BestStart Te Awamutu - 17/12/2020

ERO’s Akanuku | Assurance Review reports provide information about whether a service meets and maintains regulatory standards. Further information about Akanuku | Assurance Reviews is included at the end of this report.

ERO’s Judgement

Regulatory standards

ERO’s judgement



Premises and facilities


Health and safety


Governance, management and administration


At the time of the review, ERO found the service was taking reasonable steps to meet regulatory standards.


The September 2018 ERO evaluation identified non-compliances with regulatory standards that required addressing. The service (formerly TopKids George Street) has responded positively, and progress is evident.

A professional service manager and business manager provide support for the centre. The centre operates under the Central North Island Waikato regional management team within BestStart.

Summary of Review Findings

Children experience a programme that is consistent with Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. The service curriculum provides opportunities for children to extend their learning and development. Adults engage in meaningful, positive interactions to enhance children’s learning and nurture reciprocal relationships.

The service curriculum acknowledges and reflects the unique place of Māori as tangata whenua. Positive steps are taken to respect and acknowledge the aspirations held by parents and whānau for their children.

The service has implemented ongoing self-review processes that help improve the quality of education and care.

Key Next Step

The key next step is to include provide further opportunities for children to be involved in decisions about their learning experiences.

Next ERO Review

The next ERO review is likely to be an Akarangi | Quality Evaluation.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)

Central Region | Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

17 December 2020

Information About the Service

Early Childhood Service Name

BestStart Te Awamutu

Profile Number



Te Awamutu

Service type

Education and care service

Number licensed for

75 children, including up to 20 aged under 2.

Percentage of qualified teachers


Service roll


Ethnic composition

Māori 21, NZ European/Pākehā 29, 18 Other ethnic groups.

Review team on site

17 November 2020

Date of this report

17 December 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review September 2018; Education Review November 2014; Education Review August 2011.

General Information about Assurance Reviews

All services are licensed under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008. The legal requirements for early childhood services also include the Licensing Criteria for Education and Care Services 2008.

Services must meet the standards in the regulations and the requirements of the licensing criteria to gain and maintain a licence to operate.

ERO undertakes an Akanuku | Assurance Review process in any centre-based service:

  • having its first ERO review – including if it is part of a governing organisation
  • previously identified as ‘not well placed’ or ‘requiring further development’
  • that has moved from a provisional to a full licence
  • that have been re-licenced due to a change of ownership
  • where an Akanuku | Assurance Review process is determined to be appropriate.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

All early childhood services are required to promote children’s health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements. Before the review, the staff and management of a service 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.

As part of an Akanuku | Assurance Review ERO assesses whether the regulated standards are being met. In particular, ERO looks at a 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 certification; ratios)
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

As part of an Akanuku | Assurance Review ERO also gathers and records evidence through:

  • discussions with those involved in the service
  • consideration of relevant documentation, including the implementation of health and safety systems
  • observations of the environment/premises, curriculum implementation and teaching practice.