ERO reviews of early childhood services and kōhanga reo

Removal of return times in review reports

ERO is removing the return times from its reports of early childhood services (excluding Kōhanga Reo).

Reports for early childhood services will continue to include the following judgements:
• Not well placed
• Requires further development
• Well placed; and
• Very well placed

Those centres who are “Very well placed” or “Well placed” and have a strong track record of performance can generally expect to have a longer period between reviews. However, should a centre’s circumstances change, ERO is likely to review more regularly. Factors considered could include changes in management, high staff turnover or other information about the centre which may come to ERO’s attention.

ERO will continue to review services who we see as requiring further development (“Requires further development”) more regularly than other better placed providers and these reviews will be more frequent. With these services our emphasis is on ensuring that they are getting the basics right.

ERO’s expectation is that all centres should be in a position to be reviewed by ERO at any time.

For early childhood services and kōhanga reo having an ERO review

This page provides information for early childhood services and kōhanga reo having an ERO review. It also has links to the documentation most early childhood services will need before, during and after their review.

Information about reviews and review documentation 

The documents used for some services ERO reviews can differ from those ordinarily used with early childhood services. Those needing different documentation include kōhanga reo, home-based services and hospital-based services.

Access the documentation for these services:

Review framework and evaluation indicators

ERO’s frameworks for reviews explain the review process in simple and transparent way. ERO uses the evaluation indicators when reviewing, so knowing about them will help early childhood services understand ERO’s judgements.

In 2013, ERO revised its approach to early childhood service reviews. The review framework and evaluation indicators for most early childhood services (except home-based education and care services, hospital-based education and care services and kōhanga reo) are now included in one document:

He Pou Tātaki - How ERO reviews early childhood services

In 2020, ERO developed new indicators of quality for centre-based early childhood services in New Zealand and work is ongoing on a revised approach to evaluating quality in these services:

Te Ara Poutama – indicators of quality for early childhood education: what matters most 

Education Reviews in Centre-based Early Childhood Services

ERO is continuing to undertake Education Reviews in centre-based services. We are planning to take a phased approach to implementing Quality Evaluations, a new approach to evaluating quality. Initially we will work in selected services that are due for review in the second half of 2020. The Akarangi | Quality Evaluation approach will replace Education Reviews in centre-based services from late 2020 onwards.

Home-based and hospital-based education and care services

ERO is currently undertaking Education Reviews in home-based and hospital-based services. ERO will continue with Education Reviews in these services using the relevant approach as outlined in:

He Pou Tātaki- How ERO reviews home-based education and care services


He Pou Tātaki: How ERO reviews hospital-based education and care services

ERO plans to update its approach to reviews in home-based and hospital-based education and care services as part of its regular programme of work going forward.

Self reports for early childhood services

We ask early childhood services to complete and return a self-report before their review. This gives you the opportunity to tell us about your context and how you promote positive outcomes for children. Knowing more about your service and its circumstances will help your ERO review team provide a useful report that will support ongoing development and improvement.

There are different versions of the self-report. Please select the one that applies to your review:

Statistical profile form

Early childhood services must complete and return a statistical profile form before their review. The information provided should be as accurate and up-to-date as possible. 

Early childhood statistical profile form

Assurance statements

Before a review we also ask the governing or managing body of an early childhood service or kōhanga reo to complete a statement and checklist assuring ERO of its compliance with legal obligations and official requirements. You may also find these useful for your own internal evaluation.

Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklists (.PDF, 1.16 MB)

Handbook of Contractual Obligations and Undertakings

ERO’s Handbook of Contractual Obligations and Undertakings: Early Childhood Services describes the existing legislation and legal requirements for early childhood services.

Volume I of this Handbook, which was based on the 1998 early childhood centres regulations, is superseded by the current Volume II. It is updated regularly.

Handbook of Contractual Obligations and Undertakings for early childhood services

Letter to parents, whānau and staff

Here is a link to a letter you can display and distribute to your parents, whānau and staff that tells them what ERO wants to find out during your review and how they can get involved.

Letter to parents whanau and staff

Feedback after your review

We are interested in your experience of the review process. If your early childhood service has recently had a review, please take the time to complete our questionnaire.

You can complete the questionnaire online.

To learn more about questionnaires please email