Bright Sparks Childcare Orewa - 04/05/2018

1 Evaluation of Bright Sparks Childcare Orewa

How well placed is Bright Sparks Childcare Orewa 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 Orewa is a privately owned purpose built early childhood centre that is licensed for up to 90 children including 20 children under the age of two. It is one of three centres owned by Bright Sparks Childcare Limited. The centre's philosophy is based around three pillars: Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, Reggio Emilia approaches and Christian values.

Children are grouped in three age related areas. A large outdoor area provides opportunity for children of mixed ages to interact with each other. The centre manager and assistant manager are responsible for the daily operation of the centre and work closely with the centre owner on the centre's strategic priorities. The majority of staff are registered teachers.

This is the first ERO review of Bright Sparks Childcare Orewa.

The Review Findings

Children are articulate and independent and learners. They move confidently between areas of play, making choices about where they want to play and who they want to play with. The high quality physical environment offers challenge and promotes exploration. Children engage in a wide variety of activities. Children under two experience positive interactions in a calm and caring environment.

A project-based approach to programme planning supports positive outcomes for children. It establishes a good framework for children's individual and group learning. Teachers use children's strengths, interests and abilities to inform planning for future learning. Observational information is well used to build a picture of what the children know, understand, are interested in, and can do. It is used effectively to plan children's learning pathways.

The learning environment promotes exploration, creativity, and imaginative play for children. It is supported by a good range of high quality natural resources that enhance the children's play. Children are highly engaged in conversation with teachers and each other. Children's talk is encouraged, accepted and respected. Māori concepts, values and tikanga are evident throughout the programme.

Teaching is effective in developing children's confidence and competence as learners. Staff have a strong commitment to teaching and learning that contributes to positive outcomes for children. Opportunities for ongoing and appropriate professional development are available for all staff.

The centre is well led. Leaders and staff demonstrate a strong commitment to the philosophy and vision of the centre to provide high quality childcare. They implement effective evaluation and promote a culture of ongoing improvement. Policies and procedures are well established. They are aligned to current best practice and effectively guide the centres daily operations and ongoing development.

Key Next Steps

Next steps include continuing to:

  • strengthen curriculum planning, assessment and evaluation processes

  • develop the centre's bicultural practice, including partnerships with whānau Māori

  • make identity, language and culture visible in the teaching and learning programme.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Bright Sparks Childcare Orewa 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 Orewa will be in three years.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

4 May 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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

90 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 27 Boys 24

Ethnic composition

Latin American
other European
other Asian


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

March 2018

Date of this report

4 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports

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.