Creators @ Home Auckland W & N - 01/02/2019

1 Evaluation of Creators @ Home Auckland W & N

How well placed is Creators @ Home Auckland W & N to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Creators @ Home - Auckland W & N is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Creators @ Home - Auckland W & N is part of a national organisation that owns a range of early learning services. This network is licensed to provide care and education for 80 children, including 80 aged up to two years. Of the 36 children enrolled in this network, 18 are Māori.

This is the first review of this network, previously known as Footsteps Education. Creators Education Trust, a not for profit organisation purchased Footsteps in September 2015. The organisation worked with the Ministry of Education to meet full licensing conditions for all of its home-based services.

The organisation provides three models of support; 'At Home' where educarers care for children in private homes, 'Awhi' for caregivers of children uplifted from their families by Oranga Tamariki; and 'Awhi Whānau', for whānau caring for the children of family members. Approximately half of the children in this network are supported through the 'Awhi' model.

A national coordinator has oversight of all Creators @ Home early learning services and reports to the Chief Executive (CEO). Educarers provide education and care programmes in homes. The visiting teacher provides support, educational oversight and leadership for educators. Regular playgroup sessions for educarers and children are hosted by the visiting teacher. The visiting teacher is a fully qualified and registered early childhood teacher.

The Creators @ Home philosophy aims for children to be provided with loving, respectful, exciting and inviting learning environments that foster their holistic development. Four Pillars guide service operations and practices, they are: love and connection, nature play, the Reggio Emilia learning model and value-based learning.

This review was part of a cluster of four home-based education and care networks in the Creators Education Trust Organisation.

The Review Findings

The regional leader and visiting teachers work together as a supportive team for many vulnerable children. The Creators @ Home philosophy of home-based education and care, and the principles of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum in service documentation, could be strengthened to enhance children's development and educational outcomes.

Inclusive, trusting partnerships guide children's learning and service development. Visiting teachers and educarers provide carefully considered transition processes for children moving into and between homes. External agencies are accessed for a range of support when needed.

Children have regular opportunities to meet and play with children across the network at playgroups. Practices for monitoring children's wellbeing, health and safety are maintained.

Visiting teachers' monthly reports record information about the children's programmes and activities, and health and safety. Children's learning stories focus on their interests and ways to extend them.

Appropriate planning and assessment practices should consistently guide programmes for children. Visiting teachers should improve documentation for curriculum assessment, planning and evaluation, to focus more on children's learning. The monthly plans could have stronger links to children's learning dispositions, developing their language, including their imaginative play and te Ao Māori. This could be useful particularly for those children under two years of age, and those with additional learning needs.

Visiting teachers take part in professional development that is relevant to the context of this new service. They could enhance this further by being more deliberate in their support and guidance of educarers' practices to effectively promote children's learning.

The service should implement a performance management policy and procedures to support the visiting teacher to improve teaching practice and curriculum leadership. This appraisal process should be updated to align with the Teaching Council's requirements.

Internal evaluation, from the strategic level to individual children's learning, is yet to develop effectively in the service. The use of evaluative questions and indicators of effective practice could add depth to this process.

Key Next Steps

The service management have identified relevant priorities for development that include:

  • making learning more visible in documented planning, assessment and evaluation to promote effective teaching practice focused on children's learning outcomes

  • strengthening the alignment of targeted professional learning and clear expectations to improve regional leader, visiting teachers and educarer capabilities to promote children's learning

  • improving internal evaluation processes to guide the service's ongoing development with the use of evaluative questions, indicators of effective practice and recommendations

  • implementing appraisal processes that align with the Teaching Council's requirements.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Creators @ Home Auckland W & N 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.

Actions for compliance

During the course of the review, ERO identified areas of non-compliance. To meet requirements, the service needs to improve its performance in the following areas. The owner should ensure:

  • there is a documented risk management system for excursions

  • the procedure for monitoring children's sleep is consistently implemented

  • documented assessment, planning, and evaluation that demonstrates children's learning is in place.

Licensing Criteria for Home-based Education and Care Services 2008 HS14, HS8, C2.


The service will provide ERO with an action plan that shows how key next steps and actions for compliance will be addressed. ERO will request progress updates.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Creators @ Home Auckland W & N will be in three years.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

1 February 2019

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



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

Boys 18 Girls 18

Ethnic composition

other ethnic groups


Number of qualified coordinators in the network


Required ratios of staff educators to children

Under 2


Over 2


Review team on site

June 2018

Date of this report

1 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Previously known as Footsteps Education

March 2011

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.