ABC Epsom - 06/04/2017

1 Evaluation of ABC Epsom

How well placed is ABC Epsom 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.


ABC Epsom provides education and care for children up to the age of five years old and is guided by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. All teachers are fully registered. Providing a stimulating, nurturing, respectful, warm and loving environment are core values and underpin the centre’s philosophy. The centre serves a culturally diverse community.

The attractive, purpose-built centre provides for infants and toddlers in the Tui room, and older children in the Kiwi room. Each room has a separate outdoor play area that has recently been extensively upgraded.

The centre is part of the national BestStart Education and Care Centres organisation, which provides an overarching governance and management framework as well as personnel to support individual centres.

The centre is led by a centre manager who has been appointed since ERO's 2013 review. She works with two head teachers and is supported by many long serving staff who have close community connections. The centre also employs a cook who prepares healthy meals and meets children's special dietary requirements.

Building and sustaining relationships with families continues to be a key feature of the centre. Since ERO's 2013 evaluation good work has been done to strengthen assessment, programme planning and evaluation.

This review was part of a cluster of four early childhood reviews in the BestStart Education and Care Centres organisation.

The Review Findings

Children demonstrate a strong sense of wellbeing and belonging. Children are settled in their learning environment and supported to make friendships. Teachers know children well as individuals, and are aware of their learning needs and strengths. Care routines are appropriately individualised for children up to the age of two.

Parents speak positively of the family atmosphere and effective communication at the centre. Teachers are approachable and friendly and make links to children’s home experiences when working with them to promote learning. They work collaboratively with families to ensure the smooth transitions for children between the Tui and the Kiwi room. Teachers from diverse backgrounds are able to use children's home languages.

Children are able to make choices about how and where to play. The carefully considered and attractive inside environments are well resourced to support children's involvement in the programme. Children have easy access to the well-presented outdoor areas for exploration and play. Teachers are reviewing resources with a view to purchasing new equipment and increasing the use of natural materials.

The centre manager agrees that teachers could now consider ways to extend children's thinking and learning through more complex play, and to increase opportunities for exploration and problem-solving. They could use effective teaching strategies such as questioning techniques when responding to children's play.

Teachers use some te reo Māori when they interact with children and they are committed to extending their bicultural practices. They could now review the learning programme to consider their practices from a bicultural perspective, and to increase their knowledge and use of tikanga and te reo Māori.

Wall displays reflect the children’s learning and programme activities. Children’s electronic portfolios show children’s learning journey and are well used by families. Parents are able to take advantage of technologies that enable them to easily access information about their children’s learning and provide feedback to teachers. Managers agree that children's cultural identity could be better reflected in these records.

Teachers have made significant progress in documenting, planning and evaluating programmes. They are a cohesive team, working collaboratively to offer their contributions to programme planning. The manager has identified the need to continue building on children's learning experiences in the planning process. The purpose of internal evaluation is well understood and used with increasing effectiveness.

The manager works well with teachers to provide a variety of professional development opportunities. BestStart supports teachers’ professional growth well. The organisation has reviewed its appraisal system and provides targeted professional learning and development.

BestStart has useful internal evaluation systems for monitoring service operations. These include regular management meetings and an internal audit process (QEC). Centre staff also use internal evaluation to review aspects of centre operations and would benefit from further support to strengthen their evaluation practices.

The centre’s strategic plan is linked to the BestStart vision and values. Strategic planning would be strengthened by ensuring that goals are clearly stated, action plans are developed to achieve the goals, and that progress towards the goals is monitored.

Key Next Steps

Centre managers agree that next steps include:

  • using effective teaching strategies to deepen children's thinking and problem solving through complex play and exploration

  • developing guidelines for evaluating programme planning and implementation

  • refining strategic goals and developing indicators to measure progress towards these goals.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

6 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


Epsom, Auckland

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 16 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 32 Girls 21

Ethnic composition











Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2017

Date of this report

6 April 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

August 2013

Education Review

June 2011

Education Review

June 2008

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.