Kids Pace Education - 05/03/2014

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Kids Pace Education provides care and education services in home-based settings in Central Otago and in Southland. Parents can choose for their children to be cared for by an educator, nanny or au pair. The service was established in July 2012. The owner manages and operates the service.

A visiting teacher was employed from October 2012 until the beginning of August 2013 to assist the manager while she had other commitments. From the start of August 2013 the owner has taken on the role of the only visiting teacher in the service and has responsibility for governance and management as well as supporting the educators, nannies and au pairs in their role. ERO is concerned at the lack of convincing planning and self review to show that each role is managed effectively.

The service was fully licensed by the Ministry of Education (MOE) at the end of July 2013. There were a number of compliance issues identified by the MOE that the owner needed to address. The owner acknowledges that the last twelve months have been challenging, and as a result some important licensing requirements are not fully met.

ERO recommends that the owner seeks external advice and support to develop systems that ensure accountability in meeting compliance and quality of service requirements. The MOE will be informed of these findings and engage with the service to check on how well it is meeting licensing requirements. The next ERO review will be determined after consultation with the Ministry of Education.

2. The Focus of the Review

All ERO education reviews in early childhood focus on the quality of education. However, the nature and range of compliance issues revealed during the ERO visit required a shift in focus to reporting on important aspects of governance and management.


ERO found that the owner does not yet have sufficiently robust systems and processes to ensure that she fully complies with the Licensing Criteria for Home-based Education and Care Services 2008.

During the course of the review ERO found that the service policies and owner’s expectations do not give sufficient guidance to educators to ensure that all reasonable steps have been taken to promote the health and safety of children in this service.

There is inadequate evidence to show that important health and safety requirements are being met. For example:

  • there are no records available of daily environment checks
  • ERO identified potential hazards that were not identified and managed to ensure the safety of children
  • the risk-management system for outings needs to be made relevant to each educator’s community
  • the owner has no accurate way of knowing that the educators’ homes are maintained to the standards outlined in the procedures.
  • the process for police vetting lacks rigour, with inadequate documentation to show how potential risks were considered and managed.
  • ERO found inconsistencies in educator/nanny/au pair application forms. Some forms had no referees named or there were no records to show that referees had been contacted.

Employment practices need strengthening. There were inconsistencies in the information provided relating to appraisals and insufficient evidence of an effective process to support employees through training plans and appraisal guidelines. Educators’ training plans should show how the visiting teacher intends to support them in their role. The educators’ job descriptions do not set high expectations for providing a stimulating learning environment.

The quality of the written feedback to educators needs to be improved. There needs to be a greater focus on children’s learning and specific strategies that the educators should use to extend and support the learning. The owner has begun to develop next steps for children each term. As yet there is no evidence of how these are implemented by educators.

Partnerships with parents are largely based on email contact once a term. There is very little evidence of ongoing engagement or discussion with them. There was no evidence in profile books or visiting teacher records to show how parents’ wishes for their children are sought and responded to.

The plan for implementing bicultural practices is not sufficiently detailed to show what the visiting teacher intends to do to build educators’ knowledge or how she will demonstrate the progress being made.

Self review is in the early stages and is not well used to monitor and improve the quality of education and care.

3. Management Assurance on Compliance Areas


Before the review, the management and staff of Kids Pace Education completed an ERO Home-Based Education and Care Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • curriculum standard
  • premises and facilities standard
  • health and safety practices standard
  • governance management and administration standard.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on outcomes for children:

  • emotional safety (including behaviour management, prevention of bullying and abuse)
  • physical safety (including behaviour management, sleeping and supervision practices; accidents and medication; hygiene and routines; travel and excursion policies and procedures)
  • staff qualifications and organisation
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

ERO is not confident that what the owner has attested to in the Home-Based Assurance Statement represents current practices within the service.

To comply with the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008, the owner must:

  • implement suitable human resource management practices (GMA 6)
  • take all practicable steps to identify, then eliminate, isolate or minimise hazards to the safety of children (HS 11)
  • ensure that premises, equipment and facilities are regularly checked for hazards (HS 11)
  • improve the assessment and management of risks when children are on outings (HS 14)
  • ensure regular appraisals of all persons contracted to, or employed by the service (GMA 6)
  • support educators to implement a bicultural curriculum (C5)
  • support educators to provide learning opportunities and environments that are informed by assessment, planning and evaluation (C 2)
  • seek and acknowledge parents’ aspirations for their children and involve them in decision making concerning their child’s learning (C11 and C12)
  • ensure that self review is effectively used to improve the quality of education and care (GMA 5).

[Licensing Criteria for Home based Education and Care Services 2008: GMA6, C5, C2, C11, C12, HS11, HS14, GMA5]

4. Recommendations

ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education reassesses the service’s licence. ERO will not undertake a further education review of this service until the Ministry is satisfied that the service meets licensing requirements.

5. Future Action

The next ERO review will be determined after consultation with the Ministry of Education.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region

5 March 2014

About the Service



Ministry of Education profile number


Service type

Homebased Network

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 26

Boys 18

Ethnic composition


NZ European





Review team on site

January 2014

Date of this report

5 March 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)