ABC Springlands - 21/09/2018

1 Evaluation of ABC Springlands

How well placed is ABC Springlands 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 Springlands operates under the BestStart Educare Ltd management structure. BestStart is a large national organisation that owns early childhood centres across New Zealand.

The centre provides education and care for children up to school age. It is licensed for 79 children, including up to 25 children aged up to two years old. The programme is organised across four separate rooms, with different age groups in each room. Children come from a diverse range of cultures. The centre provides lunch and snacks with a focus on promoting healthy food.

A centre manager oversees the day-to-day operation of the centre. Head teachers lead the programmes and practices in each room. A BestStart business manager (BM) and professional services manager (PSM) visit regularly to support the service. Most staff are trained early childhood teachers. A new centre manager and new head teachers began their leadership positions in the last 12 months. There have been changes in the BestStart support structure and PSM.

The centre is committed to the Treaty of Waitangi through its environment, resources and relationships. After a recent review of the philosophy, the centre is placing a greater focus on supporting the development of the whole child (social, emotional, physical and cognitive). This focus links to the centre's learning priorities of children being confident, independent, curious and with good self-esteem.

The centre has made very good progress in addressing the areas identified in the 2015 ERO report. This progress is part of the findings in this report.

The Review Findings

Leaders and teachers implement useful internal evaluation processes for improving outcomes for children's wellbeing and learning. Evaluations are well informed by a range of information, including parent voice. Internal evaluations have led to:

  • a greater focus on intentional teaching and learning
  • more culturally responsive practices to support children's culture, language and identity
  • teachers having an increased awareness of te ao Māori and how they can support Māori learners' success.

Teachers and leaders have strengthened their relationships with children's parents and whānau. This has been achieved through deliberate actions to:

  • gather more meaningful input from parents and use it in the planning for children's learning
  • help parents understand the curriculum through displays and parent-education evenings
  • empower parents in the shared role of supporting children's learning.

The emotional and physical wellbeing of infants and toddlers is effectively supported by teachers who encourage children to explore and be challenged. Teachers skilfully support infants and toddlers in their development of gross-motor skills and independence, and provide well-considered opportunities for sensory play. These appropriate priorities for children's learning are clearly articulated and reflected in programmes, planning and assessments.

Leaders are using effective systems to build collective capacity and sustainability within the centre. Teachers and leaders receive useful feedback from the BestStart leadership. Relevant key priorities for centre development are identified and well aligned to strategic planning and internal evaluation for improvement. The PSM and centre manager implement a well-considered team approach to new developments across the centre.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, they need to implement a robust appraisal process that follows the BestStart guidelines.

ERO supports the centre's long-term plan to embed the recently developed assessment, planning and evaluation procedures. Leaders need to ensure:

  • consistent practices across the centre
  • coherency of learning for all children during their time at ABC Springlands
  • all teaching staff develop a greater shared understanding of Te Whāriki (2017) to enhance the planning for individual children and the centre curriculum.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review & Improvement Services Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

21 September 2018

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

79 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls: 69 Boys: 49

Ethnic composition

Other ethnicities


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2018

Date of this report

21 September 2018

Most recent ERO reports

Education Reviews

August 2015
August 2013
May 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.