Just Kidz Educare - Westgate - 13/03/2018

1 Evaluation of Just Kidz Educare - Westgate

How well placed is Just Kidz Educare - Westgate 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.


Just Kidz Educare - Westgate opened in October 2015 and is licensed for 100 children, including 25 up to the age of two years. The centre operates from a purpose-built facility located within the Westgate shopping complex in West Auckland. It is organised into four age-related areas with Arohanui catering for babies and toddlers. This area for the youngest group also has its own outdoor space. The other three areas, Waiata, Wairua and Korero share a large outdoor environment that provides opportunities for mixed age play.

Serving a culturally diverse community, approximately half of the centre's children and families are Mandarin-speaking Chinese. They are joined by smaller groups of Pākehā, Māori and Pacific children and families. The teaching team is also culturally diverse with teachers available in each room who speak Mandarin and some Indian languages. Most teachers are qualified and registered, or in training.

The centre philosophy is influenced by Reggio Emilia and Pikler, with both philosophies promoting deep respect for children. It encourages high quality teaching and learning practices, positive partnerships with parents, and places value on the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand.

This centre is one of three in Auckland owned by a family group. The owners provide governance support for the centre manager. The manager is supported by an assistant manager and head teachers. A recently appointed operations manager has oversight of all three Just Kidz centres. Her role includes working alongside staff to support consistent and high quality practices across the company.

The Review Findings

Children and families experience meaningful and trusting relationships with teachers. They are welcomed into a family-like environment where home and cultural beliefs and practices are affirmed and valued. Teachers gather useful information from parents to enhance children's care and learning. As a result of these good practices, children have a strong sense of belonging and are settled in the centre.

Older children are involved and engaged in their play and learning. They have good opportunities for uninterrupted play, and have independent access to play materials of their choice. Teachers are calm and gentle with children. As skilled practitioners, they question and provoke children's interests, and provide good opportunities for problem solving and critical thinking.

Teachers skilfully plan for children's emerging interests. They support children's learning in literacy, mathematics and science. Teachers have a good understanding of te āo Māori, including te reo and tikanga Māori. They have an ongoing commitment to consistently improving and integrating their bicultural curriculum throughout learning programmes.

Infants and toddlers are well nurtured by their teachers within a carefully designed space. Teachers follow children's lead, and create areas and activities that promote their interest and exploration. Parent preferences for their babies and toddlers take precedence in teachers' planning and practice. Managers have plans to further improve the outdoor environment.

Teachers and leaders are highly reflective practitioners. Leaders use mentoring and coaching approaches to enhance teacher skills. The time made for practice discussions motivates teachers to improve continually, and provides a trusting and secure environment for teachers to take risks. Teachers are recognised as leaders, and have many opportunities to lead in different areas of the centre. These good practices contribute to the collaborative and professional centre culture where adults focus on what is best for children.

The centre is very well led and governed. Driven by expectations for high quality practice, managers use well-considered employment and staffing processes. These aspects include generous resourcing of the centre, significant professional learning opportunities and a very good teacher appraisal process for rigorous accountability and improvement. Internal evaluation is very well understood, and used effectively as a tool for ongoing improvement. The centre has a good policy framework and other very good systems that support its overall operation.

Key Next Steps

ERO endorses the centre's self-identified next step to improve strategic planning so that it better aligns to teachers' professional learning and appraisal. This improvement would support centre managers to report in a more cohesive and evaluative way against strategic goals.

Other key next steps include centre managers and teachers continuing to enhance the quality practices currently evident at the centre.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Just Kidz Educare - Westgate 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 Just Kidz Educare - Westgate will be in four years.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

13 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


Westgate, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

100 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 57% Boys 43%

Ethnic composition

Southeast Asian
Cook Islands Māori
other European


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 2018

Date of this report

13 March 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports

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.