Cherish Childcare - 01/06/2017

1 Evaluation of Cherish Childcare

How well placed is Cherish Childcare 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.


Cherish Childcare is a privately-owned, home-based education and care service located in New Plymouth. It comprises one standard network licensed for 80 children aged up to five years. At the time of this ERO review, 24 children were enrolled. Of these, one identified as Māori.

One visiting teacher supports eight educators to provide an educational programme for children in their homes. The owner manages the service and monitors processes for meeting legislative requirements.

Staff are working towards achieving teacher registration. Of the two qualified teachers, one is subject to confirmation as a registered teacher and one has applied to re-register as a teacher after a non-teaching period.

Professional learning and development for staff has been accessed by the owner privately and also through a Ministry of Education-funded programme, Strengthening Early Learning Opportunities (SELO).

The November 2014 ERO report identified the service's next steps as improving the quality of: governance; strategic planning; appraisal; self review; assessment, planning and evaluation; curriculum; and bicultural practice. Progress is evident and ongoing. A number of compliance issues needed to be addressed and these have been rectified.

The Review Findings

Children participate in an individualised programme that is responsive to their interests. A place-based curriculum is reflected through the playgroup programme, community visits and events. Children experience waiata, stories of the area and celebrate times of significance. Further clarification is required of what the service expects of educators as they provide a bicultural curriculum. Once established, this should be monitored by the visiting teacher and reflected through the programme and documentation.

Acknowledging children's cultures, languages and identities is an approach that leaders are working to develop. 

A useful process has been established to guide expectations and monitor the quality of assessment practices. Leaders have purposefully built educators' capability and capacity in the use of assessment. Regular guidance is provided to educators by the visiting teacher that assists them in noticing children's interests, recognising their learning and considering how they could respond.

Regular entries in children's learning journals reflect the range of experiences they engage in, their developing relationships and emerging interests. Further development is required to show how the planned next steps to support children's learning have been enacted and the impact this has had on their learning. Leaders should also consider how parents' aspirations for their child can be formally sought, enacted and reflected in the child's learning journals.

Regular reports to parents about their child's development are informative and provide an overview of the learning journey the child has embarked on, with the support of the educator and visiting teacher. Close links are drawn to the principles and strands of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum and at times, children's progress in learning and physical development is identified.

The visiting teacher monitors provision for children with additional learning needs and liaises with the educator and parents and whānau to offer support and guidance.

Leaders have demonstrated a strong commitment to building their own knowledge about working with infants and toddlers. They have participated in professional learning opportunities to further their understandings that they actively share with the educators. This new learning has also influenced the range of resources that the service makes available for educators to access and use with children in their care.

Systems and processes to support the effective management of the service are established. A systematic approach has developed to help educators know about the service's expectations for health and safety practices and curriculum design. Regular visits into educators' homes are scheduled by both the visiting teacher and manager, to monitor children's learning programmes and check that legislative requirements are met.

The strategic plan strongly reflects the service's philosophy. A next step is to be clearer about the intended outcomes of the strategic focus areas. This should support the service to be able to evaluate how effectively the strategic focus has been met.

An appraisal process has recently been introduced for all levels of the home-based service. The amended appraisal policy and procedures should more clearly outline the expectations of all parties in the appraisal process. These should where relevant, include expectations for:

  • measurable goals, regular purposeful meetings and meaningful observations of teacher practice, linked to their goals

  • the use of constructive feedback and feed forward

  • how the Practising Teacher Criteria will be reflected through the appraisal cycle.

Leaders are reflective and improvement focused. Continuing to build a service-wide understanding of evaluation and developing a systematic approach to this process should further support improving outcomes for children. 

Key Next Steps

The service provider and the visiting teacher agree that key next steps for improving the service include:

  • identifying the expectations the service has of educators in providing a bicultural curriculum and regular monitoring of this by the visiting teacher.

  • showing how the planned next steps have been enacted in children's learning journals to better show continuity of learning

  • revisiting the strategic plan to be clearer about the intended outcomes of the strategic focus areas

  • developing a clear appraisal procedure to guide the robust implementation of appraisal that reflects Education Council requirements for the endorsement and renewal of teachers' practising certificates

  • continuing to build leaders understanding of self review and internal evaluation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Cherish Childcare completed an ERO Home-based Education and Care 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.

To improve practice Cherish Childcare should:

  • revisit the practice around excursions and ensure it aligns with the excursion policy. More effective monitoring of its implementation should occur. 

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Cherish Childcare will be in three years.

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

1 June 2017 

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 Home-based Education and Care Service 


New Plymouth

Ministry of Education profile number


Institution type

Homebased Network

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

80 children, including up to 80 aged under 2

Service roll


Standard or Quality Funded


Gender composition

Girls 13, Boys 11

Ethnic composition







Number of qualified coordinators in the network


Required ratios of educators to children

Under 2


Over 2


Review team on site

April 2017

Date of this report

1 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

November 2014

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 the draft methodology for ERO reviews in Home-based Education and Care Services: July 2014

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.