ABC Cashmere - 27/04/2017

1 Evaluation of ABC Cashmere

How well placed is ABC Cashmere to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

ABC Cashmere is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


ABC Cashmere operates under the BestStart Educare Ltd management structure. BestStart is a large national organisation that owns early childhood education centres across New Zealand.

The centre has undergone significant redevelopment since 2015. The existing building has been refurbished and two additional purpose-built rooms were added in 2016. This has resulted in a change of licencing numbers and an increase in the number of children and staffing.

The service now provides full-day education and care for up to 100 children, aged from birth to school age, in three separate learning areas. Infants and toddlers have a separate indoor and outdoor area. Children in the preschool and prep rooms have their own indoor space but share the extensive outdoor area.

An experienced centre manager is responsible for the day-to-day operations. A BestStart business manager and professional services manager visit regularly to support the service.

There is a range of qualifications and early childhood education experience among the staff. Most staff are fully qualified and certified in Early Childhood Education.

The service has responded strategically to the recommendations in the 2014 ERO report. Teachers have made good progress in addressing all areas for improvement, including bicultural practices, self-review, assessment and planning and a greater understanding of the 'be ready for school' programme.

This review was part of a cluster of seven centre reviews in the BestStart Group in Canterbury.

The Review Findings

Children's sense of belonging is carefully nurtured through caring and respectful relationships, settled learning environments and well-established routines. Teachers actively take the time to know children and their whānau. They value families' language, culture and identity.

Children experience happy and positive interactions with other children and their teachers. They learn and play for sustained periods either individually or in self-selected groups, with or without teacher involvement. Older children are encouraged to play with and support younger children.

Teachers engage children in meaningful, deliberate conversations to foster their curiosity and development. They are actively involved in children's learning and play and are highly responsive. Teachers effectively seek children's ideas and opinions to contribute to the programme.

Children have easy access to an attractive and carefully-considered environment that is well resourced. It provides wide choice and opportunities for learning through creative exploration.

Teachers are highly aware of the specific needs of very young children. They provide responsive care giving that supports infant's and toddlers' needs for strong and secure attachments to familiar adults. Nursery children are very well supported to gain mastery of their own physical development.

Transitions into and within the centre are flexible and carefully planned to meet the individual needs of children and their families. The centre manager and teachers are building links with local schools.

Teachers are beginning to build strong partnerships with parents to support children's learning. They actively seek parent aspirations for their children and are beginning to use these in their programme planning. They have good communication with families and regularly inform parents about children's learning and development. Parents are becoming increasingly involved in the programme and many have begun to share aspects of their culture and language.

The centre is very well lead and managed. The leadership team model good practice and are building teacher capacity. They support teachers' shared understandings about programme planning, assessment and the usefulness of internal evaluation. There are regular opportunities for teachers to participate in professional learning. A strategic plan guides centre operations.

As the teaching team has increased there has been a strong emphasis on building a collaborative teaching team. Individual teachers' strengths and their cultural backgrounds are used well to support children and families. Teachers are increasingly empowered to take leadership roles and responsibilities.

The centre, business and professional services managers work effectively in partnership to implement BestStart systems to ensure accountability and continuous improvement.

Key Next Steps

Centre managers have identified, and ERO evaluations have confirmed, that the key next steps for the service are to continue to:

  • develop a shared understanding of internal evaluation

  • embed programme planning and assessment practices

  • increase learning partnerships with whānau to enhance outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of ABC Cashmere 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 ABC Cashmere will be in three years.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern/Te Waipounamu

27 April 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

50 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys: 43

Girls: 30

Ethnic composition




Other Ethnicity

Other European






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

February 2017

Date of this report

27 April 2017

Most recent ERO reports


Education Review

January 2010

Education Review

January 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.