Little Giggles In-Home Childcare - 20/03/2017

1 Evaluation of Little Giggles In-Home Childcare

How well placed is Little Giggles In-Home 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.


Little Giggles In-Home Childcare has been in operation since 2014. The services offices are located in Dannemora in East Auckland, and its educators are widely spread throughout Auckland's south and eastern suburbs. This is ERO's first review of the service.

The service provider has a background in marketing and management, which is complemented by the manager's professional qualifications and experience in early childhood education. Together, they have made good use of Ministry of Education resources and support personnel to establish appropriate systems and procedures for managing the service.

The service network which is licensed for 80 children, currently has 18 educators and 38 enrolled children. It includes children and educators with culturally diverse backgrounds, of predominantly Pacific and Fijian Indian descent. Children are cared for in groups of four or less in the homes of appropriately selected educators.

Children are mostly in the two to three year old age group, with a few under one year and a group of four year olds who are due to start school in 2017. Many of the educators speak the first language and observe cultural practices of the children they educate and care for. They provide flexible all day and sessional services, of between four to six hours each day to suit the needs of families.

The network has recently appointed a new programme coordinator who works closely with the service manager and the coordinator of a newly established second network. The coordinator's role is to monitor the quality of children's learning and wellbeing through a schedule of planned and informal visits to the educators' homes.

The coordinators and the service manager are all registered teachers with backgrounds in large early childhood education centres. They have a shared commitment to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and to promoting bicultural practices. 

The Review Findings

Positive learning outcomes are promoted by the service. Children are thoughtfully placed, where possible, with educators who speak the same languages and respect the child's culture and family values. Small numbers of children, in homely environments, enable children to form trusting relationships and develop a sense of belonging. Through regular parent surveys, the service managers are assured that their families are satisfied with the placements, and with the process for transition into the home-based learning programme.

The service manager and programme coordinator check homes thoroughly before placing children. All educators must complete health and safety induction and have a current first aid certificate. Facilities for infants and toddlers are very carefully selected to ensure they are placed in a calm and nurturing environment. Information from parents show they appreciate the variety of activities provided in homes and the opportunities for children to learn about cultural celebrations. Parents also commented positively on the friendly relationships they have with the owner, coordinator and educators.

The service manager and programme coordinator promote the philosophy of learning through play. They encourage educators to provide a variety of creative learning contexts, including books, games, puzzles, water, painting, and other home-based activities. They encourage educators to include literacy and numeracy activities in children's play and to make use of natural resources. They take a selection of resources when they visit educators' homes to model learning opportunities for children of different ages. Regular playgroups and community excursions foster children's social development and independence.

The manager's and coordinator's curriculum documentation and management records show a good level of leadership and professional practice. Evaluation processes are used to measure the quality of services and improved outcomes for children and families. Appropriate systems, including induction, appraisal and professional development are helping the coordinator and educators to develop a shared understanding of how children communicate and the importance of promoting oral language development.

The service owner, manager and coordinator are committed to self review and improvement. They work well together and have a plan for systematic and spontaneous internal evaluation. Clear philosophy, values and beliefs are embedded across service operations. A comprehensive framework of policies and procedures guides operational requirements. A strategic plan with relevant short term goals informs priorities for development. The owner has developed a good professional network as a member of the Home-Based Early Childhood Association and accesses continuing guidance and support from Ministry of Education advisers.

After two years of operation the owner and service manager are confident to expand this network, and establish a second network.

Key Next Steps

The manager and coordinator agree that the next stage of development could include:

  • increasing the involvement of parents, and ensuring that curriculum documentation shows parents' contributions to their child's learning
  • documenting improvements in educator practice that result from the coordinator's mentoring and guidance
  • using children's strengths, interests and dispositions more explicitly as a basis for planning and recording learning
  • strengthening the leadership role of the programme coordinators in order to sustain good practice.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Little Giggles In-Home Childcare 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 Little Giggles In-Home Childcare will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

20 March 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 


Dannemora, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Institution type

Homebased Network

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

60 children, including up to 60 aged under 2

Service roll


Standard or Quality Funded


Gender composition

Boys 25 Girls 13

Ethnic composition




other Pacific





Number of qualified coordinators in the network


Required ratios of staff educators to children

Under 2


Over 2


Review team on site

November 2016

Date of this report

20 March 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


No previous ERO reports


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.