Tom Parker House - 26/09/2017

1 Evaluation of Tom Parker House

How well placed is Tom Parker House 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.


Tom Parker House is a community-based education and care service operating under the umbrella of Birthright Hawke's Bay Child and Family Care (Birthright). Its priority is to meet the diverse needs of very young children and their families. Birthright works with other agencies in providing practical help and support to centre families.

Opened in late 2012, the centre continues to be well supported by its community. It is licensed for 15 children, including up to 15 children aged up to two years. Of the 19 children enrolled, 18 are Māori and most are aged under two years.

The centre's philosophy embraces the cultural identities of children and their whānau placing emphasis on their wellbeing and sense of belonging.

The teachers at Tom Parker House are qualified early childhood teachers.

Birthright trustees are responsible for the centre's governance. Birthright also manages nearby Swinburn House for children aged two to five years where many children transition to.

The Review Findings

The vision and philosophy of the trustees and the service are effectively implemented in practice. The centre is improvement-focused and well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

Children experience a welcoming, inclusive environment with a calm and peaceful tone. They confidently lead their own learning as independent and collaborative explorers and communicators. The programme is responsive to individual interests, needs and preferences.

Respectful, nurturing relationships are visible in the responsive interactions that occur between children and teachers. Encouraging self-managing skills is prioritised. A wide range of quality resources invites children's investigation and participation. 

Te ao Māori is strongly woven through centre practices. Te reo Māori is promoted through rituals and learning experiences. Incorporating Māori values, cultural events and celebrations are part of the centre’s way of knowing, doing and being. This supports Māori children's sense of belonging and wellbeing.

Planning for learning highlights individual children's interests, needs and preferences. Useful goals are developed for each child. Three monthly evaluations of progress against these goals occurs. Learning stories assessment incorporates Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and captures the progress of children over time. A next step is to develop group planning that identifies and evaluates teaching strategies and learning outcomes.

Parents and whānau are encouraged to contribute to their children's learning in a variety of ways. An online programme has been introduced and is promoting further communication and supporting relationships between families and teachers.

A considered transition process is in place to support children and families into the centre and on to the neighbouring Swinburn House through visits and sharing of information.

The leader and the teachers work collaboratively and liaise closely with Birthright trustees through regular monthly reporting. Centre meetings take place to share ideas about teaching and learning practices. Improving the depth of these discussions to better focus on high quality early childhood education is needed.

The recently revised appraisal system is contributing to teacher professional growth. Greater use of formal observations of practice and increased management and mentoring support for the head teacher's appraisal and all staff should strengthen the process.

Self review and programme evaluations provide insights into teaching practices. Evaluative capacity is being developed through professional learning. The manager is fostering collaborative review that is leading to positive change and improvement. Ensuring deeper analysis and sense-making of evidence collected within evaluations should strengthen this process.

Key Next Steps

The centre's next steps are to:

  • develop planning processes for groups of children

  • strengthen appraisal systems through formalising mentoring for all staff

  • extend understanding and use of internal evaluation for improvement. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Tom Parker House 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 Tom Parker House will be in three years.

Alan Wynyard Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

26 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 Early Childhood Service 



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

15 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 12, Girls 7

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2017

Date of this report

26 September 2017

Most recent ERO report(s) 

Education Review

October 2014

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.