Pohutukawa Kids Homebased Childcare & Education Gisborne - 18/05/2018

1 Evaluation of Pohutukawa Kids Homebased Childcare & Education Gisborne

How well placed is Pohutukawa Kids Homebased Childcare & Education Gisborne to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Systems to support sustainability of the service and continuous improvement to outcomes for children have yet to be established. Governance, management, leadership and teaching roles are not suitably defined. Many of the guidelines for teaching, learning and operation, including meeting legislative requirements, require review and redevelopment.

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


Pohutukawa Kids Homebased Childcare & Education Gisborne is one of two private home-based education and care networks owned and operated by NMH Ltd. The network is licensed to provide care and education for 80 children, including 40 aged up to two years. Of the 35 children enrolled, seven are Māori.

Prior to 2016, this service was owned by Scallywaggs 2007 Ltd and known as Sprouts Gisborne 7 InHome Childcare. The May 2015 ERO report of the Sprouts service identified that visiting teachers should continue to develop the quality of educators’ assessment practice and their own understanding and use of evaluative review.

The owner/director has oversight of the management of the two Pohutukawa home-based networks. In this network, one trained and registered teacher (coordinator) supports in-home educators to provide suitable care and learning programmes for children. She works with the coordinator to support the other Pohutukawa network.

The Pohutukawa philosophy emphasises the importance of providing a home away from home for children, characterised by warmth, trust and aroha and developing respectful relationships based on open communication.

A focus for 2018 is the development of newly-acquired premises into a playgroup and meeting space for educators and staff.

The Review Findings

Significant strengthening of leadership, management and governance is needed to support the sustainability of the network and ongoing improvement to practice and operation.

An important priority is having suitable processes to provide assurance at management and governance levels that service and legislative requirements are being consistently met, particularly those related to children's health and safety.

Through their regular contact coordinators monitor and support educators' practice. While they continue to modify aspects of their approach, they should prioritise the development of:

  • a more systematic support process

  • ways to better promote individual educator's growth and understanding of their teaching roles, and the curriculum requirements linked to home-based education and care provision.

To support shared understanding of practice expectations for the children's programme, the coordinators of both Pohutukawa networks should consider working together with educators to:

  • review the philosophy underpinning teaching and learning to clarify the valued outcomes for children's learning at Pohutukawa Kids

  • identify key actions that educators should take to promote these outcomes

  • review and redevelop written guidelines for the programme. Priority should be given to those supporting work with infants and toddlers, promoting children's transitions to school, and responding to families' cultures, languages and identities.

Although children have attractive portfolios that educators use to record their emerging interests and participation in activities, these also show that the service's approach to planning for learning is at an early stage. The coordinator should seek professional support to enable her to establish a suitable approach.

The home-based setting and consistency of care promote opportunities for oneto-one interaction and development of children's learning linked to everyday contexts. Organised community outings, playgroups, and events add breadth to the learning environment and enable educators to network and share ideas.

Coordinators work purposefully to remove barriers to children's and educators' participation in the service. They are aware of local agencies and organisations to assist those who need it. A range of resources is made available to support educators' care roles and children's emerging interests.

Building relationships with parents and whānau continues to be an area of focus. Communication about children's learning and wellbeing is regular. On-line platforms have improved opportunities to share information between the service and homes.

A focus for coordinators in 2017 has been supporting educators' understanding of some Māori values. The development of a more strategic and sustainable approach to integrating a bicultural perspective into practice and operation, that is planned and led at governance level, should be a priority.

A positive, respectful and friendly culture is evident. The owner/director and Pohutukawa homebased coordinators work well together as a team. Educators spoken with during the course of this review say they are well supported in their roles and encouraged in their development. Funding is made available for professional learning.

External professional support has enabled the coordinators of both Pohutukawa networks to work together to develop a teacher appraisal process that is in the early stages of implementation. Priority should now be given to ensuring the approach meets Education Council requirements and is effective in supporting their growth as teachers.

Significant strengthening of leadership, management and governance is needed to support the sustainability of the network and ongoing improvement to practice and operation. Immediate priorities are:

  • refinement of strategic goals and actions

  • clarification of governance, management, leadership and teaching roles and responsibilities

  • review and updating of policy documents and guidelines for all levels of operation

  • development and implementation of a suitable internal evaluation process to support decision making about change and improvement.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Pohutukawa Kids Homebased Childcare & Education Gisborne 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 found significant areas of non-compliance in the service related to governance and management, health and safety and curriculum. In order to meet legislative requirements the service provider must ensure that:

  • the service is effectively governed and managed in accordance with good management practices, including meeting its obligations in relation to the Vulnerable Children Act 2014 and Health and Safety at Work Act 2015

  • information is provided to parents about the amount and details of expenditure of any Ministry of Education funding received by the service

  • an ongoing process of self review helps the service to maintain and improve the quality of its education and care

  • the service curriculum is informed by assessment, planning and evaluation that demonstrates an understanding of children's learning, interests and whānau and life contexts. [Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008, R 47,1(a); Licensing Criteria for Home-based Education and Care Services 2008, GMA2,GMA5, C2]

In order to improve current practice the service provider should ensure that legislative requirements are met in relation to the:

  • appraisal of educators' practice.

Since the on-site stage of the ERO review the service provider has developed additional documentation to show progress is being made in updating some policy guidelines.

Recommendation to Ministry of Education

ERO recommends that the Ministry reassess the licence of Pohutukawa Kids Homebased Childcare & Education Gisborne. ERO will not undertake a further education review of this service until the Ministry of Education is satisfied that the service meets licensing requirements.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Pohutukawa Kids Homebased Childcare & Education Gisborne will be in consultation with the Ministry of Education.

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

18 May 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

Girls 19, Boys 16

Ethnic composition



Number of qualified coordinators in the network


Required ratios of educators to children

Under 2


Over 2


Review team on site

March 2018

Date of this report

18 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

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

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.