Active Explorers Mayfair - 19/02/2018

1 Evaluation of Active Explorers Mayfair

How well placed is Active Explorers Mayfair to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

The service needs to develop and embed sustainable systems to support and monitor ongoing improvements in the curriculum, teaching practices and health and safety to promote better learning outcomes for children.

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


Active Explorers Mayfair, previously known as Rascals came under the umbrella of Evolve Education Group Ltd (Evolve) in 2015.

The service is licensed for up to 74 children, including 29 children up to the age of two. The current roll of 72, includes 35 children who identify as Māori.

The centre is divided into four separate indoor learning spaces and two outdoor spaces designed specifically for the different age groups.

Governance and management is provided by Evolve and is currently in a period of change. A regional business manager guides the service. Restructuring of head teacher roles is occurring. The service has recently experienced staff changes in the management position. A centre manager provides support to this service, with team leaders responsible for the day-to-day running of the centre. The centre philosophies emphasise the importance of relationships between children, teachers, parents and whānau.

The Review Findings

Each room has its own philosophy. Some aspects of these philosophies are evident in practice. Developing a centre wide philosophy is planned. This is timely to reflect the teaching team beliefs, centre values, parent and whānau aspirations and Te Whāriki (2017).

Children are able to take learning risks, problem solve and explore. There is a strong focus on developing friendships with their peers in a child-led environment. Children take pride in their achievements. They are affirmed for their positive efforts and learning behaviours. Teachers actively promote each child's emotional and social competence.

A curriculum that maintains individual children's connection to their culture, language and identity requires further development. This should encompass strengthening staff understanding of educational success for Māori and embedding te reo me ngā tikanga Māori in practice.

With a recent change in room allocations for toddlers, it is timely and necessary to evaluate the range of resources and accessibility to better support the needs, interests and preferences for this group.

Key teachers respond to and support infants and toddlers need for secure attachments. A calm, settled environment enables children to explore and to be challenged, supporting their holistic development.

Children with additional learning needs are fully included in the programme. Teachers work in collaboration with parents and external agencies to support children's participation and engagement in the centre.

There is a considered approach to supporting children's transition into the centre and on to school. This involves sharing of information and visits. A more deliberate approach, in consultation with parents and whānau, should provide children with a more coherent learning pathway.

Assessment, planning and evaluation practices remain an area for improvement. Teachers need to consistently identify the learning that is happening for children and the deliberate teaching strategies to extend on children's needs, interests and skills.

The appraisal process provides opportunities for teachers to inquire into their practice. Continuing to improve their understanding and use of inquiry should support them to measure the impact of their teaching practices on outcomes for children. Support for teachers to do this is planned for 2018.

Internal evaluation for improvement is developing. Current professional learning and development is beginning to strengthen teachers' understanding of evidence-based evaluation. This should assist them to lift the quality of teaching and learning and measure the impact of processes and practices on outcomes for children.

Management has identified that a more consistent approach to high quality teaching and learning and health and safety to promote positive outcomes for children is required. ERO's evaluation confirms this.

A recent restructure within Evolve has led to the introduction of new management roles that aim to provide increased support for centre staff. Evolve managers should continue strengthening systems to provide ongoing guidance and support to centre leaders and teachers, for continuous improvement of teaching and learning.

Key Next Steps

ERO has identified through its external evaluation process that Evolve should increase support to the centre manager and staff to strengthen:

  • assessment, planning and evaluation

  • knowledge and understanding of success for Māori

  • evidence-based internal evaluation

  • systems and processes for monitoring health and safety requirements.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Active Explorers Mayfair 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.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to health and safety. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following area:

  • strengthening centre wide consistency in monitoring health and safety.
    [Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, HS1, 12]

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service, in consultation with the Ministry of Education, develops a plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Active Explorers Mayfair will be within two years.

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

19 February 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

74 children, including up to 29 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 36, Boys 36

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


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2017

Date of this report

19 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

July 2014

Education Review

July 2011

Education Review

February 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.