Bear Park Albany - 12/06/2018

1 Evaluation of Bear Park Albany

How well placed is Bear Park Albany 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.


Bear Park Albany provides full-day education and care for up to 70 children including a maximum of 25 children under two years of age. The centre caters for multicultural families, including a high number with Asian heritage, who live or work in the surrounding area. Children are grouped according to age in three main learning groups. The infants and toddlers are in the upstairs space and the preschool aged children are in the downstairs area.

The centre is a privately owned service that operates under the frameworks of the Bear Park (Franchise) Group. It follows the Bear Park philosophy, which is based on the four principles of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and on Te Tiriti o Waitangi. The philosophy also includes reference to the inspiration and influences of Reggio Emilia principles and values, and of Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE).

The owner and teachers have maintained and built on the positive findings identified in ERO's 2014 report. Centre leadership has strengthened and curriculum management processes have improved. Teachers have made good progress in deepening the centre's internal evaluation processes.

The Review Findings

Fostering children's wellbeing and sense of belonging underpins every aspect of the programme, which is child focused and child led. Teachers have a genuine belief that children are capable, confident learners and their respect for children is highly evident. They provide a calm, peaceful setting in which children's languages and cultural identities are valued and affirmed. These strong foundations support children to be enthusiastically and actively involved in collaborative inquires and play. In keeping with Reggio Emilia ideals, teachers ensure that the learning environments prompt children to engage, explore, discover and learn.

Programmes are high quality and provide very well for children's self-paced learning. Teachers acknowledge children's thoughts and ideas. The curriculum focuses on opportunities for children to contribute through verbal exploration and reasoning. Literacy, mathematics and science are seamlessly woven into the programme through children's interests and enthusiasms. A core group of staff members help maintain the skilled models of high quality teaching in this centre.

Infants and toddlers thrive in an atmosphere of respectful and loving care. They are surrounded by compelling invitations to explore and experience in an atmosphere of beauty and interest. This high quality environment and teachers' careful preparations enable children to transition seamlessly through the centre. The older group of children and their families are well supported to transition to school.

Teachers have a strong commitment to a bicultural curriculum. Their bicultural practices are values based and genuine. They help children to understand the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand through the meaningful inclusion of te reo and tikanga Māori. Children have opportunities to share Māori stories and legends. Protocols that reflect Māori values are well understood by children and practised daily.

The centre is highly responsive to its community. Several staff members have the same cultural backgrounds as some of the families and are able to engage them in conversations in their home languages. Good levels of communication with all families are highly evident. As a result, parents are well informed and have opportunities to share information and their thinking about their children's time in the centre. Parents hold the centre in very high esteem.

The Bear Park (Franchise) Group sets high expectations for teachers. Teachers work together to link their thinking, and collaboratively share understandings and maintain high standards. The Group's effective and high quality professional learning for teachers contributes to positive outcomes for children. In this centre, it also prompts lively and deep teacher reflection that constantly supports ongoing development in all aspects of teachers' work with children.

Collaborative structures, such as streamlined strategic planning and internal evaluation, and policy development and review, include staff and parents' input whenever possible. Children are encouraged to share their views about the programme's current topics. This shared approach is designed to provide a sense of ownership among all stake-holders.

The centre is well supported by the owner and by management personnel and systems. Trusting relationships and reflective, responsive and structured support are creating sustainable leadership within the centre.

Key Next Steps

Useful challenges for the centre would be to:

  • share their very good practice with the wider education community with a focus on taking leadership to a higher level

  • continue building on their current high quality provision of education and care of children through ongoing deep reflection and internal evaluation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Bear Park Albany 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 Bear Park Albany will be in four years.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

12 June 2018

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


Albany, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

70 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 30 Boys 29

Ethnic composition

South East Asian
other European


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

May 2018

Date of this report

12 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

December 2014

Education Review

October 2011

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.