Indicators of Quality for Early Childhood

In April, ERO published the updated Te Ara Poutama | Indicators of quality for early childhood education: what matters most.

ERO will start using these indicators in a new approach to evaluating quality – Akarangi | Quality Evaluation – later in 2020. We are taking a phased approach to implementation by initially inviting some centre-based services already scheduled for an Education Review to participate in a Quality Evaluation using the indicators and associated resources. ERO will expect to see the indicators imbedded into ongoing evaluation and planning activity when visiting centre-based services. Services will in turn be expected to use the indicators to evaluate and report on the quality of provision for children. Over the next three years, all ERO evaluations in centre-based services will use the indicators to evaluate and report on the quality of provision for children.

We published a draft version of the indicators on ERO’s website in September 2019 and sought feedback through an online survey. Three-quarters of the respondents to the survey told us they thought the indicators were useful or very useful. Two-thirds of respondents did not see any gaps in the indicators and a third made suggestions for addressing perceived gaps. We also received a number of submissions from ECE organisations. We have considered and responded to the feedback in preparing the final version of the indicators.

The indicators are part of a wider work programme which includes the development of Ngā Ara Whai Hua: Quality Framework for Evaluation and Improvement in Centre-based Early Childhood Services. This framework shows how ERO is differentiating its approach to review and evaluation in centre-based early childhood services.

ERO is currently developing resources that will support services to use the indicators as part of their internal evaluation processes. A resource to help parents and whānau understand the indicators and what quality early childhood education looks like is also in development.