BestStart Johnstones Road Kindy - 25/09/2019

1 Evaluation of BestStart Johnstones Road Kindy

How well placed is BestStart Johnstones Road Kindy to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

BestStart Johnstones Road Kindy is very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


The BestStart Johnstones Road Kindy provides for up to 80 children over two years of age. All of the children enrolled have Māori or Pacific heritages. The service has two main indoor spaces and a large outdoor area. The multicultural teaching team includes six qualified teachers, one teacher in training, a caregiver and an administrator.

Since ERO's 2015 report the service has experienced significant staff turnover. It has a new centre manager and new teachers. This new teaching team has sustained and built on the variety of very good practices identified in 2015.

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.

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

The Review Findings

Children have access to rich learning-based play activities and high levels of care. They respond positively to the warm, welcoming atmosphere in the centre and demonstrate a real sense of belonging. Children settle easily upon arrival, quickly immerse themselves in their chosen activities, and have rich opportunities to learn as they play. They learn in mixed-age groups that promote tuakana/teina relationships where they learn from and are supported by each other. Children with diverse needs are very well catered for within this settled and inclusive environment.

Children benefit from positive interactions with teachers who take time to listen and have a genuine interest in them. Teachers engage children in meaningful conversations that foster their oral language development and support them to sustain their play and learning.

Teachers implement their commitment to a bicultural curriculum throughout their practice. They speak te reo Māori within the context of the programme and implement aspects of tikanga. Teachers actively support the languages and cultures of their Pacific fanau.

Very well resourced environments invite children's exploration and discovery. They promote children's social competencies and creativity. The space for the younger children is well set up to suit their special requirements. The larger space for the older children is designed and resourced to engage their interest and promote their curiosity. Open-door practices between the two rooms, along with the shared outdoor area, promote high levels of interaction between the younger and older children and with their teachers.

The teaching team has continued to update and improve provision for children's learning. Teaching practices clearly demonstrate the positive outcomes of the significant in-centre and external professional development, mentoring and modelling that teachers have received.

The centre is highly effective in engaging with and celebrating its local community setting. Affirming and genuine relationships build relational trust and invite participation by all. Whānau feel listened to and respected. Parents value how their partnership with the centre benefits their children and supports them to extend their children's learning through play at home.

The programme fully reflects the service's philosophy. It successfully combines the principles and strands of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, underpinned by Reggio Emilia approaches. Programme planning is well informed by children's interests and guided by parent aspirations. Teachers use this information to guide their teaching responses and to focus on monitoring children's learning and progress over time.

The centre benefits from strong and determined leadership. The manager and her team collaborate effectively to meet high standards for all aspects of centre operations. They recognise the purpose of internal evaluation for accountability and improvement. Professional learning opportunities encourage teachers to continue developing their knowledge and skills.

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

To build on current good practices, leaders have developed appropriate plans that will support next steps, including:

  • making the role of the teacher more explicit in assessment and programme planning

  • continuing to strengthen bicultural practices and responses to Pacific cultures

  • alignment of strategic and annual planning to support internal evaluation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of BestStart Johnstones Road Kindy 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

25 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


Otara, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

80 children aged over 2 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 49 Girls 36

Ethnic composition

Cook Island Māori
other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2019

Date of this report

25 September 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2015

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.