Kids at Home Northland 3 - 12/02/2014

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

BJ’s Homebased Childcare Services Ltd provides a home-based childcare and education service for parents/whānau in Whangarei, Kerikeri, Paihia, Moerewa, Kaikohe and Dargaville. The service was established in 2004, and operates in the homes of educators for children from birth to six years of age. The organisational base for the service, which now has three networks, is in Whangarei and Northland. Management provides an effective operational handbook and framework of systems, policies and quality guidelines for educators, staff and families using the service. Health, safety and compliance checks are systematic and regular. This is the first review for this network.

Educators benefit from regular visits from coordinators who provide support and advice about teaching and learning. Coordinators visit all children in care each month and provide useful guidance and support for educators. They also provide a brief report for parents that includes photographs about the child’s participation. ERO visited a number of homes as part of this review, reading documentation by educators and visiting teachers, and interviewing personnel.

Children benefit from the provision of learning and teaching experiences in educators’ homes. Educators know children well and take responsibility for providing interesting resources and programmes to support children’s interests and learning. Several of the homes visited as part of this review were very well equipped with quality resources to extend and support individual children’s learning. BJ’s supplements educators’ provisions with access to a comprehensive toy library and equipment store. Parents contacted as part of this review were more than satisfied with the quality of education and care provided for their children.

Interactions between educators and children are warm and positive. Children are trusting and relaxed with educators, showing a strong sense of belonging and ownership of playing spaces in educators homes. They are eager to share their skills and show a sense of friendship and caring for other children in care. The majority of educators provide very good emotional and physical care of children and improving levels of education. Coordinators work diligently to raise the standards of education and safety for children. They should continue to extend their reports to educators to further strengthen assessment and planning processes.

The 2008 ERO report on the two networks in operation at that time noted good quality practices and suggested that areas of improvement should include:

  • strengthening planning and assessment records
  • promoting good practice in early literacy and developing programme quality
  • improving record-keeping and organisation of information
  • improving the planning for playgroups.

Good progress with the areas for improvement has impacted positively on provision for children in this new network.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO will review the service again within three years.

2 The Focus of the Review

All ERO education reviews in early childhood focus on the quality of education. For ERO this includes the quality of:

  • the programme provided for children
  • the learning environment
  • the interactions between children and adults.

The Quality of Education

Areas of good performance

Management has placed a strong focus on improving those areas identified in the 2008 ERO report. Coordinators continue to work with educators on improving assessment and planning processes. There is a focus in most educators’ programmes on promoting early literacy through reading to children, conversations and opportunities to draw and write. Programmes observed during this review indicate clearer understanding by educators of their role in extending children’s learning.

Good relationships exist throughout the service. Managers place high importance on developing and maintaining relationships between the coordinators, educators, parents/whānau and the management team. Educators speak highly of the support they receive from BJ’s. Parents/whānau express their satisfaction and trust in the service.

Children receive high quality care and generally good levels of education. Educators bring a variety of experiences and strengths to their work with children. Most educators’ home environments are attractive and interesting for children. Some educators have made outstanding efforts in their homes to thoughtfully provide support for children’s interests and ongoing development. Children appear trusting and happy in the care of educators.

Educators and children regularly attend child-focused outings and experiences outside homes. These outings increase children’s learning, and support their social skills in a variety of settings. BJ’s provides playgroups for educators and children to attend. Those educators who live close enough to playgroups enjoy the collegiality of these meetings with other educators and appreciate their value for the children in their care. Coordinators have improved the quality of planning for playgroups to include opportunities to provide stronger support for educator learning.

Coordinators support educators to observe children’s play and plan for their interests. Educators show varying levels of competence with identifying and writing about children’s learning. Coordinators’ verbal support is helping educators to strengthen and evaluate their work with children. A stronger focus on review has started but still needs further development.

BJ’s places a strong focus on providing support for children to learn te reo me ngā tikanga Māori while they are in care. Most educators make a concerted effort to include te reo Māori in their programmes and to teach children about expectations of tikanga.

Coordinators provide very positive feedback to educators about their work. They also provide regular information for parents/whānau about their children’s development. Coordinators should now increase the quality of the written information they provide to support educators’ understanding about the expectations of high quality education held by BJ’s.

Management of the service is effective and managers are competent. Recent relicensing enabled the managers to involve educators and coordinators in preparing required documentation to meet the expected Ministry of Educations standards. The quality of forms and systems for a variety of reporting is now high. The managers support all educators to join the New Zealand Home-Based Early Childhood Education Association as a support for their work.

Areas for development and review

ERO and BJ’s managers identified the need to strengthen and place a closer focus on:

  • self review, as a means of making judgements about the quality of the service and the provision of support for educators
  • support for educators to understand the importance of documenting and following systems for health and safety provisions
  • the provision of professional development across the service
  • continuing to embed te reo me ngā tikanga Māori in educators’ programmes.

3 Management Assurance on Compliance Areas


Before the review, the management and staff of BJ's Homebased Childcare Services 3 completed an ERO Home-Based Education and Care Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • curriculum standard
  • premises and facilities standard
  • health and safety practices standard
  • governance management and administration standard.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on outcomes for children:

  • emotional safety (including behaviour management, prevention of bullying and abuse)
  • physical safety (including behaviour management, sleeping and supervision practices; accidents and medication; hygiene and routines; travel and excursion policies and procedures)
  • staff qualifications and organisation
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

4 Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO will review the service again within three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

12 February 2014

About the Service


Whau Valley, Whangarei

Ministry of Education profile number


Service type

Homebased Network

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 9 Girls 8

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā

Latin American




Review team on site

December 2013

Date of this report

12 February 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)