Y Kids Early Learning Centre - 03/07/2013

1 Evaluation of Y Kids Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Y Kids 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.


Y Kids Early Learning Centre caters for infants and children aged up to five years in a purpose-built facility. YMCA Nelson owns and operates the service, with a management committee having oversight. The chief executive is the licensed service provider contact person. The core YMCA values of honesty, respect, caring and responsibility and vision of building and supporting strong families and communities, underpin the centre’s philosophy and operation.

The service previously operated as two centres. These came together under a merged licence in September 2012. At the same time, the centre was relicensed to meet the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008 and a Pasifika Language Nest was set up to strengthen provision for Pacific children and their families. Roll numbers and attendance have increased.

There are five separate rooms to cater for the different ages. Staff are flexible about placement of children according to strengths and needs. There are opportunities for children to mix across rooms.

Recent changes to the management structure and personnel changes have created more leadership opportunities for teachers.

The centre is part of a network of structures that provide for the diverse ethnic community. Strong support is available for a growing refugee population from Myanmar/Burma, Kayan, Bhutan, Nepal and the Pacific Islands. Children from Māori families make up 22% of the total roll. Eighty percent of staff are fully registered and qualified. They are highly involved and responsive to the local Victory community.

Areas for improvement, identified in the April 2010 ERO reports were used by centre management as a basis for a strategic plan to improve practice. All have been addressed.

The Review Findings

Teachers work to understand and support the diverse community. Regular community meetings are held to share important information with parents. Staff are involved in community projects and programmes that the YMCA organisation help to coordinate. Actions and initiatives, such as networking with parent and church groups, and using translators, provide appropriate support for families. Staff appointments have been made so that teachers are representative of the diverse wider community.

Flexible session times and constant fees over the past few years help meet family needs. Financial support is provided to enable children to attend the centre at little or no cost.

Bicultural programmes are being developed and enhanced through high quality self review. An action plan identifies areas for development and leads to a shared approach to strengthening provision for Māori children as Māori. There is a focus on improving understanding of whanaungatanga.

The environment and programmes of the Pasifika Language Nest provide well for Pacific children and their families. The centre includes all ethnic groups and staff are working to increase the number of Pacific families. The rich programme and environment effectively support children’s learning, their identity, language and culture.

Teachers carefully observe each child’s learning. They work together to set learning goals and find specific ways to respond, building children’s strengths, developing new skills and confidence. Learning is shared with children and their families in profile books and through conversations. Teachers are working on ways to improve communication and increase partnerships with families. They have identified that a next step is to show stronger links between children’s learning and progress towards their goals.

Interactions with children are nurturing, respectful, affirming and responsive. Teachers help children play positively and offer opportunities for them to be independent and confident to make decisions. Questions are well used to extend children’s thinking and promote discussion. The well presented environments challenge children, promote exploration and develop physical skills.

Self review is robust and strategic. It is a well coordinated and collaborative process that helps teachers to gain skills and build shared understandings. A wide range of people are consulted and well analysed information identifies steps and actions. Changes are revisited for determining their impact.

Centre managers foster leadership. Recent staff changes have allowed the leadership structure to be widened to include head teachers and curriculum leaders.

The appraisal process is thorough and builds capacity and consistency of approach. It aligns well to the Registered Teacher Criteria. An identified next step is to establish indicators of effective teaching and move to a more evidence-based approach. ERO’s evaluation affirms this direction.

Key Next Steps

  • Build stronger links between learning and teaching to show children’s progress towards their goals more clearly.
  • Establish indicators of effective teaching and move to a more evidence-based approach to appraisal.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Y Kids 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 Y Kids Early Learning Centre will be in four years.

Joyce Gebbie 

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

3 July 2013

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 and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

91 children, including up to 15 aged up to 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 69,

Girls 54

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā

South East Asian


Middle Eastern






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


Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2013

Date of this report

3 July 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 2010

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.