Kuddles In-Home Childcare & Education - 26/04/2017

1 Evaluation of Kuddles In-Home Childcare & Education

How well placed is Kuddles In-Home Childcare & Education to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

The service requires further development to fully realise its philosophy of providing learning based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

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


Kuddles In-Home Childcare & Education service is licensed to provide early childhood education and care for up to 80 children from infancy to school age. The philosophy of the service aims to provide ‘a high level of early childhood care and education for children’. The service is open to cultural diversity and enrolled children come from a range of cultural backgrounds.

Educators in this service work in homes providing education and care for up to four children at any one time. They are supported by two coordinators in this network who are qualified early childhood teachers. The coordinators regularly visit educators and support them to plan educational programmes for children.

Children and educators participate in a weekly playgroup with opportunities to learn in large group situations. They are also involved in frequent community excursions. In addition to the learning resources provided by coordinators, educators can also access extra resources from the service office located in Blockhouse Bay.

The service was established in 2008 and the director has developed management and administration systems that align with the service's philosophy, vision and mission. The director is responsible for the overall governance of the service and has responded to the previous ERO review.

This review was part of a cluster of nine home-based network reviews in the Kuddles Limited organisation.

The Review Findings

Documentation shows that children are respected and provided with a variety of home-based experiences with links to aspects of children's culture and home languages. Systems have been established to provide for children's learning and to monitor coordinator visits to educators.

The director has worked with coordinators to build educators' capability. Educators are exploring meaningful and engaging ways to integrate a bicultural programme and should continue this focus. Coordinators' records of children's learning and development require improvement to show how adults are responding to children's interests, strengths and dispositions for learning.

Parents are well informed through regular newsletters and the service seeks parents' aspirations for their children's education. Educators should use this information more effectively to extend children's learning.

The director and coordinators encourage educators to participate in professional learning. The performance of the director, coordinators and educators is regularly appraised. Appraisal should now show how educators are being supported to implement a responsive programme for children and to develop good teaching practices.

A clear strategic plan and philosophy have been documented. Progress against these goals should be regularly evaluated using indicators of good practice. The director and all coordinators are continuing to refine the service's policy framework to ensure legal requirements are met.

Key Next Steps

The director should access external support to improve curriculum, governance, health and safety practices and systems. Priorities for improvement include:

  • implementing an internal evaluation process using indicators of effective practice, including evaluating the progress and outcomes of the strategic and annual plans and the philosophy

  • ensuring ongoing policy review provides for a complete and compliant policy framework.

Priorities to improve curriculum leadership include:

  • implementing an effective process to plan, assess and evaluate children's learning and development that is responsively based on Te Whāriki

  • ensuring educators provide resources that challenge children's learning through play, creativity and imagination

  • improving documented systems to support effective practice in coordinator's coaching roles, playgroup planning, parent contact and educator visit records.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kuddles In-Home Childcare & Education 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

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to the curriculum and internal evaluation. To meet requirements the service needs to improve:

  • the practices of educators and coordinators so that they demonstrate an understanding of children's learning and development and knowledge of relevant theories and practice in early childhood education

  • the service curriculum so that it acknowledges and reflects Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the unique place of Māori as tangata whenua and provides opportunities for children to develop their knowledge and understanding of the New Zealand's bicultural heritage

  • the implementation of ongoing internal evaluation in order to help the service maintain and improve the quality of its education and care.

Licensing Criteria for Home-based Education and Care Services 2008, C4, C5, GMA5.

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service consult with the Ministry of Education and plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Kuddles In-Home Childcare & Education will be within two years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

26 April 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 


Blockhouse Bay, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Institution type

Homebased Network

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

80 children, including up to 80 aged under 2

Service roll


Standard or Quality Funded


Gender composition

Girls 29 Boys 27

Ethnic composition



Fijian Indian

Middle Eastern







Number of qualified coordinators in the network


Required ratios of educators to children

Under 2


Over 2


Review team on site

January 2017

Date of this report

26 April 2017

Most recent ERO report(s) 

Education Review

October 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 the draft methodology for ERO reviews in Home-based Education and Care Services: July 2008

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.