BestStart Rolleston - 21/10/2019

1 Evaluation of BestStart Rolleston

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


BestStart Rolleston provides all-day education and care for 50 children including 20 under-two-year olds. Children from birth to school age learn and play in two aged specific rooms.

The service is governed by the BestStart organisation with a centre manager running day-to-day operations and two head teachers having oversight of the two rooms. A professional services manager and business manager support the centre. A new centre manager started at the centre at the beginning of the year.

The philosophy is underpinned by the core values of respect and communication. It states the desire for children to:

  • develop respect for themselves, others and the environment
  • have their choices, interests and abilities respected and supported
  • learn and play in an environment that is inclusive, fun, safe and promoting a sense of belonging.
  • centre staff are expected to respect for families and the aspirations they have for their children.

The centre has made good progress in addressing the September 2016 ERO report recommendations to improve assessment, planning and internal evaluation processes. It has made significant progress in the inclusion of bicultural perspectives across all aspects of centre operation and curriculum.

This review was part of a cluster of four centre reviews in the BestStart organisation.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from the strong relationships teachers have with them and their whānau. The centre has a culture of caring. Teachers respond appropriately to children's needs and interests. Their conversations with children encourage curiosity, risk taking and problem solving. The value of manaakitanga is evident through positive adult and child interact with each other. Learners demonstrate a strong sense of belonging and are well engaged in the variety activities of the centre. This supports a settled learning environment.

Children hear and use te reo Māori throughout their days at the centre in conversations and waiata. Aspects of tikanga Māori are well integrated into the centre's practices. Māori concepts and knowledge are woven into many programmes and special occasions are celebrated, for example Matariki. Māori children and their whānau see their culture and language is valued and all children are gaining an awareness of Māori culture and language.

Diversity of cultures is respected and reflected within the programmes. Activities regularly celebrate important cultural events. Teachers have undertaken specific professional learning to know more about these cultures/groups of people. The BestStart organisation ensures the cultures within the centre/s community is reflected in the composition of the staffing.

Infants and toddlers experience respectful, nurturing relationships. Teachers provide a warm, caring environment which fosters trust and security in children. The environment is set up intentionally to reflect the stages of development of the children. This group have time, space and support to develop a positive sense of self.

Teachers have established processes that support planning which foster children's learning and development needs. Learning pathways for individuals are used well to set up relevant learning experiences for individuals and groups of children. Leaders have identified the need to build teachers' capacity to articulate the learning to be developed and identify and evaluate relevant teaching strategies.

The centre has a useful strategic plan. The plan is soundly based on identified priorities for development. Other goals, for example appraisal, and professional learning and development are aligned to the strategic priorities. Centre leaders regularly monitor the progress towards achievement of the goals. The leaders recognise the need to be more evaluative in this monitoring.

BestStart has effective systems to monitor physical and emotional health and safety for all involved in the service.

A robust appraisal system supports teachers to improve their practice. Professional development is provided to build teachers' capability and to establish shared understandings.

Leaders and teachers are reflective and improvement oriented. In the best examples of practice included:

  • clear rationale for why topics were being evaluated
  • a comprehensive process
  • research and readings to inform thinking
  • prioritised actions to improve centre practices.

Leaders and teachers are effectively building capacity in internal evaluation to evaluate how well the curriculum is supporting children to achieve the philosophy and identified learning priorities.

Key Next Steps

Leaders and teachers have identified, and ERO agrees, that they should continue to develop their planning practices to:

  • respond to parent/whānau aspirations
  • clearly identify learning pathways using the centre's learning priorities and Te Whāriki (2017) to guide these decisions
  • determine the most appropriate teaching strategies to support learning
  • evaluate the impact of teaching practice on children's the learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of BestStart Rolleston 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 Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

21 October 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



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 45, Boys 38

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnicities


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

August 2019

Date of this report

21 October 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

January 2016

Education Review

October 2012

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.