ABC Stokes Valley - 09/05/2017

1 Evaluation of ABC Stokes Valley

How well placed is ABC Stokes Valley 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 Stokes Valley provides education and care for children from birth to five years of age, five days a week. It is licensed for 61 children, including up to 20 aged up to two years. Of the 79 children enrolled 13 identify as Māori and four as Pacific.

Since the February 2014 ERO evaluation, a new centre manager has been appointed. Most teachers are fully qualified and represent a diverse range of cultures. Day-to-day operation of the centre is the responsibility of the manager, who supports two head teachers.

The previous ERO report identified areas requiring further improvement. These included enhancing aspects of the curriculum, strengthening assessment and planning, developing review and evaluation. Good progress has been made in these areas.

ABC Stokes Valley is owned and operated by BestStart Educare Ltd. BestStart (previously known as Kidicorp Ltd) is a large national organisation that owns early childhood services across New Zealand.

This review was one of two in BestStart Educare Ltd.

The Review Findings

The centre’s philosophy is highly evident in practice. Children are learning to explore, be independent and to be respectful and positive learners. They experience warm and respectful relationships. Children with additional learning needs are well supported. External agencies are accessed when required.

Teachers know children well, they use a range of teaching strategies to support their learning. Literacy and mathematics are woven throughout programme.

Teachers sensitively respond to and support infants’ and toddlers’ need for strong and secure attachment. They follow children’s cues within a flexible learning programme that is designed to support individual needs.

Te ao Māori is well promoted in the centre. Aspects of te reo Māori are used in general conversations with children and waiata Māori is a popular activity. Continuing to support teachers to actively use te reo Māori in the centre is a next step.

Building strong relationships between whānau, parents and families is a centre focus. Leaders and teachers continue to develop their understanding of what educational success looks like for Māori and Pacific children. Developing learning partnerships with whānau Māori and the Pacific community is a key next step. This should help to assist the centre to further develop its cultural responsiveness and promote educational success for Māori and Pacific children.

Children's learning profiles provide a useful record of their learning and development.  Learning is captured and shared digitally with parents and whānau. An online assessment tool enables parents to contribute to their child’s learning profile.

Teachers are well supported to implement a curriculum that is responsive to children’s emerging skills, interests and needs. Leaders have identified the need to continue to strengthen assessment practice to show greater progression of children's learning over time. ERO affirms this direction.

Leaders are focused on improving the quality of education and care through an ongoing systematic approach to improve outcomes for all children. A key next step is for leaders to build teachers' evaluative understanding and capability. This should assist them to better evaluate the impact of teachers’ practices on children’s learning.

Children’s sense of belonging is nurtured through transitions within the centre.  Transitions to school are supported by well-established relationships with local schools.

A collaborative leadership approach is promoted across all aspects of the centre’s operations. Teachers have opportunities to take on leadership roles.

A clear framework guides the appraisal process. This includes self-reflection and appraiser assessment and has a developmental focus. Formal observations of practice provide useful information about the quality of teaching. In addition, teachers and leaders are building their capabilities through an inquiry and knowledge-building framework to help improve positive outcomes for children. BestStart provides opportunities to participate in a wide range of professional learning and development.

Professional service managers provide regular feedback, support and guidance about the curriculum in action. This clearly identifies strengths and areas for development. Roles and responsibilities of leaders and managers are clearly identified and well understood. A comprehensive policy framework, including procedures and systems, guides the operation of the centre.

Key Next Steps

ERO and leaders agree that key next steps are to continue to:

  • strengthen assessment, planning and evaluation
  • further develop understandings of educational success for Māori and Pacific children
  • support teachers to actively use te reo Māori across the centre
  • develop teachers' understanding of effective internal evaluation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Patricia Davey
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

9 May 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 


Stokes Valley

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

61 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 46, Girls 33

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


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

March 2017

Date of this report

9 May 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

February 2014

Education Review

September 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.