BestStart Pharazyn Street - 20/03/2020

1 Evaluation of BestStart Pharazyn Street

How well placed is BestStart Pharazyn Street to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

BestStart Pharazyn Street is very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


BestStart Pharazyn Street in Lower Hutt, formerly known as Early Years Pharazyn Street, provides all-day education and care for up to 52 children, including 15 children aged under two years. Of the roll of 65 children, 11 are Māori. BestStart Educare Ltd (the organisation) owns a number of early childhood services across New Zealand.

The centre's vision is ‘Together we investigate and discover’. The philosophy prioritises empowered tamariki to become confident learners nurtured in a safe environment, supported by strong relationships with kaiako, whānau and the community.

Since the June 2016 ERO review, staffing has remained stable. Most teachers are fully qualified. The day-to-day operations are the responsibility of the centre manager, who supports the teaching team. There are three learning areas: Tamariki Maia for preschool, Whakapuawai for toddlers and Waka Huia for infants.

ERO's previous report identified areas requiring further development. These included strengthening the bicultural curriculum through place-based learning; appraisal and internal evaluation processes; promoting success for Māori and Pacific tamariki; and improving the quality of assessment, planning and evaluation. All areas have been effectively addressed.

This review was part of a cluster of four reviews for BestStart Educare Ltd.

The Review Findings

BestStart Pharazyn Street's shared vision and philosophy values are strongly promoted by leadership, teachers and whānau. They are highly evident throughout all aspects of the service. The centre manager has established a strongly inclusive culture where all children are valued, celebrated and affirmed for who they are and what they bring to their learning.

Children play freely in thoughtfully designed, well-resourced indoor and outdoor environments. Authentic, natural resources and sustainable practices promote understanding of kaitiakitanga, guardianship and care for the land.

Infants and toddlers experience an environment that strongly supports their wellbeing, engagement and learning. Consistent and attentive caregiving enables teachers to interpret and respond sensitively to their preferences and interests.

Children take a key leadership role alongside their teachers in planning and co-constructing centre-wide, learning-focused inquiries. Their shared interests directly inform and guide centre-wide project work. Teachers skilfully weave literacy, mathematics, science and the creative arts through these highly engaging contexts. They intentionally employ well planned strategies that capture interest and challenge children to further explore, experiment and have fun.

The local bicultural curriculum authentically enhances children's individual and group learning discoveries from a te ao Māori (Māori world) perspective. Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori is valued, well understood and meaningfully integrated into the programme.

Children with additional learning needs are effectively supported. Leaders and teachers work alongside families and whānau to access external agencies when required.

Well-established partnerships with parents and whānau are highly evident. Parents' aspirations are regularly sought, reviewed and updated. These, together with teachers' knowledge of children through targeted observations, add authenticity, depth and complexity to the curriculum. An online communication tool supports the building of strong partnerships with families and whānau. The daily sharing of photos, videos and observations effectively document and assess children's learning outcomes.

Leaders are highly committed and promote quality teaching and learning that contribute to positive outcomes for children. They are strongly collaborative and lead by example. Effective leadership builds and shapes the capability of the teaching team. Teachers are strengthening their understanding of internal evaluation. This supports them to plan, review and critically reflect on their practice. A recent internal evaluation of transition processes has led to more targeted support for children and whānau as they move into, through the centre, and on to local schools.

A well-considered appraisal process supports growth and development of teacher practice. Purposeful appraisal goals focus on strengthening leadership and practice to support children’s learning and wellbeing.

BestStart senior managers effectively foster a collective sense of responsibility to implement the vision, values and mission of the organisation. They are reflective and highly improvement focused. Systems and processes have been well developed to strengthen teachers' capability and positively impact on children’s learning.

Key Next Steps

Leaders agree that strengthening aspects of internal evaluation is needed to ensure and sustain continuous improvement in positive outcomes for all children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of BestStart Pharazyn Street 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.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)

Southern Region - Te Tai Tini

20 March 2020

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


Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

52 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 39, Girls 26

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other Ethnic Groups


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2019

Date of this report

20 March 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2016

Education Review

January 2013

Education Review

October 2009

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.