Halswell Nest Early Learning - 05/12/2017

1 Evaluation of Halswell Nest Early Learning

How well placed is Halswell Nest Early Learning to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

The centre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Halswell Nest Early Learning Centre is a family owned and operated service. It is part of the Nurturing Environmental Sustainable Teaching Services (Nests) franchise.

The centre provides full day education and care for up to 30 children in a converted home. Infants, toddlers and young children learn in a mixed-age environment. This enables siblings to interact, and tuakana teina relationships, with older children supporting younger children, to develop. Confidence, adventure, compassion and social and emotional competence are valued learner outcomes of the centre.

Centre leadership consists of the co-owners who are the centre manager and head teacher. A curriculum co-ordinator leads planning and assessment practices.

The service opened in 2015. This is its first ERO report.

The Review Findings

Teachers provide a welcoming, inclusive learning environment for children and their families. They know children well. Relationships between teachers and children are respectful and caring. Children's ability to self-manage and develop increasing independence is actively encouraged, with success and effort celebrated. Routines are flexible and adaptable in responding to children's learning and wellbeing needs.

Children are well supported to develop the skills to confidently lead their own learning. They have meaningful opportunities to make choices and extend their learning through problem-solving, imaginative and creative play.

Children's interests and needs are central to the way teachers assess and plan for their learning. Newly-introduced planning processes for individuals and groups promote the inclusion of specific goals and next learning steps. Assessment and planning is regular and well linked to the Te Whāriki Early Childhood Curriculum.

Teachers effectively draw on children's prior learning to make connections with home, support children's sense of belonging and contribute to learning programmes. Parents' and children's ideas are valued and actively sought. Resources in the local community are well used and effectively contribute to the learning programme.

Infants and toddlers are effectively supported by teachers who are nurturing and respectful in their interactions. Teachers are considerate in the way they respond to infants' and toddlers' preferences and needs, involving them in decisions about their learning and care.

Leaders have worked collaboratively with staff, children and parents to develop a detailed strategic plan that is well connected to teachers' professional learning, internal evaluation and the care and learning of infants, toddlers and children in the daily programme. Clear priorities are established and focus on what is most important for children's learning and wellbeing.

Internal evaluation is of high quality and appropriately focused on positive outcomes for children and ongoing improvement of the centre. It is led effectively and there are strong processes in place to support decision-making. Teachers make good use of research to guide reflective thinking and collaborative professional discussions. Actions taken as a result of internal evaluation enhance children's learning experiences and their environment.

Teachers benefit from robust, rigorous appraisal that provides affirmation and challenge to build and extend their practice.

Key Next Steps

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

  • further extend bicultural and tikanga practices into the curriculum and centre operations and documentation

  • develop a more localised, centre-based philosophy

  • build consistency of teacher practice in assessment and planning for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Halswell Nest Early Learning 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 Halswell Nest Early Learning will be in three years.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

5 December 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

30 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 27, Boys 22

Ethnic composition



Other Ethnicities




Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2017

Date of this report

5 December 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

New Centre

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.