Y Kids Early Learning Centre - 06/12/2017

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 is a large, community based, full-day education and care service. It is licensed for 92 children including 15 under the age of two. Children attend from three months to six years of age and are provided for across five rooms.

Y Kids is owned by the YMCA Nelson and operates through a community trust. The YMCA on-site director has oversight of the trust programme and supports centre managers in their role. The childrens services manager oversees the day-to-day operation of the centre working with the centre coordinator. These two leadership positions have been established since the 2013 ERO review as have three curriculum leader's positions. There are high levels of qualified staff.

The service's children, staff and community come from many cultures with some being English Language Learners. The service is very responsive to the needs and wishes of its community with the YMCA core values of 'honesty, respect, caring and responsibility', underpinning the way it operates and its philosophy. The service includes a Pacific Language Nest (Pasifika) where at the time of this review, 21 children were on the roll. Any parent may choose for their children to be in this area.

Since the 2013 ERO review:

  • the outdoor spaces have been upgraded

  • self-review remains a significant driver for change and improvement

  • building strong families and communities continues to be a core focus.

The Review Findings

Children and their families benefit from the positive, respectful and inclusive relationships teachers strongly promote. Children are well-supported to initiate and maintain positive relationships with others. Supportive, flexible transitions based on wellbeing and belonging, are a strong feature of children's movement within and beyond the centre.

Teachers' value and support biculturalism and the language, culture and identity of individual children and their families. This was particularly evident in the Pacific Language Nest-Pasifika, where children experience and enjoy high quality, culturally rich, authentic learning experiences and language.

The centre's programme is especially responsive to children’s interests and capabilities. Its culture and valued outcomes for children are underpinned by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Leaders and teachers make good use of professional learning and development (PLD) to build teacher capability and positive outcomes for children. The centre's current PLD focus, building children's social competency, is contributing significantly to children's wellbeing and consistent teaching practice.

Children are actively involved in a wide range of play and learning experiences within and beyond the centre. The rhythm of the day follows children’s interests and needs. This is evident through the ways in which:

  • teachers systematically plan for individual children's learning through useful assessment

  • activities encourage children to test their theories

  • children's curiosity being stimulated resulting in periods of sustained play for them.

Teachers are responsive to the particular needs and preferences of infants and toddlers through respectful one-to-one interactions. They maintain a calm, unhurried pace in which younger children have space and time to make discoveries and lead their own learning.  Secure child-teacher-family relationships promote the development of children's positive sense of self.

Y Kids is well led and managed. Centre personnel foster and maintain strong and productive partnerships beyond the centre with agencies, community groups and local schools. The director and leaders ensure equity of provision for all children and their families. They promote a curriculum of care very strongly aligned to the YMCA values and building strong families and communities. This has been ongoing. Resources for the provision of the service are well managed by director.

The director, centre manager and coordinator are strongly improvement focused. They work very well together to realise the shared vision and purpose for the centre. They foster a reflective culture. Leaders and teachers are actively involved in, and make effective use of internal evaluation. Teachers are actively involved in all aspects of internal evaluation. This helps to promote a centre-wide understanding of internal evaluation. ERO observed many progressive changes resulting from this.

Key Next Steps

Leaders have made some changes within the performance management system. It is now time to fully review the current system for teachers' appraisal. This should include rationalising and refining its expectations to ensure it continues to meet requirements, is manageable and can be sustained to support teachers' professional practice.

Group programme planning and evaluations should be formalised to clearly identify the planned learning and teaching that is planned for, support evaluations and inform future planning.

Internal evaluation practices are well-established within the centre. They could be further strengthened by ensuring:

  • spontaneous reviews are linked to genuine inquiry

  • planned reviews are aligned to an evaluative question

  • long-term plan guides planned self-review/internal evaluation.

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 three years.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

6 December 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

92 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys: 61

Girls: 52

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

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2017

Date of this report

6 December 2017

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

July 2013

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.