Early Years Cornwall St - 07/06/2016

1 Evaluation of Early Years Cornwall St

How well placed is Early Years Cornwall St 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.


Early Years Cornwall St operates under the Best Start Educare Ltd management structure. BestStart (previously known as Kidicorp Ltd) is a large national organisation that owns a number of early childhood education services across New Zealand

The centre provides education and care for 100 children including 25 children up to two years of age.  Nine Māori and four Pacific children are enrolled. A centre manager has responsibility for the
day-to-day operations. There is a new leadership team including the recently appointed centre manager and two head teachers.

The April 2013 ERO report identified areas requiring further development. These included improving teacher practice, increasing whānau participation, developing cultural knowledge and incorporating te reo me ngā tikanga Māori in the curriculum. Progress is ongoing in these areas.

This review was part of a cluster of four in the BestStart Educare Ltd.

The Review Findings

At a governance level, the organisation has made effective use of their internal evaluation systems to identify areas where targeted assistance is needed. These BestStart processes and the associated support structures, have effectively assisted centre leaders and teachers in a time of transition.

Careful consideration has been given to the appointment of the new leader who has the capability to successfully lead the curriculum design and implementation, and to carry out leadership roles and responsibilities. A clear induction process and opportunities for professional learning and development have effectively supported the new leader in her role.

Children are engaged for sustained periods in the play-based programme. Teachers respond warmly to children and follow their interests. There are comfortable, safe spaces for children who are not yet mobile, able to sit by themselves and for those crawling and learning to walk. A key next step is for teachers to implement a wider range of teaching strategies to promote respectful practice and capitalise on opportunities to extend children’s play and learning.

A recent upgrade of the outdoor environment, which includes a large covered space, provides a wide range of opportunities for children to engage in physical activity each day. A current focus on promoting healthy food has seen an improvement in the choices offered through the daily menu.

Children with additional learning needs are identified, monitored and well supported. Teachers liaise with external agencies where appropriate.

A recently introduced planning process is responsive to children’s interests. This should be further developed through a stronger emphasis on identifying specific teaching strategies. In addition, ongoing evaluation of how effectively these strategies and other aspects of the planned programme promote children's learning, should also improve practice.

Regular profile entries provide positive information about children's participation in the programme. A key next step is for leaders and teachers to revisit BestStart's planning and curriculum guidelines to develop a shared understanding of assessment for learning. Ways to more strongly reflect parent aspirations in the programme and in assessment documentation should be considered.  

Te reo Māori is used at routine times and aspects of tikanga Māori are evident in the programme. Leaders have identified that greater integration of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori across all aspects of the curriculum is an area for ongoing development.

Leaders and teachers have identified that revisiting key Ministry of Education publications such as Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners, Ka Hikitia - Accelerating Success 2013-2017 and the Pasifika Education Plan 2013-2017 should assist in establishing a shared understanding of how they can best promote educational success for Māori and Pacific children.

A comprehensive policy framework including procedures and systems, guides the operation of the centre. Developing shared expectations for teachers in promoting positive outcomes for children is a key priority for the newly appointed leader. She has a strong focus on improvement.

A clear framework guides the appraisal process. This includes a self and appraiser assessment and has a development focus. Leaders have identified that a next step is to include formal observations of practice for teachers renewing their practising certificates. ERO agrees with this direction. Appraisal should be further improved through clearly documenting feedback and next steps. BestStart provides opportunities for teachers to participate in a wide range of professional learning and development.

Leaders and teachers have identified that internal evaluation is an area for ongoing development. They agree a key next step is to further develop their understanding of effective review process and internal evaluation processes.   

Key Next Steps

ERO and leaders agree that the key next steps are to:

  • strengthen the  appraisal process
  • further develop an understanding of effective review and internal evaluation
  • continue raising the quality of teaching
  • improve the quality of assessment, planning and evaluation practices
  • integrate te reo me ngā tikanga Māori throughout the curriculum
  • have an increased focus on promoting educational success for Māori and Pacific children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Early Years Cornwall St 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 Early Years Cornwall St will be in three years. 

Joyce Gebbie
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

7 June 2016 

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 


Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

100 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 62, Girls 40

Ethnic composition

South East Asian
Other ethnic groups


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

April 2016

Date of this report

7 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 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.