Home Grown Kids (Auckland - North Shore) - 22/05/2017

1 Evaluation of Home Grown Kids (Auckland - North Shore)

How well placed is Home Grown Kids (Auckland - North Shore) 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.


Home Grown Kids is a home-based education and care service catering for children from birth to five or six years of age. Home Grown Kids (Auckland – North Shore) is one of seven networks operating nationally. The organisation's structure comprises two directors, a financial manager and two regional managers. Two visiting teachers are responsible for overseeing the quality of education and care that children receive.

The mission statement “enhancing learning, enhancing life” provides direction for the organisation’s services. The philosophy of the Auckland networks reflects this mission statement and commits to bicultural development.

This network comprises 18 home-based educators and nannies who operate from homes across North Shore, Central Auckland and Waiheke Island. The network caters for 68 children, including one who identifies as Māori. Most of the children are aged up to two years of age. The network is licensed for 80 children.

Since the 2012 ERO evaluation governance, leadership and staffing has remained stable. Areas of good performance identified in the 2012 ERO report remain evident. The service responded constructively to the recommendations in the 2012 ERO report.

This review was part of a cluster of two home-based education and care network reviews in the Home Grown Kids Ltd organisation.

The Review Findings

Children have opportunities to play and learn in a mixed-age, home environment. Programmes and learning records link well to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Attention is given to ways to best cater for the preferences and interests of infants and toddlers. Educators recognise and use learning opportunities within respectful care routines, and they communicate daily with parents about their children's learning.

The visiting teacher personalises professional learning opportunities for educators to help them improve outcomes for these younger children. She models learning interactions that support children’s exploration and oral language development and extend their thinking and learning through play.

Educators respond well to older children's strengths and interests. Literacy, mathematics and science exploration are integrated through programmes. Very good support is provided by visiting teachers to help educators to recognise and respond to the learning in children's play. Emphasis is placed on educators building reciprocal relationships with children that take account of each child's unique and changing interests.

Regular playgroups, organised outings and community events feature in the programme. These events connect children with their local community. They also help promote smooth pathways for children to move to school or other early childhood education services. Visiting teachers access and share worthwhile resources to assist educators to extend children's learning.

Individual records of children’s learning demonstrate their progress and development over time. Assessment shows how visiting teachers and educators notice, recognise and respond to children's strengths and interests. Increasingly, teachers identify the role they have to support children's thinking. Parents are informed about their children’s learning through email contact and social media forums. These various forms of media provide opportunities for families to contribute to learning and curriculum experiences.

Te āo Māori guides the operation and strategic direction of the service. An ongoing internal evaluation focus has greatly increased bicultural practices in this network. The visiting teachers model well the use of te reo Māori and aspects of tikanga Māori.

Collaborative leadership practices focus on positive outcomes for children. Visiting teachers have opportunities to meet with colleagues from other networks and contribute to the organisation’s strategic direction. Professional development has supported visiting teachers to enhance their leadership capabilities and improve systems for internal evaluation.

The company provides a well-considered range of both team and individual professional development opportunities and appraisal for educators and visiting teachers.

Directors provide clear strategic direction. Internal evaluation is well aligned to strategic planning and teacher appraisal. The organisation benefits from the comprehensive links that the directors and managers maintain with other home-based education and care services, professional development providers and government agencies. Health and safety checks are comprehensive and are regularly done at all levels of the organisation. There are very good systems to assure directors that health and safety requirements are regularly monitored.

As a result of discussions with ERO, service leaders are currently implementing written supervision plans in each home.

Key Next Steps

Agreed next steps are:

  • continuing to strengthen internal evaluation to inform appraisal, strategic direction and bicultural development
  • improving systems for playgroup planning and evaluation. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Home Grown Kids (Auckland - North Shore) 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 Home Grown Kids (Auckland - North Shore) will be in three years. 

Steffan Brough
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

22 May 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 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 80 aged under 2

Service roll


Standard or Quality Funded


Gender composition

Boys      34
Girls       34

Ethnic composition

Latin American
other ethnicities


Number of qualified coordinators in the network


Required ratios of staff educators to children

Under 2


Over 2


Review team on site

February 2017

Date of this report

22 May 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

October 2012

Education Review

February 2009

Education Review

March 2006

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.