Kids at Home Hamilton 4 - 13/06/2017

1 Evaluation of Kids at Home Hamilton 4

How well placed is Kids at Home Hamilton 4 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.


Kids at Home Hamilton 4 (previously Kids at Home Limited-Pukeko) is part of BestStart. The company is owned by the Wright Family Foundation, a charitable trust. This is a quality home-based education and care network. Educators are located in Hamilton, Te Awamutu, Waikeria and Raglan. There are currently 20 educators working in the network, and 66 children are enrolled.

Since 2015, Kids at Home has amalgamated three different home-based services. This presented some challenges for the organisation resulting in a change in management structure and key personnel in January 2017.

One experienced visiting teacher works as part of a visiting teacher team and oversees the programme provided for each child in educator's homes and weekly playgroup and music sessions. She regularly visits children and their educators and is supported by the network manager and national manager. This is the first ERO review of this network as Kids at Home Hamilton.

The Review Findings

The new Kids at Home management team effectively promotes positive learning outcomes for all children. Recent restructuring has redefined and clarified roles and responsibilities. This has strengthened systems, practices and accountability. Internal evaluation is informing governance and management priorities, and is focused on promoting and ensuring quality outcomes for children, families and staff.

Kids at Home management, along with the visiting teacher have developed a culture based on relational trust, shared expectations and reflective practice. The visiting teacher, supported by management, work collaboratively. They share knowledge and expertise, and engage in self review to enhance their own and educator's practice. Educators are well supported by the service to gain qualifications and to engage in ongoing, carefully planned professional learning and development.

Within this network the visiting teacher has established a systematic approach to promoting quality education and care in homes. She sets and shares high expectations and has developed many useful resources for educators. This effective leadership promotes children's learning and wellbeing.

Educators develop positive, trusting and respectful relationships with children and families. They seek, value and respond to parents aspirations for their children. Educators are carefully selected to ensure continuity of routines for each child and family priorities are supported. They encourage and respect children's talk and communication. Through these responsive approaches, children's wellbeing and sense of belonging is fostered.

The 'home-based' curriculum is effectively supporting children to engage in meaningful play and to follow their interests. The visiting teacher demonstrates a high level of curriculum knowledge and models good practice for educators. Specifically designed assessment and planning frameworks support educators to notice, recognise and respond to children's learning. Individual assessment profiles provide a wide range of information about children's interests and learning. The newly introduced digital assessment platform is supporting strong links between children's home experiences, the home-based care setting and wider experiences. Assessment records provide an important reflection of children's development and learning journey.

Children engage in an extensive range of learning opportunities in the wider community. Well-planned, teacher-led playgroups, music and gymnastics sessions enable children to play, interact and develop social skills and friendships beyond the home-based setting. In addition, educators plan regular experiences for children within the community that support and extend their interests and learning.

Key Next Steps

ERO and Kids at Home management agree that important next steps are to:

  • review the current philosophy in collaboration with visiting teachers and educators to ensure it reflects shared objectives and aspirations, culturally responsive practices and commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi
  • strengthen the service's strategic plan by including a specific education plan
  • fully implement the new appraisal system for the visiting teacher
  • continue to embed and build on positive changes to systems, practices and the culture of the organisation to sustain positive improvements.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kids at Home Hamilton 4 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 Kids at Home Hamilton 4 will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Waikato/Bay of Plenty

13 June 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

50 children, including up to 50 aged under 2

Service roll


Standard or Quality Funded


Gender composition

Girls 37 Boys 29

Ethnic composition




Other European









Number of qualified coordinators in the network


Required ratios of staff educators to children

Under 2


Over 2


Review team on site

April 2017

Date of this report

13 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Supplementary Review

February 2012

Education Review

November 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 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.