BestStart Wales Street - 21/10/2019

1 Evaluation of BestStart Wales Street

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


BestStart Wales Street is in the North Canterbury town of Rangiora. It serves a diverse community. There are two separate learning areas within the centre. This includes an infant and toddler area for tamariki under two years-old and a preschool area for tamariki aged from two to five years-old. Kaiako (teachers) are a mix of registered and qualified early childhood teachers, teachers in training and experienced caregivers.

BestStart Wales 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.

Since the 2016 ERO review there have been significant changes to the management team and staffing. The centre manager has provided continuity over this time.

The centre vision states: 'through whanaungatanga we work with Kaiako and whānau enabling all tamariki to reach their highest potential'. The centre philosophy gives emphasis to: inclusive, respectful, reciprocal relationships; fostering a sense of wellbeing and belonging; promoting competent, confident learners and communicators; encouraging sustainable practices, and building reflective and evaluative teaching practices.

The centre is part of the North Canterbury Early Childhood Liaison Group and the local Kāhui Ako | Community of Learning that includes nearby early learning services and schools.

Managers have been responsive to the recommendations from the 2016 ERO report. This includes improving assessment, planning and internal evaluation, and increasing bicultural perspectives and practices in programmes and practices.

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

The Review Findings

The centre philosophy underpins the child-centred curriculum. Managers and kaiako place strong emphasis on fostering respectful, responsive and reciprocal relationships with tamariki, parents and whānau. Families are warmly welcomed and well supported to develop a positive sense of belonging. Transitions into the centre, between rooms and onto school are personalised and well-paced to meet individual needs.

Tamariki (children) are actively involved in a rich, broad curriculum within the spacious and well-resourced learning environments. Kaiako are responsive to their interests, strengths and capabilities. An increased focus on bicultural practices and opportunities to learn about the natural world is evident. Emphasis is given to developing communication and oral language skills, creative expression and social and emotional competencies. Physical challenges, pre-literacy and mathematics are well integrated. The efforts and successes of tamariki are acknowledged, celebrated and valued.

Managers and kaiako are committed to providing an inclusive education for all children. They work collaboratively with parents, whānau and internal and external expertise to promote the wellbeing and learning of tamariki with diverse learning needs. BestStart Educare Ltd provides additional resources and expertise to support tamariki to succeed in their learning and development.

Infants and toddlers benefit from caring and nurturing interactions. There are comfortable spaces for tamariki who are not yet mobile and for those who are crawling and learning to walk. Kaiako provide interesting experiences to encourage curiosity, exploration and sensory learning.

Parents are well informed about the learning interests and progress of tamariki through engaging photographic displays and well written learning records.

The BestStart Educare management provides a high level of professional support to ensure the effective operation of the service. Managers are improvement focused, and key management and assurance processes are well aligned.

The systematic approach to the appraisal process and targeted professional development build on reflective practices and promote opportunities for teachers to develop their capability. Purposeful links to the community, including the wider education community, further support teacher practice and promote positive learning outcomes for tamariki. Internal evaluation is well led and results in improvements to teaching and learning.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre managers agree that the key next steps are to:

  • strengthen culturally responsive practice, including the depth of understandings of te ao Māori, partnerships in learning with parents and whānau, and making the language, culture and identity of individuals more visible within children’s assessment

  • formalise the valued learning outcomes for children to better inform local curriculum expectations in centre documentation

  • strengthen teachers' understanding and use of internal evaluation, to effectively evaluate the outcomes of teaching and the programme on children's learning

  • refine annual strategic planning to more closely align it to centre priorities.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of BestStart Wales 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

44 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 20, Boys 18

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

June 2016

Education Review

May 2013

Education Review

January 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.