Educarents Preparatory Limited - 02/03/2016

1. Evaluation of Educarents Canterbury

How well placed is Educarents Canterbury to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Educarents is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Educarents Canterbury is a home-based care and nanny service based in the Methven area. During the review, the trading name changed from Educarents Preparatory Limited. It is one of three franchises within Educarents Management Limited. Educarents Limited is the service provider for Educarents Canterbury.

There have been a number of changes to the management and leadership of the service over the last year. A professional leader, associated with Educarents Management Limited, is supporting the owner/manager and the coordinator to develop a new operational framework. They have made recent progress with some of the areas identified for improvement in the April 2012 ERO report. This includes the development of a range of self-review processes for different purposes and a greater focus on teaching and learning at all levels of the service.

At the time of this review, there were 10 educarers, providing home-based education and care for children aged from birth to school age. The coordinator is a trained and registered early childhood teacher. She oversees and supports the provision of care and education, and the meeting of legislative requirements in the home environments.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from the increasing focus the service has placed on teaching and learning. The newly developed teaching and learning statement promotes high expectations on outcomes for children.

The professional leader has developed more comprehensive guidelines to support the coordinator in her role. These include better systems for communicating expectations to educarers.

Educarers have regular access to useful professional support, resources and ongoing training opportunities. The coordinator is currently focused on building educarer understanding and use of assessment for children's learning, based on Te Whāriki, the Early Childhood Curriculum.

Educarers' ongoing observations of infants, toddlers and young children, in a range of everyday experiences, show what children are interested in and can do. These observations are readily available for parents.

Purposeful links are made with the community, and other ECE services, to enhance the learning programme offered to children, and to support adults associated with the service. Opportunities for children to be involved in group activities, events at the local school and visits to the classroom environment help prepare them for the transition to school.

The manager and coordinator are developing reflective practices that are supporting them to inquire into the effectiveness of the services processes and practises. They are making some good use of self review to identify priorities, such as the need to build responsiveness to Māori children and families. As a result, they have made plans to access professional development in this area.

The manager, professional leader and coordinator have a shared vision and a focus on ongoing improvement to the quality of their service for children and families. The service priorities and long term goals are well aligned to annual planning. There is a strong emphasis on maintaining a useful policy framework and guidelines to support service practices. Comprehensive systems are in place to promote the provision of safe and secure environments for children on an ongoing basis.

Key Next Steps

The service manager and coordinator have identified, and ERO affirms, that the key next steps to improve the quality of the service include:

  • building self-review understandings and capacity across the service
  • successfully implementing the new appraisal process for coordinators and developing a formal induction process for coordinators
  • developing educarers' understandings and use of effective assessment, planning and evaluation and teaching strategies
  • strengthening partnerships with parents by developing clearer guidelines for coordinators for ongoing parent contact and the ways parents can contribute to planning for children’s learning
  • giving greater prominence to bicultural perspectives in all aspects of service operation and documentation, including developing a better understanding of ways to be more responsive to Māori children and their families.


The service clarifies with the Ministry of Education the expectations around coverage of the service by the person responsible.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Educarents Canterbury 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Educarents Canterbury will be in three years.

Chris Rowe

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

2 March 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 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 50 aged under two

Service roll


Standard or Quality Funded


Gender composition

Girls 18; Boys 18

Ethnic composition





Number of qualified coordinators in the network


Required ratios of staff educators to children

Under 2



Over 2


Review team on site

January 2016

Date of this report

2 March 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

These are available at

Education Review

April 2012

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.