Kids at Home Northland 3 - 24/05/2017

1 Evaluation of Kids at Home Northland 3

How well placed is Kids at Home Northland 3 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 Northland 3 is a home-based early childhood service based in Whangarei. It is one of two BestStart Educare networks acquired from BJ's Homebased Childcare Service Ltd. This is the service's first ERO review under the new owners.

Kids at Home Northland 3 is a standard funded network. There are currently 24 children enrolled.

The visiting teacher oversees programmes provided for children in the educators' homes. She is supported by the BestStart Northland area manager.

The new owners have made some good progress in the areas for development identified by ERO in its 2014 report.

This review was part of a cluster of two home-based network reviews in the BestStart Educare Limited organisation.

The Review Findings

Children are involved in a range of activities in their educators' homes and on Kids at Home excursions. They have opportunities to play with other children and adults in a weekly playgroup that is at a local school hall. The visiting teacher (VT) and educators contribute to playgroup planning and activities.

The managers and VT foster strong relationships with families and educators through regular visits and various forms of open communication. The VT writes reports about monthly visits in educators' homes. Managers and the VT agree that these reports could be strengthened to record coaching discussions and next steps to guide future conversations with educators.

Educators know the children well. They record children's development and learning stories in their personal portfolios, which are available for whānau to read and respond to online. Educators’ learning stories express how children are learning through play. It is timely now for the VT to model ways of writing learning stories that reflect children’s progress and continuity of learning over time and more clearly include children's and parents' contributions.

The managers and VT work well together and are becoming more confident in using internal evaluation. They are developing internal evaluation systems to further support, monitor and inform their practices.

The managers and VT use their strategic plan to help educators provide quality programmes for children. They have also started to promote the organisation's vision and associated goals, including bicultural approaches. The managers provide ongoing support for Kids at Home staff and educators to promote professional learning and build capability.

Key Next Steps

Managers and the visiting teacher recognise that to improve practice they should continue to support educators to:

  • develop and implement effective assessment, planning and evaluation

  • promote children's cultural identity in their learning programmes

  • encourage the use of te reo Māori in a range of learning contexts.

Managers agree they should continue to provide ongoing mentoring for visiting teachers.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kids at Home Northland 3 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 Northland 3 will be in three years.

Steffan Brough
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

24 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

55 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll


Standard or Quality Funded


Gender composition

Boys 14 Girls 10

Ethnic composition



Number of qualified coordinators in the network


Required ratios of staff educators to children

Under 2


Over 2


Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

24 May 2017

Most recent ERO report(s) 

Education Review

February 2014

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.