Barnardos Early Learning Centre Pakuranga - 22/02/2019

1 Evaluation of Barnardos Early Learning Centre Pakuranga

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Barnardos Early Learning Centre Pakuranga  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 Pakuranga is licensed for 36 children, including up to 5 aged up to two years. It offers a play-based curriculum in a mixed-age setting. Children attending the centre come from diverse cultures. One third of the children currently enrolled are either Māori or have Pacific heritages.

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 and their families are warmly welcomed into the centre, settle quickly and have respectful relationships with others. Good relationships with parents/whānau contribute to children's sense of wellbeing.

Infants and toddlers receive special consideration to ensure that their attachment needs are met in this mixed-age setting. The curriculum responds to their individual requirements. Teachers could now extend their planning approach to recognise all children's learning strengths and needs and to reflect this in their portfolios.

Teachers provide a basic range of activities and experiences for children to choose from as the programme evolves throughout the day. Some teachers engage children in meaningful conversations about their play and extend their ability to concentrate. The head teacher should support all teachers to use more deliberate teaching strategies to support the development of early literacy and numeracy learning in the context of play.

Children experience a language rich environment. They benefit from hearing and using te reo Māori and are familiar with greetings in the languages of their peers. Teachers' respect for children's home languages and cultures, expressed through conversations and the celebration of festivals and events, contributes to children's sense of belonging and wellbeing. To extend their cultural responsiveness, teachers could further reflect children's languages and cultures in the environment and in their individual assessment portfolios.

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 bicultural practice is developing and children are beginning to have an understanding of the dual cultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders agree that key next steps include:

  • developing assessment and planning processes that focus on the identification and extension of children's learning within the programme
  • increasing complexity and challenge in the programme for older children, and providing more opportunities for children to play an active role in assessment and planning
  • developing a shared understanding of internal evaluation processes, and evaluating the impact of resulting changes on outcomes for children.

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 continue providing close support for teaching teams to improve 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 KidStart Childcare - Pakuranga Early Learning Centre 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 


Pakuranga, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

36 children, including up to 5 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys      21
Girls       19

Ethnic composition

Southeast Asian
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

April 2014

Education Review

February 2011

Education Review

December 2007

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.