Edukids Riverbend Road - 13/03/2017

1 Evaluation of Edukids Riverbend Road

How well placed is Edukids Riverbend Road 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.


Edukids Riverbend Road is a private early learning service owned and operated by BestStart Educare Ltd. BestStart, previously known as Kidicorp Ltd, is a large national organisation that owns early learning services throughout New Zealand. A centre manager has responsibility for the day-to-day running of the centre and is supported by an assistant manager, a head teacher, a business and professional services manager.

Edukids Riverbend Road is licensed for 75 children, including 20 up to two years of age. The current roll of 105, includes 30 children who identify as Māori. The service caters for a diverse community ranging from Onekawa through to the wider Napier area.

The centre has three learning areas: the Kowhai room for children up-to-two years old; Pohutukawa for toddlers; and the Totara room for preschool children.

Since the July 2013 ERO report, a new teaching team and managers have been put in place. The ERO report recommended that the centre develop strategies to implement the appraisal process. This recommendation has been met. At that time the centre also identified its next steps as: developing a strategic approach to support success for Māori children and their whānau; and continuing to develop teachers' understandings and use of self review for improvement. These aspects of practice continue to be areas requiring development.

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

The Review Findings

Positive interactions between teachers and children contribute to a settled learning environment. Children are happy, active and engaged. Teachers' respectful and collaborative practices result in a calm, nurturing atmosphere where children, parents and families feel welcome and valued. Children’s learning is effectively extended through their participation in discussions, activities and problem-solving tasks.

Play areas are well organised to make the most of space and ensure that a suitable range of resources are readily accessible to children. The easy flow between indoor and outdoor spaces, and the considered arrangement of equipment, provide support for children to make choices and promote their self-management.

Infants in the Kowhai room are nurtured and supported. The curriculum is influenced by approaches considered best practice for infant group care. Children's own rhythms dictate their participation. Exploration and play is unhurried. Teachers unobtrusively support individuals to investigate their surroundings and purposefully engage in play. The environment is organised well to meet the needs of infants. Resources reflect their current and emerging interests.

Children's transitions within and from the centre are well considered and made in collaboration with parents and whānau. BestStart's transition programme supports children to move smoothly from the centre to school. Regular liaison with the neighbouring school enables children to learn some school routines and expectations.

Teachers have developed a collaborative and visual approach to planning for learning that is inclusive of parents' contributions. Outcomes are documented in children's e-portfolios. These are attractively presented with photos that show the wide range of activities children participate in. Portfolios could be further developed by increasing the focus on recording each child's learning over time. There is also a need to more clearly celebrate children's cultures, languages and identities in learning records.

This is an improvement-focused service. Teachers regularly reflect on the impact of the curriculum on children's learning and consult with, and feed back to, the parent community. They have identified that a next step for their development is to strengthen their internal review process. A more in-depth approach for engaging in deliberate, systematic processes and evaluation reasoning should result in a more effective process for measuring the impact of any changes made to centre practice.

A bicultural perspective is strongly evident in the environment and the curriculum. Teachers use te reo me ngā tikanga Māori in meaningful ways. They are continuing to increase their understanding of strategies and approaches that support Māori children's success as Māori.

Teacher appraisal is robust and consistent with the New Zealand Education Council's expectations. Personal and team professional development together with a strong commitment to improvement results in changed teacher knowledge. Once the inquiry model becomes established, successful strategies to share with the team should be identifiable.

The professional services manager and business manager regularly review and report on professional, financial, and compliance matters. This supports the centre manager and teachers to focus on delivering the curriculum and sustaining and improving centre practices.

Key Next Steps

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

  • further improve assessment and planning practices

  • continue to develop strategies that support Māori children's success as Māori

  • establishing a more in depth process for internal evaluation

  • develop and implement practices that reflect teaching as inquiry.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Edukids Riverbend Road 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 Edukids Riverbend Road will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

13 March 2017

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

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

75 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 58, Boys 47

Ethnic composition




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

January 2017

Date of this report

13 March 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


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.