Ako Homebased Care & Education Services - 21/12/2017

1 Evaluation of Ako Homebased Care & Education Services

How well placed is Ako Homebased Care & Education Services to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

With targeted support from management and the development of an action plan, Ako Homebased Education & Care Services is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Ako Homebased Care & Education Services is a privately-owned service with two networks. One network is located in Whanganui and one in Auckland.

This ERO evaluation relates to the Auckland Network. Of the 91 children enrolled in this network, 21 identify as Māori and 70 are of Pacific heritage. This network was first licensed in 2016 and has experienced significant roll growth in that time.

At the time of this review, there were 20 educators. They represent a diverse mix of ethnicities, offering experiences from their own cultural backgrounds.

The service provider and coordinators for both networks are responsible for the provision of care, implementation of an effective curriculum for children and professional support of home-based educators. All three coordinators in this network are newly qualified teachers.

The vision and values of the service are underpinned by kaupapa Māori ways of knowing, being and doing. The philosophy advances a Māori world view and success for Māori is central to the network's mission.

This is the first review for the service.

The Review Findings

Coordinators and managers prioritise whanaungatanga. Relationships with children, families, whānau and educators are valued. There are increasing ways for families to feel a sense of connection to Ako Homebased.

The network has a clear vision and purpose that sets its direction. The philosophy and core values are evident and enacted in the collaborative ways coordinators and educators work together to promote positive outcomes for children.

Documentation supports educators in understanding their role and responsibilities. Examples include the revised induction processes, the coordinator's visit notes and guidance related to meeting health and safety expectations. Implementing the appraisal system and three-monthly evaluations should be useful in assisting educators' ongoing development.

Some portfolio books acknowledge and support the importance of first language learning, culture and identity. They also show the relationships and knowledge that coordinators and educators are developing about children and their families.

Ako Homebased is introducing a range of assessment tools and strategies to support educators to identify and respond to children's learning. As these processes become embedded, coordinators should work with educators to use these assessments to plan for new learning that appropriately challenges children's thinking.

There is regular provision of a playgroup and outings into the community. These provide opportunities for children, educators and families to get together, share ideas and interact.

The service has developed well considered and useful guiding documents to support coordinators to develop their teaching practice and grow their capability. Implementing and monitoring the effective use of these is a next step for management.

Roles and responsibilities are clearly outlined. Management have increased their support for coordinators. They acknowledge this needs to be maintained, particularly in meeting the requirements associated with the endorsement of teachers' practising certificates. The revised appraisal framework should be strengthened to better demonstrate the impact of new learning on outcomes for children.

Systems and processes have been established to assist network operations. The monitoring of the implementation of these systems and practices, particularly those relating to health and safety, require further strengthening.

Self-review processes are well developed, and useful. There is a clear commitment to improving teaching practice and building coordinators' capability. The sound framework results in improvement and informs change. Next steps to further strengthen this process, are to clearly evaluate the impact of actions on outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

Priorities for this service are to strengthen:

  • internal evaluation to clearly evaluate the impact of practices, programmes and policies on outcomes for children

  • monitoring of the implementation of health and safety systems

  • assessment and planning processes to show how adults add complexity and challenge for children's learning.


The service will provide ERO with an action plan that shows how the priorities for improvement will be addressed. ERO will request progress updates.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Ako Homebased Care & Education Services completed an ERO Home-based Education and Care 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.

In order to improve practice the service provider should:

  • ensure that documentation associated with decisions made about police vetting results, administration of medication, excursion safety action plans and supervision plans are robust

  • where possible, make sure that all educators have a first aid certificate prior to commencing educator responsibilities.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Ako Homebased Care & Education Services will be in three years.

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

21 December 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 Home-based Education and Care Service



Ministry of Education profile number


Institution type

Homebased Network

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

80 children, including up to 30 aged under 2

Service roll


Standard or Quality Funded


Gender composition

Girls 47, Boys 44

Ethnic composition



Number of qualified coordinators in the network


Required ratios of staff educators to children

Under 2


Over 2


Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

21 December 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

First review for service

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 the draft methodology for ERO reviews in Home-based Education and Care Services: July 2014

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.