Childsplay Homebased Education Service - 09/07/2013

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Childsplay Homebased Care and Education Service is a home-based care and education service that is made up of two networks covering a large geographical area in South and Mid Canterbury.

The service is well led and managed by an experienced team of early childhood education teachers, including the owner/manager. A number of the educators within the service have been with the service for a long time.

A feature of the service is the management focus on developing a sense of belonging and community for educators, children and parents. The visiting teachers organise playgroups twice a week and excursions into the local area once a month. These events extend on the learning programme offered to children. They also provide opportunities for children and educators to develop social relationships beyond the home-based care setting.

This is the first education review for this service. ERO worked with the owner/manager and the visiting teachers to determine the quality of management systems and leadership. ERO also visited a sample of educator home-care premises from both networks.

Positive features of this service include:

  • caring and supportive relationships between children and adults
  • educators who are very responsive to children’s interests, strengths and capabilities
  • children playing well with and alongside others; sharing ideas and developing close friendships
  • the wide range of interesting learning experiences within well-resourced homes
  • the dedicated service owner/manager and visiting teachers who provide a good level of support to educators and children.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore, ERO will review the service again within three years.

2 The Focus of the Review

All ERO education reviews in early childhood focus on the quality of education. For ERO this includes the quality of:

  • the programme provided for children
  • the learning environment
  • the interactions between children and adults.

The Quality of Education


The service offers care and education for preschool children in the homes of educators who provide a safe, nurturing and stimulating home environment. Positive relationships are fostered between the educator and the child in a small group setting.

Areas of good performance

Children benefit from warm, nurturing relationships with educators who know them well.

Parents and educators share information each day to support children’s wellbeing and development. Educators encourage children’s independence and confidence. Children are able to make choices in play and explore their own interests. They have easy access to a wide range of interesting learning experiences and resources.

Educators are very responsive to children’s interests, strengths and capabilities. They work with children in respectful and caring ways. Children are given uninterrupted time to explore and develop their ideas. Educators involve children in meaningful conversations to support their learning and oral language skills.

Educators help children to develop social skills. Children play well with and alongside others. They share ideas and develop close friendships. Educators and children enjoy each other’s company and have fun together.

ERO observed home-care premises that were well organised and resourced in ways that support children’s learning. Children were actively involved in literacy, numeracy and creative activities.

The outside environments of these premises provide many opportunities for physical play and learning about the natural world.

The dedicated service owner/manager and visiting teachers provide a good level of support to educators and children. Visiting teachers provide regular visits to each child each month. The service owner/manager is making good use of external professional advice and guidance to continually improve the operation of the service. The visiting teachers offer regular professional development workshops for educators to develop their knowledge and skills to support children’s learning. The abilities and expertise of individual educators is valued and shared to support other educators.

Areas for development and review

The service owner/manager and visiting teachers have identified, and ERO agrees, that the key next steps are to continue to strengthen:

  • children’s records of learning and planning processes
  • the ways to use self review to further improve outcomes for children
  • long-term planning
  • appraisal systems.

The service owner/manager and visiting teachers have also identified that they need to give greater prominence to bicultural perspectives and practices.

3 Management Assurance on Compliance Areas


Before the review, the management and staff of Childsplay Homebased Care & Education Service completed an ERO Home-Based Education and Care Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • curriculum standard
  • premises and facilities standard
  • health and safety practices standard
  • governance management and administration standard.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on outcomes for children:

  • emotional safety (including behaviour management, prevention of bullying and abuse)
  • physical safety (including behaviour management, sleeping and supervision practices; accidents and medication; hygiene and routines; travel and excursion policies and procedures)
  • staff qualifications and organisation
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

During the on-site stage of the review, ERO identified that some systems for monitoring of health and safety needed to be strengthened. These were addressed during the review.

4 Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore, ERO will review the service again within three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

9 July 2013

About the Service


South and Mid Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number


Service type

Homebased Network

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 40; Girls 20

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā




Review team on site

May 2013

Date of this report

9 July 2013

Most recent ERO report

No previous ERO reports

First ERO review report