PORSE Otago/Southland S2 - 24/09/2019

1 Evaluation of PORSE Otago/Southland S2

How well placed is PORSE Otago/Southland S2 to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

PORSE Otago/Southland S2 is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children. 

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


PORSE Otago/Southland S2 is a home-based education and care network operating under the umbrella of PORSE In-Home Childcare (NZ) Ltd (the organisation). This network is based in Queenstown and Dunedin and is one of four Otago/Southland networks. Of the 39 children currently enrolled in this network one is Māori.

This is the first ERO review for this network. In 2015 it was sold to Evolve Education Group Ltd. In late 2018, it was purchased by Rainbow Group. The existing structures for national and community team management have continued. The role of curriculum and quality assurance coach has recently been created to support the work of the national coach.

In this network has three programme tutors, who are qualified and registered teachers, work alongside educators to assist them to implement care and learning programmes for children in the homes. Programme tutors are supported by a regional coach who reports to the senior leadership team. A recent restructure of staffing has resulted in changes to the programme tutor role.

Two options for education and care are offered: the home educator model where the educator works in their own home; and the nanny educator model where an educator works in a family’s home.

The organisation's vision is ‘expanding the hearts, minds and wellbeing of a nation through nurturing childcare in-home’. The philosophy guiding teaching and learning has been refreshed to better acknowledge PORSE’s commitment to Te Treaty of Waitangi. There is an emphasis on authentic relationships, environments and learning experiences.

This review was one of six in the PORSE In-Home Childcare (NZ) Ltd.

The Review Findings

Establishing strong, warm and responsive relationships with children, families and whānau is highly valued and promoted within the network and the organisation. Processes for matching educators with families to foster effective partnerships for children's care and learning are well-considered. Parents are kept well informed about the programmes provided, their child's learning and progress, and ways they can be involved.

Educators are well supported to provide education and care for children through useful systems and processes, trained personnel, resources and on-going training. They receive regular visits, on-going coaching and professional guidance from programme tutors. They also monitor whether organisations expectations for compliance matters are met.

Programme tutors purposefully build educator capability. They provide on-going coaching and resources to help educators develop their understanding to enable them to offer programmes for children, underpinned by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Planning shows they have a strong focus on building assessment practices. They support educators to provide children with a broad curriculum, including a wide range of in-home activities and experiences that respond to their interests and abilities. Organised playgroups and excursions provide children with opportunities to develop social and physical skills, make friends and have connections within the community.

Leaders and programme tutors acknowledge that continuing to build assessment, planning and evaluation practices, underpinned by Te Whāriki is ongoing. Records show there is regular planning for all children. However, there is variability in planning and assessment practices. Best examples show how:

  • children's language, culture and identity are responded to

  • parents' wishes for their children are responded to

  • children's learning is supported, including the range of strategies and experiences to extend learning.

Programme tutors review aspects of programmes provided for children, particularly events and outings. They need to continue to work with educators to evaluate the effectiveness of the strategies and experiences used by educators in promoting children's learning.

Programme tutors value the diversity of their community. They promote a culturally responsive curriculum for all children and have a considered approach to helping educators begin to implement Māori perspectives into programmes provided for children. Educators are well supported by programme tutors to provide nurturing and responsive environments attuned to infants' and toddler' wellbeing and learning. Programme tutors support educators to promote the learning and wellbeing of children who have additional needs.

The organisation values self review as a tool to promote improvement. Coaches and programme tutors regularly carry out reviews. They should continue to develop the understanding and use of robust internal evaluation for improvement, through building evaluative thinking and reasoning capability at all levels of the organisation.

An appropriate appraisal process encourages programme tutors' professional growth. The appraisal policy needs to more clearly reflect the current practice of regular observations of programme tutors' practice.

With changes to ownership it is timely to redevelop the strategic plan and review the philosophy to show how these are influenced by the aspirations of parents, families and whānau have for their children and ensure outcomes for children are foregrounded in decisions made.

Key Next Steps

The key next step for network leaders and programme tutors is to continue to support educators to develop planning and assessment processes and practices to consistently show how:

  • the curriculum reflects identified priorities for learning

  • parents‘ aspirations for their children’s learning are responded to

  • children’s language, culture and identity are valued

  • they identify children’s capabilities and where additional support may be needed

  • children’s next steps for learning lead to progress over time.

Leaders and programme tutors should continue to work with educators to evaluate the effectiveness of planned strategies and experiences in supporting desired outcomes for learning.

The key next steps for PORSE leaders are to:

  • continue to work with Te Whāriki to develop curriculum priorities and desired outcomes for children’s learning

  • continue to build Treaty of Waitangi based practice in systems and processes

  • develop evaluative thinking and reasoning capability to effectively use internal evaluation throughout all systems and processes to improve outcomes for children

  • ensure that strategic planning and revision of the service philosophy are influenced by the aspirations parents, families and whānau have for their children

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of PORSE Otago/Southland S2 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.

ERO identified an area of non-compliance in health and safety. The service provider must:

  • ensure that documentation shows that whenever children leave the premises on an excursion, assessment and management of risk is undertaken.

Licensing Criteria for Home-based Education and Care Services 2008, HS14.

To improve current practice, the early childhood service management should ensure evacuation drills are practiced at a range of times, including more challenging times of day.

Dr Lesley Patterson
Director Review and Improvement Services Southern
Southern Region
24 September 2019

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 80 aged under 2

Service roll


Standard or Quality Funded


Gender composition

Females 21, Males 18

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnicities


Number of qualified coordinators in the network


Required ratios of staff educators to children

Under 2


Over 2


Review team on site

June 2019

Date of this report

24 September 2019

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

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.