Kids HQ St Johns - 11/09/2015

1 Evaluation of Bright Minds Childcare

How well placed is Bright Minds Childcare 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.


Bright Minds Childcare is a privately owned service that provides education and care for up to 26 children with up to 16 under two years of age. Children attending the centre come from diverse cultures and several speak languages other than English. Some of the staff reflect the diverse backgrounds of children and families, and can communicate with them in their home languages.

Since the 2013 ERO review staffing at the centre has remained stable and this has helped to establish positive relationships between centre staff and families. The centre’s philosophy promotes learning in a caring and family-like environment. The centre caters for children in a mixed age setting. Managers and staff value working with parents to promote their children’s learning and development. They have a good knowledge of families and the local community.

The 2013 ERO report noted an increased emphasis on child-focused programmes and an improvement in teachers’ planning for children’s learning. The report recommended that further work was needed to extend children’s ongoing learning, teachers’ appraisals and self review. Centre managers and staff have responded positively to these recommendations and have worked with external advisers to develop good quality teaching practices.

The Review Findings

The centre’s philosophy is very evident in teaching practice and children’s play. There is a calm, settled tone in the centre and children enjoy inclusive relationships with adults and each other. Children benefit from staff who care about their wellbeing and encourage them to become socially confident. Children with special education needs are nurtured by responsive relationships with adults. Teachers provide individualised care for infants and toddlers and build trusting relationships with them.

Teachers foster children’s language, culture and identity in the centre. Children hear multiple languages and are accepting of and learn about other cultures. Teachers continue to develop bicultural aspects in the curriculum to support children to develop an awareness of Aotearoa New Zealand's bicultural heritage.

Teachers plan and provide a curriculum programme that has been increasingly responsive to children’s interests and strengths. Children experience opportunities for long periods of uninterrupted play. They regularly visit the local library where they enjoy books and can learn about their interests and other cultures. Children’s readiness for school is supported through their development of self management skills and meaningful integration of literacy and mathematics knowledge in the context of their play.

Teachers have responded well to professional learning to guide their programme planning and evaluation. Planning is now well documented and evaluated and is displayed for children and parents. Assessment portfolios include observations of children’s participation and learning in their preferred activities and interests.

The licensee and manager have worked collaboratively with staff to review the centre’s philosophy and build a shared understanding about expectations for their professional practice. They are growing staff leadership capacity by delegating responsibilities in curriculum and self review. Teachers’ appraisals are appropriately linked to the Practising Teacher Criteria.

Planned and spontaneous self review is positively influencing teaching practices and children’s learning. Teachers have benefitted from professional learning, with external advisers, focused on self review. They are also learning together as they reflect on the effectiveness of their programmes and practices.

Key Next Steps

Centre managers have identified relevant priorities for development that include:

  • further involving children, parents and families in programme planning
  • continuing to develop self review processes, and strengthen teachers’ reflection on the impact of their practices on children's engagement and learning
  • developing teachers’ knowledge of different languages to enhance communication and relationships with children and their families.

Centre managers acknowledge that next steps could also include:

  • developing and aligning longer term planning with annual plans to consolidate the good progress made in teaching practices
  • further including children’s home languages and parent perspectives in children's portfolios
  • updating the teacher appraisal policy to reflect current centre practice.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Bright Minds Childcare 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.

To improve current practice managers should attend to the following health and safety matters in the outdoor environment:

  • aerating and topping up barked areas for better safe-fall protection
  • repairing the subsiding back fence.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Bright Minds Childcare will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

11 September 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


St Johns, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

26 children, including up to 16 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 15

Girls 8

Ethnic composition





Sri Lankan












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

August 2015

Date of this report

11 September 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Supplementary Review

June 2013


Supplementary Review

June 2012


Supplementary Review

March 2011

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.