Headstart Childcare And Early Education Centre - 02/03/2018

1 Evaluation of Headstart Childcare and Early Education Centre

How well placed is Headstart Childcare and Early Education Centre 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.


Headstart Childcare and Early Education Centre is a well-established, family-owned service. It provides all-day education and care for 43 children over two years of age. The centre serves an increasingly diverse community with the larger groups being Pākehā and Chinese. Five children enrolled have Māori heritage.

The open-plan centre allows for mixed-age groups to interact and play freely. The centre's philosophy promotes children's holistic development in an inclusive learning environment. It emphasises the involvement of children and parents in curriculum planning, as well as respect and support for children's interests to extend their learning.

The centre owner and head teacher work together on the centre's governance and management. The teaching team is long serving, and the head teacher is experienced. Teachers are well qualified, and share the same cultural backgrounds as some of the children in the centre.

The 2013 ERO report identified many areas of good performance. These practices have been sustained, and very good progress has been made in development areas noted in the report.

The Review Findings

Children display confidence and curiosity in their learning. They competently settle themselves in play areas, know about making choices, and are able to lead their own learning. They enjoy a programme that is unhurried and allows them to engage in play for long periods. Children have respectful, responsive relationships and interactions with their friends and adults.

The centre’s environment plays a significant role in supporting children’s learning. It is stimulating with plentiful resources, and is well designed. Open-ended resources are used flexibly by children and adults. The attractive environment invites investigation and exploration. Teachers innovatively adapt spaces to foster children’s creativity, investigation and problem solving skills.

Teachers show respect for children as capable, self-directed learners. Their conversations with children promote language development, communication, thinking and reasoning. Teachers listen carefully to children’s ideas, and make good links to their prior knowledge. Teachers are highly skilled at responding to children's interests and strengths. They know when to extend children's learning and when to allow them to lead their own learning. Teachers provide many opportunities for children to problem-solve and negotiate with their peers.

Teachers work collaboratively, sharing responsibilities for all children's learning and development. Planning is focused on individual children, and teachers frequently discuss strategies for extending their learning. Teachers also respond well to children's group interests. They maintain relevant assessment processes for recording children's learning and experiences. Records of learning show very good analysis of children's learning, and possibilities for further learning. Teachers could increase their focus on evaluating the effectiveness of teaching strategies in their programme evaluations.

Parents are encouraged to be partners in their children’s learning. Teachers provide many opportunities for families to participate in the programme, contribute to the curriculum and be aware of their children’s progress. Children's learning is also shared with parents and children through wall displays.

Leadership is highly effective. Leaders provide very good professional learning opportunities for staff. The experienced head teacher leads curriculum developments well. The teaching team is reflective and collegial. Leaders value a collaborative working approach that promotes leadership opportunities for teachers.

The centre has very good management systems and processes. Governance policies and procedures are regularly reviewed. Strategic planning is well developed, cohesive and focused on the long-term vision and goals for continual improvement. The teacher appraisal system is undertaken annually and meets Education Council requirements.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders maintain very good evaluation practices to guide ongoing centre improvements and positive outcomes for children. They plan to embed shared ownership and leadership of internal evaluation amongst all teachers.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Headstart Childcare and Early Education Centre 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 Headstart Childcare and Early Education Centre will be in four years.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

2 March 2018

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


Hobsonville, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

43 children over the age of 2 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 32 Boys 20

Ethnic composition

other European


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2018

Date of this report

2 March 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2013

Education Review

May 2010

Education Review

March 2007

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.