Nurtured at Home Waikato 1 - 17/04/2018

1 Evaluation of Nurtured at Home Waikato 1

How well placed is Nurtured at Home Waikato 1 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.


Nurtured at Home is a privately owned company providing home-based care for children in wider Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Hawkes Bay and Gisborne. The Waikato service includes four networks across the region. Nurtured at Home Waikato 1, is a standard-funded network with untrained educators. Each educator cares for up to four pre-school aged children at any one time in the educator's home.

The owner is a qualified and experienced early childhood teacher. She provides governance and leadership support for the network. The leadership structure includes a service manager and a team providing administrative, financial, training and development and quality assurance support to the networks.

The network currently employs three fully registered teachers. A manager provides leadership and oversight for day-to-day operations. An administrator and a liaison person provide further support for teachers, educators and families. Each visiting teacher takes responsibility to support up to 22 educators and the children in their care.

This network caters for a culturally diverse community. The majority of children are of Chinese and African descent and there are nine Māori children. The network is licensed for 80 children including 40 up to the age of two years. Currently there are 79 children enrolled.

The service philosophy aims to provide high-quality early childhood learning in safe, nurturing and fun home environments. There are five guiding principles that include fostering a love of learning, partnerships that enable children to reach their full potential, nurturing, safe places to work, being a leader of best practice, recognising and valuing the importance of the youngest children in society.

This is the first review for this network.

The Review Findings

Children observed by ERO at the playgroups are confident and settled. Visiting teachers and educators know children well and warmly welcome them to the playgroup sessions. Children of mixed ages make choices and engage in independent or small group play. They have access to a small range of materials and equipment to support their early literacy and mathematics learning.

Children up to two years benefit from the calm and unhurried practice of familiar and trusted educators. These interactions promote their wellbeing and belonging. Older children are developing their social skills. They have opportunities to build leadership and take responsibility as they interact with younger children in family-like settings. Adults listen carefully to children's ideas and affirm their interests and strengths.

The programme responds to children's diverse, individual cultures, recognises their strengths and builds on their interests. Children also participate in regular outings and trips organised by the service. Aspects of children's learning is documented in individual portfolios. Families with access to digital technology are able to share the learning and progress of their children through this media. A next step for the service is to strengthen the intentional planning, assessment and documentation of children's learning. Teachers need to ensure planning adds complexity and interest to meet the needs of all children's learning. They need to enhance the learning partnership with families in relation to their child's programme.

Visiting teachers maintain regular records of visits, health and safety checks and the emerging interests of individual children. These records show that educators provide safe, positive and nurturing environments for children's care and learning. There is an appropriate variety of resources and materials provided to support children's learning in homes.

Educators are offered regular opportunities to participate in training workshops to build their knowledge and understanding of good practice and care for children. Educators recently participated in workshops to build their understanding of the revised Te Whariki, the New Zealand curriculum for early childhood. Leaders and teachers recognise the need to make the expectations for the documentation of learning aligned to curriculum areas more specific.

Māori children and their families experience respectful and responsive care. Visiting teachers provide information and workshops to build educator understanding of Māori values and perspectives. One visiting teacher is of Māori descent and brings valuable knowledge and skills to her role. The service recognises the need to continue to develop and implement a local, bicultural curriculum and embed practices that reflect the cultural values of Māori whānau and promote success for Māori children.

The service is responsive to the language, culture and identity of children particularly from Asian and African cultures. Children are placed, where possible, in homes with educators who speak their languages. Families benefit from educators who have an understanding of their cultural values and heritage. The service employs a qualified African and a Chinese interpreter with early childhood experience. They attend home visits and playgroups alongside visiting teachers. This approach is contributing to clear and open lines of communication for children and families.

Leadership models reflective practice, and places a high priority on establishing meaningful, respectful relationships throughout the network. They take additional responsibilities for overseeing self-review practices for the organisation nationally. Leadership is collaborative and collegial. They have established a useful annual in-house conference that provides professional learning for visiting teachers. The service manager works collaboratively to support a collegial team of teachers. She has established a positive partnership with the service owner and leaders.

The service benefits from the governance support provided by the owner and leaders. Leadership and management roles and responsibilities are clearly defined and adapted to meet the needs of the service. Comprehensive policies, procedures guide the services day-to-day operations and enable them to meet regulatory requirements. A particular strength is the commitment of the leaders to reduce barriers to participation and promote equitable opportunities for all families to access home-based care.

Key Next Steps

Leaders agree the need to continue to build the effectiveness of self review. This should include developing shared and agreed criteria of best practice to guide the ongoing development of the service and better enable it to meet the intent of the mission statement and guiding principles.

Consideration should be given to:

  • a review of the overarching vision and philosophy to better reflect the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa

  • strengthening teacher planning to further respond to and extend children’s learning and development

  • further enriching the learning partnership amongst educators, families and visiting teachers.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Nurtured at Home Waikato 1 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 Nurtured at Home Waikato 1 will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Waikato

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

17 April 2018

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



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 40 aged under 2

Service roll


Standard or Quality Funded


Gender composition

Boys 42

Girls 37

Ethnic composition



Number of qualified coordinators in the network


Required ratios of staff educators to children

Under 2


Over 2


Review team on site

February 2018

Date of this report

17 April 2018

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.