Kids Barn Childcare Centre - 25/02/2015

1 Evaluation of Kids Barn Childcare Centre

How well placed is Kids Barn Childcare Centre 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 Barn Childcare Centre is located close to the central business area in Hawera. It is an owner-operated private service. The centre was fully licensed by the Ministry of Education in May 2013. The service can cater for 62 children, including 12 up to the age of two years, at any one time.

The centre operates on nearly two acres of land. There are two main indoor learning areas, one for children over two years of age, with discreet indoor and outdoor spaces for the service's youngest children. Each of these areas has a specific teaching team. A child-centred approach, where children experience real life with nature, is enhanced through their access to extensive gardens, open space and animals to tend.

There are 16 educators employed. Six of these are qualified and registered early childhood teachers. One is in the third year of training for an early childhood qualification recognised by the New Zealand Teachers Council. The remainder are made up of educators with primary teaching qualifications, those in training and unqualified. Head teachers in each age area are responsible for leading teaching and curriculum development and review.

The service philosophy highlights the importance of relationships with whānau and community.

The Review Findings

Children play and learn in an attractive, spacious environment. A positive tone and inclusive practice prevail. The two distinct learning areas allow children in each, to play and learn alongside one another in smaller groups. The youngest learners’ holistic development is enhanced through having their own space and a dedicated teaching team who know their preferences well. Adults are respectful and affirming with children. Nurturing interactions support children’s wellbeing and sense of belonging, and provide a positive platform for their active exploration.

Older children access, daily, another indoor learning space and the wide open spaces of the paddocks, orchard and gardens as part of the curriculum. This programme, Discovery, allows for lively physical activity, extends learning through inquiry and promotes children’s literacy and mathematical skills development. Teachers recognise real benefits as a result of the Discovery Programme and continue to consider the impact of this initiative through ongoing review.

The service philosophy reflects the values of teaching staff and is endorsed by the centre’s community. Relationships with families and whānau, a holistic approach to teaching and learning, and children having real life experiences with nature are integral parts of curriculum review and design. The principles and strands of Te Whāriki underpin programme planning.

Adults foster children’s emotional and social competence. Responsive adults provide children with a stimulating range of experiences and resources. Children have plentiful opportunities to be expressive and creative.

Teachers are focused on providing all children with early literacy and mathematics experiences. Wall displays champion children as experts in mathematics within a varied range of experiences. Teachers work well alongside children, modelling, using rich language and encouraging sustained attention to, and perseverance with, the goals children set for themselves.

Transitions into the centre, between age groups and to school are well considered. These are determined by the child's readiness, and in consultation with families and whānau.

Care routines and children’s meals and snacks are a times of pleasant social interactions. The service employs a nutritionist who provides healthy foods. Children with particular dietary needs are well catered for.

Sustainable practices are a developing aspect of the programme. Much of the produce used for the children’s meals is grown on site. Children tend to gardens, harvest fruits and vegetables, collect eggs and learn about the importance of being healthy and active.

Children’s progress is recorded in attractive individual portfolios through learning story assessments. These reflect Kei Tua o te Pae, the early childhood exemplars. Children’s ongoing learning and progress are evident.

Leaders and teachers are highly reflective. They continue to review assessment, planning and evaluation to ascertain how responsive the curriculum is to individual children’s interests, developing skills and learning dispositions. ERO's evaluation affirms this practice and suggests reviews be more deliberate in considering how well literacy and mathematics teaching supports children’s learning.

Key Next Steps

Ongoing self review of the centre philosophy and aspects of teaching has had positive outcomes for children. It is now timely to review other priority areas of the curriculum. Leaders should strategically plan for and further develop self review to determine the successful practices that:

  • uphold Māori and Pacific learners’ culture, language and identity more effectively through the curriculum and teaching practice
  • incorporate the aspirations for children outlined in Ka Hikitia, Accelerating Success 2013  2017, and the aspirations of whānau, hapū and iwi and of the Māori learners attending.

Further development of performance management practices is required. Appraisal for all staff is in the very early stages of use. Leaders should ensure provisionally registered teachers are provided with appropriate programmes of advice and guidance that promote their ongoing learning and meet the requirements of the New Zealand Teachers Council. As part of this development leaders should consider Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners and how these might be incorporated into performance management practices.

Self-review findings should be used to inform relevant changes to the centre’s curriculum expectations and include clear indicators and outcomes for teaching practice to measure success.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kids Barn Childcare Centre 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 Kids Barn Childcare Centre will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

25 February 2015

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

62 children, including 12 aged up to 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 41, Girls 25

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā

Cook Island Māori




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

December 2014

Date of this report

25 February 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

This is the first ERO report for this service


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.