Kids HQ St Johns - 27/02/2019

1 Evaluation of Kids HQ St Johns

How well placed is Kids HQ St Johns to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Kids HQ St Johns is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


Kids HQ St Johns, also known as St Johns Early Childcare, is licensed to offer education and care for 26 children, including up to 16 aged under two years. Children are catered for in two rooms but spend the majority of their time in mixed-age play together.

The Parnell Community Trust purchased the licence during 2016 and renamed the centre. It provides governance and management support for its three Parnell services. Children's lunches for the three centres are provided from the Parnell kitchen.

The centre's philosophy has an emphasis on developing and maintaining positive relationships and partnerships with families. It refers to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, with a focus on the values of respect and empowerment through children having time to explore, investigate and discover the world.

The majority of staff are new. The head teacher has recently joined a team of mainly qualified or in-training teachers. They are supported professionally with administration and programme development by the centre manager, who also supports the Trust's two other centres. Teachers have participated in whole-centre professional learning and development based on the Healthy Heart programme.

This is the centre's first ERO report under the new owners.

The Review Findings

Children are happy and engaged in play. They are respected and cared for sensitively within the inclusive environment. Teachers know the children and their families well and together build positive and supportive relationships. They value children's home languages and backgrounds.

The head teacher successfully encourages open communication between staff and families. Parents who spoke to ERO appreciate the many opportunities they have to be involved in their children's learning and the approachability of staff.

The programme is child-led. Children choose their play and request assistance from teachers or independently access resources to extend their interest. Teachers could review the quality, variety and usefulness of the many resources offered in relation to children's interests, and consider creating and resourcing discrete learning areas. Children have access to a large, well-resourced outdoor space and a covered veranda. The outdoor area encourages physical development. Mixed-age play offers many opportunities for children to participate in tuakana/teina relationships.

Children's learning is individually planned for, and focuses on their learning dispositions and developing skills. Teachers assess and analyse children's learning and share outcomes with parents and children in portfolios of learning stories. The progress that children under two years make is very evident in these stories. Teachers should consider ways to make older children's learning progress over time more evident in their learning stories and to include children and parents in planning decisions.

At present teachers participate in professional learning and development (PLD) offered by the Trust. The centre manager, along with the head teacher, oversees teachers' practice and supports them individually with ongoing improvement. The appraisal system should be fully implemented and aligned to PLD decisions. Teachers would benefit from a deeper understanding of the principles and strands of the 2017 revision of Te Whāriki.

The Trust provides strategic direction for the three centres. It could be useful for Kids HQ St Johns to make the Trust's objectives more relevant for each centre, and create long-term and yearly action plans for the centre to achieve its goals. These plans could also help to identify useful centre-wide PLD for teachers. Targeted PLD for the new head teacher would help to enhance her leadership role.

Teachers are increasingly understanding, and developing useful processes to undertake, internal evaluation for ongoing improvement in centre operations. There are recent good examples of spontaneous, and evidence of planned, internal evaluation. The evaluation process would be enhanced by identifying indicators of good practice, gathering multiple perspectives and reviewing the impact of any changes in relation to outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

The Trust's chief executive officer and the centre manager agree that the key next steps include:

  • strengthening internal evaluation in relation to outcomes for children

  • continuing to build teacher capability with implementing the principles and strands of Te Whāriki and with ensuring that there is sufficient challenge in the programme

  • strengthening strategic planning in the centre.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kids HQ St Johns 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, the early childhood service management should ensure that:

  • all policies are signed and dated

  • barked areas meet requirements for safe fall

  • children are unable to climb the back fence

  • the cot for transporting infants in case of an evacuation is safely located

  • regular evacuation, earthquake and lockdown drills are undertaken

  • risk and analysis management plans are strengthened.

ERO identified an area of non-compliance. To address this, the service provider must ensure that:

  • the child protection policy is updated, and includes opportunities for direct reporting to the Ministry of Education, in line with the requirements of the Vulnerable Children's Act 2014.

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA7A.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

27 February 2019

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

Girls 8 Boys 8

Ethnic composition

other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2019

Date of this report

27 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

When previously operating as Bright Minds Childcare:

Education Review
Supplementary Review Supplementary Review

September 2015
June 2013
June 2012

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.