BestStart Salisbury Street - 21/10/2019

1 Evaluation of BestStart Salisbury Street

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


BestStart Salisbury Street operates under the BestStart Educare Ltd management structure. BestStart is a large national organisation that owns a significant number of early childhood education centres across New Zealand. A professional services manager and a business manager work with the centre manager to support the day-to-day operation of the centre.

Located in the heart of Christchurch City, the centre has two separate learning areas for infants and toddlers under two years-old and for children aged from two, to five years-old. The service is licensed for 66 children including 20 under two years of age. The increasingly diverse community is well represented in the families and staff. Most staff are registered and qualified early childhood teachers.

There have been some recent changes to the management team. The service has been responsive to the recommendations from the September 2016 ERO report. This includes improving assessment, planning and internal evaluation and increasing bicultural perspectives and practices.

The centre vision prioritises the centre as 'a home away from home' with inviting experiences that engage children in learning that responds to their personal interests and learning goals. It also states that, teachers will provide responsive, respectful caregiving routines.

This review was part of a cluster of 4 reviews in the BestStart organisation.

The Review Findings

Infants, toddlers and young children have easy access to an environment that is well resourced to inspire their curiosity and encourage exploration. They have many opportunities to be involved in physical play challenges in spacious outdoor areas.

Transitions for children from the under two area to the preschool are well considered and personalised. This promotes a positive sense of belonging for the child.

Children with additional learning needs are well supported. Teachers promote an inclusive learning environment ensuring that they fully participate in the programme alongside their peers.

Centre managers are currently introducing clearer assessment expectations and processes to help teachers to develop a consistent, effective approach to the writing of children's learning records.

The BestStart organisation provides a high level of quality professional support to ensure the effective operation of the service. They have effective management systems to monitor physical and emotional health and safety for all involved in the service.

Teachers benefit from an appraisal system that supports teachers to improve their practice. Professional development is provided to build teachers' and leaders' capability and to establish shared understandings with a focus on improved learner outcomes.

Managers and teachers have increased their knowledge and understandings of te ao Māori and the cultural narrative of the local area to inform the provision of the bicultural curriculum. Teachers use te reo and tikanga Māori in ways that value and recognise New Zealand's bicultural society.

The service has established connections within the wider community. Partnerships with whānau Māori have continued to strengthen over time. This has positively contributed to the wellbeing of tamariki Māori.

Key Next Steps

BestStart managers and ERO agree that the key next steps are to continue to embed the new assessment and planning processes to ensure:

  • consideration of multiple perspectives

  • clarity of learning and development goals ensuring language culture and identities are evident

  • inclusion of teaching strategies

  • learning priorities are visible and used in children's planning

Leaders and teachers continue to develop a shared understanding of internal evaluation to evaluate the effectiveness of centre programmes and teaching on outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of BestStart Salisbury 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 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

66 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 46, Girls 29

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


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2019

Date of this report

21 October 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2016

Education Review

April 2013

Education Review

March 2010

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.