Barnardos KidStart Childcare -Waitakere City Early Learning Centre - 15/08/2016

1 Evaluation of Barnardos KidStart Childcare - Waitakere City Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Barnardos KidStart Childcare - Waitakere City Early Learning Centre 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.


This Barnardos KidStart service is located in the Waitakere City recreational hub. It offers full-day education and care for children up to school age. The centre is a not-for-profit service under the auspices of Barnardos New Zealand Incorporated. The organisation has a range of home-based, centre-based and social services to support to families and the wider community. The service operates under the brand name KidStart Childcare.

The curriculum is guided by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. In the last six months the centre has moved to a mixed age setting. A new planning process has been implemented with a focus on promoting children's interests.

Since 2013 Barnardos New Zealand has undergone a significant restructure, changing from a regional to a nationally based organisation. The restructure of Barnardos has included the appointment of personnel and the creation of new roles and responsibilities. A recently appointed general manager now maintains oversight of Barnardos services. He reports to the CEO and is supported by a national operations manager responsible for all early learning services.

The leadership team at this service includes the early learning manager who oversees the centre's marketing, recruitment and budgets, the practice leader who supports best practice and guidance, and the acting head teacher who manages the curriculum and mentors teachers.

All the teachers and leaders are long serving and well experienced. Teachers are supported by regular visits from the practice leader assigned to the centre, periodic quality assurance audits and professional development opportunities.

The philosophy for the service has recently been reviewed and is in the final stages of consultation to include the views of whānau. The philosophy expresses values and beliefs that promote positive tuakana teina relationships, partnerships with whānau and learning through play.

The 2013 ERO report identified that the centre was well placed to promote positive outcomes for children in particular in the areas of tikanga Māori and the commitment to an inclusive culture. The report also identified strengths within the learning programme that give children a strong sense of belonging.

The Review Findings

Children are supported to be confident and competent learners. Their wellbeing and sense of belonging are nurtured by caring and compassionate teachers. Teachers provide a variety of learning experiences that promote positive outcomes for children.

Children benefit from a relaxed pace and calm environment that allows them freedom and time to explore. They are respected and trust that teachers will tend to their needs.

Infants and toddlers appear secure and trusting in a mixed-age environment. They are supported by primary caregivers who ensure that there are comfortable, safe spaces to cater for children who are not yet mobile and for those who are crawling and learning to walk.

Teachers' interactions with children are caring and respectful. They affirm children in meaningful ways. These good practices encourage children to explore, develop positive relationships with others and engage in activities for long periods of time. Leadership among children occurs naturally. Children are articulate and know what they want.

The centre's programme is inclusive of whānau contributions and responsive to children's interests, strengths and abilities. Teachers have deliberately focused on improving the programme and environment for children. Well defined areas of play now encourage children to participate in the activities teachers provide.

The physical environment and wall displays encourage learning. A range of good quality resources is available for children to explore. The learning programme could be further strengthened by teachers taking a more systematic approach to evaluating and making decisions for improvement. This approach could include:

  • documenting decisions made in regular planning meetings, including planning for the infant and toddler programme
  • improving the quality and regularity of the assessment of children's learning
  • improving the evaluation of programme planning to show learning outcomes for children and the effectiveness of teaching practices.

Teachers know the community well and they value partnerships with parents. Parents appreciate the whānau atmosphere in the centre. These positive relationships support children’s learning and their sense of belonging. There is a commitment among staff to seek the guidance of Māori kaumātua to enrich the development of a bicultural curriculum.

The leadership team is focused on improvement and works collaboratively to develop the curriculum and professional practice. Kidstart leaders agree that they could provide the teaching team with more regular written feedback, guidance and support about how to make improvements in the programme and their professional practice. The centre has developed an action plan to work with teachers in areas they have identified for improvement.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders have identified next steps for improving outcomes for children, including:

  • improving teacher understanding of the purpose and practice of internal evaluation
  • developing a shared team vision and indicators that guide teachers to implement the philosophy and improve programme planning, assessment and evaluation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Barnardos KidStart Childcare - Waitakere City 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 - Waitakere City Early Learning Centre will be in three years. 

Graham Randell
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

15 August 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 


Henderson, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls       19
Boys      10

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2016

Date of this report

15 August 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2013

Education Review

March 2010

Education Review

April 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.