Back 2 Basics - 03/12/2014

1 Evaluation of Back 2 Basics

How well placed is Back 2 Basics 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.


Back 2 Basics Early Childhood Centre is located in Maungatāpere, Northland. It provides full day and sessional education and care for a maximum of 40 children up to five years of age. Separate areas cater for infants and toddlers, and for children over two years of age.

The centre opened in March 2013 and serves the local rural community. It is a well performing centre that has made significant progress since it opened. Increasingly parents and families view the centre as a meeting place where connections can be made with others. The centre owner has a strong vision of supporting families as first teachers and providing children with a natural learning environment. Sustainability is a key principle that is evident in children’s gardening and care of animals.

The centre has high ratios of qualified staff that ensures required adult-to-child ratios are met. The centre owner and teachers work collaboratively to cater for children’s different interests and strengths, and there are shared understandings of how people contribute to successful centre operations.

The Review Findings

Children are settled and confident. They access resources to support their play and request help when needed from adults and other children. A feature of this centre is the way that children create opportunities for each other’s play. Children respond well to opportunities to take responsibility for their wellbeing and social interactions.

Teachers are respectful of children and their families. They build on children’s capabilities and appreciate family input into the life of the centre. Parents report that children are happy and well supported by staff. Adults respond to children’s emerging interests by providing an ever-changing environment. The centre owner and staff have identified that they could now develop teaching strategies that extend children’s thinking.

Teachers are committed to the centre philosophy. Centre documents and displays demonstrate the good range of learning activities provided for children. Learning experiences that promote all aspects of children’s early learning and development are well integrated into play and routines. Plentiful and varied resources support children’s cooperative play. Teachers are now improving how well they formally document children’s learning in order to recognise and respond to emerging interests. Such improvements should help parents to know more about the programme and would also support more in-depth evaluation by teachers.

Good practices that reflect the bicultural expectations of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, are evident. All children hear, see and participate in meaningful examples of te reo me ōna tikanga Māori. Teachers are committed to integrating Te Ao Māori into the curriculum by celebrating events such as Matariki, and using te reo Māori, waiata and karakia. The centre manager has identified that continuing to strengthen relationships with local Māori should help to increase the integration of Te Ao Māori in the curriculum.

The centre manager is very experienced in early childhood education and provides strong leadership. Good systems and practices have been established to support ongoing improvement. Centre self review is developing. Most review has focused on improving routines, centre operations and the learning environment.

Key Next Steps

The centre has identified that enhancing teaching and learning practices should be the focus of future reviews. This focus would contribute to the centre’s next steps of strengthening teachers’ leadership of children’s learning and of providing more challenging and complex play for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Back 2 Basics 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.

During the course of the review ERO identified an area of non-compliance.  In order to address this, the manager must ensure that a system of regular appraisal is implemented.

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008, (47) (e);

Criteria Licensing for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, (GMA7).

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Back 2 Basics will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

3 December 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


Maungatāpere, Whangarei

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 46

Girls 25

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā











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


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2014

Date of this report

3 December 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports


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.