safety and learning programmes. Educators' attendance at professional learning and development (PLD) is a service requirement. PLD is regular, well planned and carefully facilitated to meet needs. However actual attendance is low and spasmodic, and the impact on outcomes for children, hard to discern.

The REAP appraisal process is not sufficiently developed to support coordinators to meet professional teaching requirements. Education Council assistance should be sought to further develop the approach. The educator appraisal process is a supportive tool with the potential to promote improved practice and outcomes for children.

Coordinators' communication with educators provides opportunities for regular sharing of information about children. Home visits enable modelling of teaching practice and support for decision making about learning programmes.

Curriculum guidelines forefront whanaungatanga, manaakitanga, kotahitanga and rangitiratanga. The importance of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and Te Whatu Pōkeka, kaupapa Māori assessment for learning early childhood exemplars, are acknowledged in documentation. Overall, however, assessment practice does not reflect written expectations and requires significant development. Practice should be more focused on individual children and the identification of strategies to extend their emerging interests, strengths and needs and respond to parents' aspirations. Coordinator support for educators should have increased emphasis on discussion about, and observation and documentation of, individual children's learning, alongside the building of educators' skills as caregivers and teachers.

Coordinators collaborate to build and implement practices to meet the needs of its diverse community. The full-time coordinator has significantly improved guidelines and systems to support educators in their roles. Monthly reporting provides a range of information to support decision making at REAP management level. The board provides generous funding for appropriate coordinator PLD. 

Systems to support the sustainability and consistency of, and improvement to, practice and operation require development. While significant progress has been made in the past two years in establishing better ways of working, leaders now need to ensure that the management and teaching roles and responsibilities are clearly defined. There should be improved management assistance, including:

  • regular policy development and review

  • comprehensive guidelines to support the coordinator role

  • systems to monitor compliance and provide assurance that expectations are being met at all levels of the service

  • appropriate long-term/strategic planning supported by a defined budget, focused on improvement and sustainability of operation over time.

In addition, an internal evaluation process should be put in place to improve decision making and strengthen outcomes at all levels.

Key Next Steps

Coordinators should:

  • seek ways to further strengthen the impact of support for educators to assess, plan and evaluate children's learning
  • implement a suitable internal evaluation process to support decision making that promotes ongoing improvement to teaching and learning practices.

Management should:

  • further define management and teaching roles and responsibilities
  • seek support to develop and implement an appropriate coordinator appraisal process
  • develop systems that support sustainability and improvement to practice and operation
  • increase familiarity with legislative requirements for home-based education and care, particularly in relation to governance and management
  • introduce a robust quality assurance process to support compliance at all levels.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Ka Poipoia Tairawhiti Home-Based Service 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

Actions for compliance

ERO found significant areas of non-compliance in the service relating to curriculum and governance. To meet requirements the service must ensure that:

  • the curriculum is consistent with any prescribed framework that applies to the service

  • the curriculum is informed by assessment, planning and evaluation that demonstrates an understanding of children's learning, their interests, whānau and life contexts

  • a suitable appraisal process is developed and implemented for coordinators

  • an ongoing process of self review helps the service maintain and improve the quality of its education and care. [Licensing Criteria for Home-based Education and Care Services 2008, C1,C2, GMA6, GMA5]

In addition, the service provider must ensure that coordinators' practising certificates are kept current. The part-time coordinator's practising certificate expired in September 2016. [Section 349 (2) Education Amendment Act 2015]

In order to improve practice management should ensure that:

  • an annual plan is clearly documented identifying who will do what, and when, in relation to key tasks undertaken each year

  • when access to first-aid training is limited due to circumstances beyond management's control, that educators have knowledge of first aid and gain a first-aid qualification within four months of starting work at the service

  • a suitable process is put in place at management level to deal with decisions linked to police vetting results. 

Recommendation to Ministry of Education

ERO recommends that the Ministry reassess the licence of Ka Poipoia Tairawhiti Home-Based Service. ERO will not undertake a further education review of this service until the Ministry of Education is satisfied that the service meets licensing requirements.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Ka Poipoia Tairawhiti Home-Based Service will be in consultation with the Ministry of Education.

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

12 September 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 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

Girls 10, Boys 5

Ethnic composition



Number of qualified coordinators in the network


Required ratios of educators to children

Under 2


Over 2


Review team on site

July 2017

Date of this report

12 September 2017

Most recent ERO report(s) 

No previous ERO reports


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

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.