Pohutukawa 1 - Quality - 04/05/2020

1 Evaluation of Pohutukawa 1 - Quality

How well placed is Pohutukawa 1 - Quality to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Pohutukawa 1 - Quality is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Pohutukawa 1 - Quality is one of two home-based education and care networks in Gisborne owned and operated by NMN Ltd. The network is licensed to provide education and care for 80 children, including 40 aged up to two years. Of the 29 children enrolled, 14 are Māori.

The owner/director has oversight of the management of the two Pohutukawa home-based networks. Three trained and registered teachers (coordinators) support in-home educators to provide suitable care and learning programmes for children.

The Pohutukawa philosophy emphasises the importance of providing 'a home away from home for children, characterised by warmth, trust and aroha'. Forming connections with children, whānau educators, coordinators and the wider community are seen as central to learning.

The May 2018 ERO report identified a number of areas of non-compliance with the Licensing Criteria for Home-Based Education and Care Services and Early Childhood Education Curriculum Framework 2008. The service has worked with the Ministry of Education to meet all legislative requirements.

Significant progress has been made to develop suitable systems and processes to provide assurance at management and governance levels, so that the service is meeting legislative requirements, particularly those related to health and safety.

The Review Findings

Children’s sense of belonging is well promoted in the service. Strong, trusting relationships with parents, whānau, educators and leaders are evident throughout the organisation. Parents and educators spoken with during the review feel well supported and they contributed to the recently reviewed philosophy.

Coordinators take a considered approach to enable parent choice of educator who is responsive to the needs and aspirations for their children. Young learners form secure attachments with an educator who know them and their whānau well.

Parents, educators and children network with each other through regular outings within the community. Children confidently participate in group activities and with resources that extend their interests. Attentive educators engage with the children in their care and work with other educators and parents to support children's needs during these excursions.

Infants and toddlers have space to participate in the programme at their own pace. Educators communicate with parents on a daily basis to support continuity of routines and rhythms between the home and service.

Ongoing access to external professional development has increased leaders', teachers' and educators' knowledge and understanding of te ao Māori and use of te reo Māori. The service has identified that further deepening adults' understanding of Māori concepts and how this can be meaningfully integrated within the home-based setting continues to be a next step.

Leaders continue to grow their understanding and use of strategies to promote educational success for Māori children. Learning-focused partnerships with whānau Māori should support further development of culturally responsive practices.

Children's learning journals record their participation and engagement in the programme. Coordinators and educators work collaboratively to provide resources and ideas to support children’s emerging interests and development. The service seeks advice and guidance from external agencies to support children and whānau as needed.

Educators are well supported through regular visits and communication with coordinators. This contact provides a balance between ensuring expectations and compliance requirements are met and ongoing guidance for education and care. Further monitoring is required to ensure educators are using updated documentation to meet compliance requirements.

Leaders have identified that the assessment, planning and evaluation process requires strengthening. As a part of this process, the service should identify their priorities for children's learning aligned to the learning outcomes of Te Whāriki (2017) and develop written guidelines to support educators' understanding of how to promote these.

An ongoing system of internal evaluation results in changes of practice. A next step is to refine the focus of evaluations aligned to indicators of high-quality practice that focus on learning outcomes for children. This should strengthen decision making for improvement and enable leaders to know how effectively they are achieving the expected outcomes for children.

Appraisal supports teachers and educators to grow their knowledge and capabilities. Strengthened monitoring of educators' progress to their goals and expectations of the service's operation and vision, is needed to promote continual improvement.

Key Next Steps

Priorities are to:

  • deepen understanding of te ao Maori concepts in partnership with whānau Māori

  • identify priorities for learning and develop guidelines to support educators to progress these

  • strengthen assessment, planning and evaluation to better reflect learning priorities

  • strengthen the use of internal evaluation at all levels of operation to enhance decision making.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Pohutukawa 1 - Quality 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.

To improve compliance practice co-ordinators should work alongside educators to ensure they use updated documents aligned to the service's updated policies and procedures.

Darcy Te Hau

Acting Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)

Central Region - Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

4 May 2020

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

Female 18, Male 11

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups


Number of qualified coordinators in the network


Required ratios of staff educators to children

Under 2


Over 2


Review team on site

February 2020

Date of this report

4 May 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2018

Education Review

May 2015

Education Review

August 2013

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.