Childsplay Homebased Education Service - 05/10/2018

1 Evaluation of Childsplay Homebased Education Service

How well placed is Childsplay Homebased Education Service to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Childsplay Homebased Education Service is a home-based service that is made up of two networks in South Canterbury. Childsplay philosophy states that children will learn through play, working together in a happy, play-focused learning environment.

This review found concerns relating to:

  • the directors as visiting teachers knowing their roles and responsibilities
  • strategic and annual plans not specifically setting a clear vision for the service, or aligning to the philosophy and learning priorities for children
  • promptness of follow up to health and safety matters discussed with educators.

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


Childsplay Homebased Education Service is two services owned by two directors. They are also early childhood-qualified visiting teachers for a group of educators who educate and take care of not more than four preschool children at one time in their own homes. The directors purchased the service in 2015 and were the visiting teachers under the previous owner.

The services are both licensed for up to 80 children. Currently the roll is 56 children across the services.

The 2013 ERO review identified areas for further development. These included use of self review, bi-cultural practices, planning and records of learning, strategic planning, and appraisal. Some progress has been made but most remain as areas for further improvement.

The Review Findings

The directors have shared values and beliefs that guide the development of the service. They have developed a comprehensive operations manual of policies and procedures for governance, management and administration, curriculum, and health and safety.

Directors, as visiting teachers, support educators to continually build knowledge and skills through regular forums and visits to educators' homes. They encourage and fund participation in external professional development. Visiting teachers and educators use playgroup and community events to build relationships between adults and children.

Directors try to match children under two years of age with educators who have the necessary knowledge and skills to work with them.

There is an expectation for all involved in the service to build on te ao Māori knowledge and bi-cultural practices. This is in the early stages of implementation.

Internal evaluation for accountability and improvement is not yet fully understood by the directors and is still in the early stages of development. However the directors are continually responding to improvement needs as they arise.

Directors/visiting teachers are still developing their understanding of roles and responsibilities in governance and management. They need to further strengthen this to ensure consistency in practices, to align with the service's policies and procedures, and find more robust to monitor educator practices with health and safety requirements.

In the visiting teacher role, some health and safety aspects discussed with educators on visits to the home have not been responded to promptly by the educator or followed up by the visiting teacher.

Since purchasing the service, the directors have been familiarising themselves with operational matters and with developing systems. They now need to apply an evaluative approach for continuous improvement to ensure sustainability and positive learning outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

The key next steps for the directors are to:

  • continue to define their roles and responsibilities as both the directors and visiting teachers to ensure consistency and cohesion of practices
  • further develop the service's strategic and annual plans, link these to the philosophy and learning priorities for children, and develop actions to achieve the service's vision
  • build the understanding of internal evaluation and implement a schedule of regular reviews across all aspects of the service's operations
  • ensure all health and safety requirements are met.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Childsplay Homebased Education 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.

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.

Priorities for Compliance Improvement

The service has a range of formal policies and informal systems for managing health and safety requirements. In order to improve current practice, the directors must ensure that the educators follow the required procedures in the policies that they signed in the Educator Agreement, and apply more rigour to health and safety systems to ensure compliance with all requirements.

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service, in consultation with the Ministry of Education, develops priorities and planning to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Childsplay Homebased Education Service will be within two years.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review & Improvement Services

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

5 October 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

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

Boys: 20

Girls: 19

Ethnic composition

Other Ethnicities


Number of qualified coordinators in the network


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2018

Date of this report

5 October 2018

Most recent ERO report

Education Review

July 2013

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.