ABC Stokes Valley - 26/02/2014

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

This report identifies a number of areas that ABC Stokes Valley needs to address to improve learning outcomes for children. ERO is confident that with intensive support from the owners, Kidicorp, these will be addressed.

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


ABC Stokes Valley provides all-day education and care for children up to school entry. It is licensed for up to 61 children, including 20 aged up to two years.

Stokes Valley is a multicultural suburb of Lower Hutt. The diverse socio-economic population is reflected in the centre’s roll. Currently 37% of the children on the roll identify as Māori.

Significant changes have occurred at the centre since the September 2010 ERO reviews, of what were two separate centres. It changed ownership in 2011 to Kidicorp Limited.

Staff changes, the merging and relicensing of the centres and new ownership have contributed to a period of adjustment for children’s families and staff. Management roles have been restructured, and policies, procedures and practices have been adapted to Kidicorp Ltd management systems. Stokes Valley ABC is now developing procedures to contextualise the policies.

Day-to-day operation, including the programme, is the responsibility of the centre manager. Kidicorp provides advice, guidance and support through contact and regular visits from the business manager and professional services manager.

The Review Findings

Kidicorp has introduced a range of very good systems and support that is beginning to make a positive contribution to the education and care of children to school age. Health and safety is paramount and the spacious physical environment facilitates easy access between inside and outside play areas.

After considerable consultation, the centre recently reviewed its philosophy to guide curriculum delivery. The philosophy has three well-considered key beliefs: enthusiasm; lifelong learners; and respect and care. These form the basis of the centre’s curriculum.

The next steps for the centre staff are to document what these three philosophical beliefs will look like in practice to support curriculum planning and delivery. This should show how they collectively plan to:

  • model enthusiasm for the children
  • promote the concept of lifelong learning that supports children’s natural curiosity and exploration.

Currently the programme and planning do not include enough purposeful opportunities that encourage children to develop curiosity, explore or build literacy and numeracy skills through play.

Kidicorp’s quality assurance process has identified that programme planning and assessment as areas for further development and has begun to put strategies in place to address these concerns. ERO's evaluation affirms that this is a priority for development. Planning should link to outcomes for individual children, taking into account their age, gender and ethnicity.

There is strong evidence that the centre is a respectful and caring place for children. Teachers working with children aged up to two years support and nurture the infants and toddlers. The routines, including turn taking, are understood and provide a sense of security. Children’s interests and needs are well supported and responded to by staff.

The newly merged licence has facilitated transitions between the two rooms. Children move when they are ready, rather than having an aged-related routine. This enables closer sibling ties and facilitates better communication among teachers. As a result of a rigorous review, staff found that their implementation of the 'Be School Ready ' programme is not meeting the needs of children about to transition to school. Strategies are in place to address this finding.

Although there is a high proportion of Māori children on the roll, the service has not documented a commitment to te ao Māori. The centre should provide a curriculum that makes visible, affirms and values te reo me ngā tikanga Māori for children from all cultural backgrounds.

Key Next Steps

This report has identified a number of areas the centre needs to address. Kidicorp has affirmed that it has the knowledge and expertise to support the centre in addressing the following priorities:

  • documenting how Te Whāriki will be reflected in the centre curriculum
  • revising the centre’s approach to planning to focus on outcomes for children
  • developing an assessment approach that evaluates the impact of the programme on children’s learning and development
  • ensuring the curriculum is culturally appropriate
  • continuing to develop review procedures that enable the centre to evaluate the impact of the curriculum on outcomes for children.

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.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

26 February 2014

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


Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

61 children, including 20 aged up to 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 43, Girls 33

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā


Other ethnic groups





Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1 : 5

Meets minimum requirements


Over 2

1 : 10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2013

Date of this report

26 February 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)


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.