Bright Sparks Childcare Airport - 11/04/2018

1 Evaluation of Bright Sparks Childcare Airport

How well placed is Bright Sparks Childcare Airport to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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


Bright Sparks Childcare Airport is a large centre that provides education and care for up to 134 children. Children and teachers are representative of the culturally diverse community.

This centre is one of three in the Auckland area that are privately owned by Bright Sparks Childcare Limited. The centres share the same philosophy, which is based on three pillars: Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, Reggio Emilia approaches and Christian values. The owner works closely with the centre manager who has responsibility for the day to day management. Three head teachers have oversight for the rooms and report to the manager and owner.

The centre provides for children in five separate rooms. Three rooms cater for infants and toddlers who are under one, two and three years. Two further rooms are for children aged three to five years. Infants and toddlers have defined outdoor areas. The older groups of children share an outdoor space.

Strengths identified during the 2014 ERO review, included positive relationships between teachers and children, centre management and the engagement of children in their learning. These features continue to be evident. Development areas at the time of the last review were internal evaluation, performance management and extending teachers' practice. Good progress has been made in these areas.

The Review Findings

Children are settled and confident. They are actively involved and willing to learn. Children choose from an appropriate range of resources while they direct their own play. They interact well with each other and cooperate and collaborate as they play together.

Children benefit from positive, friendly relationships with their teachers. These supportive relationships are evident during interactions between teachers and children as they play. Teachers readily join in children's conversations. They use good questioning skills to build on children's involvement in individual and group play. Teachers are attentive to the needs of the children in their care.

Infants are treated as capable and competent. They benefit from teachers' calm and nurturing approach. Teachers are skilful in helping these young children to settle quickly, and maintain genuine relationships with infants. Indoor and outdoor environments invite free exploration and learning.

Teachers plan activities and encourage children to engage with these. Increasingly, as teachers are influenced by Reggio Emilia theory, they endeavour to provoke children's curiosity and learning. Group mat times feature stories and songs that support the centre's Christian ethos, and promote te ao Māori.

Children have opportunities to experience bicultural perspectives throughout the programme. The environments reflect aspects of te ao Māori and the cultural backgrounds of the children and teachers. This practice supports children's sense of belonging in the centre.

The attractive indoor and outdoor environments are well organised to support children's play. They provide opportunities for children to play individually and in groups. Children are familiar with the daily routines, particularly those around meals, sleep and mat times. Teachers see children as capable, and they support and encourage them to be self-managing.

Teachers know children well. They gather parents' aspirations for their children's learning. Teachers communicate formally and informally with parents to maintain a supportive child-focused partnership between home and the centre. The centre has established a strong network to support families in ensuring their children attend the centre regularly.

The centre owner and manager have high expectations of staff. They have developed relevant monitoring and reporting systems that support team leaders to reflect on the practice in their rooms. Relational trust between staff is evident. Leaders have established useful formats and processes for internal evaluation. Teachers have opportunities to contribute to and lead specific evaluations.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps include:

  • developing appraisal processes that support teachers to improve their practice and meet the centre's expectations
  • increasing teachers' responses to parents' aspirations for their children
  • strengthening curriculum planning and implementation to foster children's development, and extend their emerging interests and passions.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Bright Sparks Childcare Airport 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Bright Sparks Childcare Airport will be in three years.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

11 April 2018

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


Mangere, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

134 children, including up to 40 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 44 Boys 40

Ethnic composition

Cook Island Māori


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

January 2018

Date of this report

11 April 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2014

Education Review

July 2011

Education Review

June 2008

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 and Next Review

The overall judgement that ERO makes and the timing of the next review will depend on how well placed a service is to promote positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed – The next ERO review in four years
  • Well placed – The next ERO review in three years
  • Requires further development – The next ERO review within two years
  • Not well placed - The next ERO review in consultation with the Ministry of Education

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.