BestStart Everglade Babies - 27/09/2019

1 Evaluation of BestStart Everglade Babies

How well placed is BestStart Everglade Babies to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

BestStart Everglade Babies is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


BestStart Everglade Babies is licensed for up to 20 children under two years of age. Its philosophy promotes nurturing, loving and respectful relationships with children, where keeping them safe is paramount.

The centre's holistic approach to learning is based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Children are seen as capable, are empowered, stimulated and challenged to develop and grow and learn at their own pace. Strong relationships with children and their whānau are promoted. Culturally inclusive practices reflect the Te Tiriti o Waitangi. The centre's vision is influenced by the Pickler approach.

The centre is part of the BestStart charitable trust. The organisation has re-branded all its early learning services. It provides an overarching governance and management framework to support operations and curriculum delivery in individual centres. Business managers (BM) and professional services managers (PSM) lead the staff professional development and provide strategic guidance.

Four staff members, including the centre manager, are registered teachers. They have worked together over a period of time. Teachers are supported to participate in professional development.

The 2015 ERO report affirmed the centre's primary caregiver approach, teachers' responsiveness to children's needs and the inviting learning environments.

This review was part of a cluster of nine reviews in BestStart's Upper North Island region.

The Review Findings

Children settle quickly and enjoy a calm, slow pace to the programme. Children's strong sense of belonging is evident. They confidently approach adults when needed and are able to articulate their needs through verbal and non-verbal communications that are well understood by adults.

Teachers know the children and their families well. Their interactions with children are unhurried and sensitive. As a result, children gain a positive sense of wellbeing that supports them to take risks and freely follow their interests. Teachers support children's language development and value their imaginative play. They support children with conflict resolution and promote resilience and empathy. Teachers communicate effectively while interacting with their individual group of children.

Children are confident to have fun exploring a physical environment that provides challenges and promotes complexity of learning. They know their environment well and engage with the choices that teachers provide. There is good flow between the indoor and outdoor spaces. Safe areas for children who are not yet confident or mobile are planned.

Teachers value and acknowledge parent and whānau aspirations and include these in the design of the curriculum. They make good use of Te Whāriki to inform the programme. Teachers recognise children's diverse cultures and use their home languages in conversations.

Some teachers take personal responsibility for promoting the use of te reo Māori as a natural part of their interactions. A next step is for all teachers to be confident in the use of te reo Māori. Teachers could seek contributions from the wider whānau to build a stronger bicultural curriculum.

Pacific children and their families enjoy warm, welcoming relationships. They experience learning where their language, culture and identity are enhanced. They have a strong sense of belonging. Teachers could now evaluate the extent to which the programme reflects the diversity of the centre's surrounding community.

The service provides good opportunities for emergent leadership. Teachers are collegial and collaborative. Internal evaluation results in improved practices to promote positive outcomes for children. Professional learning and development is a focus for building capabilities and has impacted positively on teaching practices.

Centre operations are guided by strategic and annual plans, and a shared vision. These are linked to BestStart strategic goals, which promote a sense of belonging to a wider learning community and support more widespread collaboration amongst teaching teams. Leaders and teachers regularly revisit the centre's strategic goals and annual action plans to monitor quality and promote ongoing improvement.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps include:

  • deepening teachers' understanding about te ao Māori and its integration in teaching practices and the curriculum

  • increasing connections between the curriculum and the local community

  • making children's progress and continuity of learning more visible in planning, assessment and evaluation

  • documenting the good quality teaching practices evident in the service, to increase shared understanding.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of BestStart Everglade Babies 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

27 September 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


Manukau Central, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

20 children aged under 2 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 9 Boys 9

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2019

Date of this report

27 September 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2015

Education Review

March 2012

Supplementary Review

June 2008

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.