Barnardos Early Learning Centre Henderson - 22/02/2019

1 Evaluation of Barnardos Early Learning Centre Henderson

How well placed is Barnardos Early Learning Centre Henderson to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Barnardos Early Learning Centre Henderson is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Barnardos Early Learning Centre Henderson is located in the grounds of Henderson High School and is licensed for 30 children, including up to 25 aged up to two years. The centre provides for children from the local community and those with parents enrolled at He Wero o Ngā Wahine: Teen Parent Unit (TPU).

The centre offers a play-based curriculum in a mixed-age setting. Two thirds of the children currently enrolled are either Māori or have Pacific heritages. The centre manager works with a team of six, most of whom hold full teacher practising certificates.

The centre is part of Barnardos New Zealand, a longstanding organisation with a clear strategic focus on social services and advocacy for tamariki and whānau, and excellence in early childhood care and education. The Barnardos board works with executive and senior leadership teams. Two Upper North Regional managers and a practice adviser work alongside centre-based and home-based managers in Auckland. The appointment of a second practice adviser is imminent.

This review was part of a cluster of five reviews in Barnardos New Zealand Early Learning Services.

The Review Findings

Children demonstrate a sense of belonging. They are confident in their relationships with adults and peers, and play contentedly with and alongside others. Teachers are attentive to children and provide good quality care. They support children's choices about their play, encouraging their endeavours and affirming their achievements. Children's oral language development is well supported by frequent interactions with teachers. They have good opportunities to learn about the world around them through their participation in activities that build on their interests.

The centre manager provides good professional leadership for teachers and parents. The teaching team has a well-articulated commitment to whanaungatanga within the centre. They value the special relationship they have with the leaders and students from the adjacent TPU.

Teachers have thoughtfully developed the environment to allow infants, toddlers and older children to play safely in the same space. Professional learning relating to Te Whāriki, the revised early childhood curriculum, is influencing teachers' thinking about the programme they provide. It has also helped them to realise the benefits of internal evaluation for improving practice.

Barnardos has aligned organisational strategic priorities with its vision, philosophy and valued outcomes for children. The organisation has recently introduced a number of new initiatives and improved systems for accountability and quality assurance, to support increasing capability and consistency across Barnardos. Many new initiatives are at early stages of implementation. Managers make purposeful use of a quality assurance framework, and progress towards strategic goals is systematically monitored and reported. The appointment of a second practice adviser should support a shift in focus from compliance to quality improvement.

Barnardos leaders have developed a strategic approach to strengthening understandings of te reo me ōna tikanga Māori and culturally responsive practices. Specific Barnardos initiatives respond to the diverse needs of children and their families. In this service, leaders have identified the need to strengthen the bicultural curriculum and the extent to which it acknowledges and reflects the unique place of Māori as tangata whenua.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders agree that key next steps include:

  • developing assessment and planning processes to shift the focus from the provision of activities relating to children's interests, to the identification and extension of children's learning in the play programme
  • increasing complexity and challenge in the programme for older children, including greater opportunities for physical challenge
  • reviewing the effectiveness of teaching practices in promoting children's independence and developing social competence
  • prioritising curriculum responsiveness to the languages and cultural identities of Māori and Pacific learners.

During ERO’s September 2018 cluster, Barnardos leaders identified relevant ongoing next steps relating to:

  • embedding and evaluating the impact of new initiatives
  • the establishment of systems for monitoring and evaluating progress towards strategic goals
  • strengthening internal evaluation, including ‘teaching as inquiry’.

This review also identified the need for the practice advisers to provide a greater level of support for teaching teams to continue improving culturally responsive practices, curriculum quality and the implementation of Te Whāriki 2017. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Barnardos Early Learning Centre Henderson 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.

Steve Tanner
Director Review and Improvement Services Northern
Northern Region

22 February 2019 

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 


Henderson, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys      18
Girls       12

Ethnic composition

other Pacific
other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2018

Date of this report

22 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2015

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.