Just Kids House - 06/05/2019

1 Evaluation of Just Kids House

How well placed is Just Kids House to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Just Kids House is very well placed to promote learning outcomes for children.

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


Just Kids House is one of three early childhood education and care services managed by the Families for Life Trust. The centre is licensed to provide full day education and care across mixed ages for up to 21 children, including up to four children under the age of two. The centre states that it is committed to providing low cost, quality accessible care for children and their families within the local community, including a free transport service.

Centre programmes and practices are guided by a shared vision and philosophy which emphasise respectful relationships, open communication, and learning as a lifelong journey. The preschool's core values support children's learning through the belief that 'a small learning environment provides a programme that supports children to contribute, participate, explore and experiment in their own learning and each other's.'

The centre manager and senior head teacher provide educational leadership of the three centres. A head teacher leads the teaching and learning team. Most of the teaching staff are qualified and registered early childhood teachers.

The 2015 ERO review identified a number of significant next steps for development. Leaders have used internal and external expertise to address the areas for improvement identified in that report.

The centre participates in the Ōtākaro Kāhui Ako Community of Learning. It is also part of the leadership team of the the Aranui Community of Practice, a network with early childhood and school leaders in the Aranui/Wainoni area.

This review was part of a cluster of three reviews in the Families for Life Trust which is part of a community complex that supports families.

The Review Findings

Children are engaged in the learning programme and are well supported by their teachers to be confident and competent learners. Teachers are responsive to children through intentional teaching approaches. They listen to children's ideas and provide resources and equipment which encourage children to investigate, explore and extend their interests.

The environments are calm and thoughtfully presented. The organisation of the indoor and outdoor areas allow children to have easy access to all areas to play and learn for sustained periods of time. Children engage positively with others and tuakana-teina is evident in the play and learning between older and younger children.

Children have opportunities to explore the local community such as the local library and gymnasium. Literacy is well supported and teachers use community experiences to extend children's awareness of the wider world.

Children enjoy warm, nurturing relationships with their teachers, make independent choices and have access to a range of resources. Teachers are responsive to younger children's non-verbal cues and respond well to their needs and interests. They communicate with parents regularly to promote continuity between the centre and home. This helps children's sense of wellbeing and belonging.

Programme planning includes aspects of Māori culture and contributes to building children's awareness of Aotearoa New Zealand's bicultural heritage. Teachers have a strong commitment to building their knowledge and understanding of tikanga and te reo Māori.

Leaders and teachers have used internal and external professional development to improve assessment, planning and evaluation. Te Whāriki (2017), the NZ Early Childhood Curriculum, is well documented in assessment, planning and learning outcomes.

Children with additional learning needs are well supported by their teachers. Leaders and teachers consult with outside agencies and the centre's education support workers, to ensure that these children can fully participate in the programme.

Transitions into and out of the centre are flexible and individualised and consider the child and their family's preferences. Teachers engage with parents and whānau and seek their aspirations for their child.

Leaders and teachers meet regularly to collaboratively evaluate the learning programmes, and reflect on the impact of new initiatives.

Leaders and teachers have used internal and external expertise to improve internal evaluation processes, and are building a culture of reflection for continuous improvement. Strategic planning and goals are linked to teacher practice, appraisal and professional development. Strong leadership and a collaborative approach are supporting staff to continue to develop their professional capability and leadership capacity.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders and ERO agree that the next steps are to build on existing good practices by:

  • further strengthening the appraisal system to ensure that appraisal meets the expectations of the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand
  • continuing to build teachers' knowledge, pedagogy and inquiry around intentional teaching, practices and programmes for positive outcomes for all children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Just Kids House 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.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services

Southern Region

6 May 2019

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

21 children, including up to 4 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 12, Girls 12

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnicities


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

February 2019

Date of this report

6 May 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

October 2015

Supplementary Review

June 2012

Education Review

April 2010

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.