Barnardos KidStart Childcare - Porirua Early Learning Centre - 23/03/2016

1 Evaluation of Barnardos KidStart Childcare - Porirua Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Barnardos KidStart Childcare - Porirua Early Learning Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

With significant support from Barnardos KidStart Childcare management, this service should be well placed to sustain and improve practice.

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


Barnardos KidStart Childcare-Porirua Early Learning Centre is one of 23 childcare centres owned and operated by Barnardos New Zealand, a national provider of community services for children and families. It is licensed for 25 children aged over two years. Of the 36 children enrolled, eight are Māori and 23 are from Pacific ethnic groups. There is a long-established team of three registered teachers, who are supported by two part-time untrained staff. Three staff are speakers of Samoan language. Just prior to this ERO review, the head teacher resigned from her role.

The philosophy emphasises the importance of respectful relationships, parents’ contribution, valuing cultural identity, and recognition of Maori as tangata whenua in supporting children’s learning.

The July 2013 ERO report identified the need for teachers to: gain a better understanding of children’s cultures; enrich the environment to reflect the diverse ethnicities of children attending; strengthen the approach to supporting Māori children’s learning; strengthen appraisal, assessment processes and staff understanding and implementation of self review. Some targeted action to support teacher development was put in place through the practice leader. However, over time progress has not been sustained and teachers continue to identify most of these aspects of practice as needing further development.

Day-to-day responsibility for the management of the centre is the role of the head teacher. The regionally-based practice leader supports curriculum. An early learning manager, yet to be appointed, will have oversight of the operation of a cluster of Wellington centres, including this one. Responsibility for centre-based services is delegated to a national operations manager who reports to a general manager and the Barnardos board through the Chief Executive Officer.

Since the 2012 - 2013 ERO reviews of Barnardos early learning centres, significant restructuring of the national organisation has been undertaken.

This review is one of a cluster of five reviews of Barnardos KidStart Childcare Learning Centres.

The Review Findings

Teachers are caring and respectful in their interactions with children. They support children’s choices and at times extend their interests and ideas though initiating learning conversations. Teachers should work on strengthening the quality and their use of intentional teaching strategies. More opportunities for purposeful, well-timed engagement with individuals should also be planned for.

The programme promotes high levels of child engagement and purposeful play. Opportunities are many for creativity, exploration and collaboration with peers. The tone of sessions is characterised by children’s joy, curiosity and eager participation. Literacy, mathematics, science, art, music and te reo Māori are well integrated in the context of everyday happenings. Opportunities for children to return to previously chosen play experience should be better facilitated.

The centre is suitably resourced for a range of learning activities. The outdoor area includes physically challenging equipment and is used well for creative art and tactile, open-ended activities.

Planning for learning, although carefully considered, continues to be at an early stage. Barnardos should support the team to further develop their approach and sustain any improvements they make. Next steps should include:

  • making learning plans more visible for children in the centre
  • strengthen the focus on individual children’s significant learning and show how their learning is intentionally extended by teachers over time
  • supporting parents to articulate the aspirations they have for their children’s learning and planning to meet these
  • increasing the visibility of families' home cultures, use of home languages and te reo Māori in planning for learning.

Inclusive practice is evident. Families’ cultures are valued and positive relationships developed between staff and parents. Teachers’ efforts to communicate with parents in their home languages should support them to develop a more active role in their children’s learning. A strong connection with the Samoan community is valued and sustained. Children with identified learning needs receive appropriate support. Teachers should continue to work on strengthening the integration of a bicultural perspective in the programme and practices.

A flexible approach based on the needs of children and their families, supports transitions into the service. Next development steps for supporting children’s transition to primary school should include continuing to develop ways of sharing information about their learning and early childhood practice with new-entrant teachers.

The appraisal process is not yet providing adequate support for teacher development and endorsement of satisfactory performance in meeting professional teaching requirements. Barnardos ‘Goals and Growth’ system should be fully implemented. Improved appraisal and focused professional development for the head teacher and practice leader are required.

Understanding and use of internal evaluation continues to need development at centre and management level. Previous good practice has not been sustained.

Barnardos provides a range of carefully-considered operational and administrative support for the centre. This includes constructive visits and reports from the practice leader and quality assurance through the annual audit. Work is underway to strengthen the use of these tools for promoting improvements to teaching and learning.

Strategic initiatives at management level have recently been identified to support improved outcomes under the new operational framework. Identification of strategic goals and development plans at local and centre level should be a focus for management once the learning centre manager role is confirmed. Further work needs to be done to support understanding and embedding of Barnardos operational changes. Guidelines and policies, although comprehensive, continue to need updating to reflect new ways of working. In this centre, teachers’ shared understanding about practice, roles and responsibilities needs strengthening. A planned approach should support the induction of the new head teacher into the team.

Key Next Steps

Barnardos KidStart Childcare management should provide focused professional support for teachers and leaders to:

  • strengthen the bicultural curriculum and te ao Māori understanding
  • provide support for the new leader and continued good team work.

Barnardos KidStart Childcare management will develop an action plan for ERO that shows how it will address the key next steps to improve teaching and learning practices across this cluster of services, and include:

  • developing the quality of teaching
  • implementing improvement-focused appraisal for all staff
  • ensuring quality assurance processes are consistent
  • strengthening assessment for learning practices
  • increasing the understanding and use of internal evaluation
  • improving the alignment between strategic planning at management level with centre operations.

ERO will monitor progress made in relation to the action plan.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Barnardos KidStart Childcare - Porirua 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Barnardos KidStart Childcare - Porirua Early Learning Centre will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

23 March 2016

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

25 children aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 18, Boys 18

Ethnic composition




Other ethnic groups





Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2016

Date of this report

23 March 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

July 2013


Education Review

April 2010


Education Review

March 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.