PORSE Palmerston North Q1 - 10/12/2018

1 Evaluation of PORSE Palmerston North Q1

How well placed is PORSE Palmerston North Q1 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.


PORSE Palmerston North Q1 is a home-based education and care network operating under the umbrella of PORSE In-Home Childcare (NZ) Ltd. It is one of four PORSE networks in the Manawatu region. This network is based in the Palmerston North area. Of the 83 children enrolled, 18 are Māori.

In 2014, the PORSE organisation was sold to Evolve Education Group Limited (EEG Ltd). The existing structures for national and community team management have continued. The PORSE senior leadership team, which is responsible for operation, reports to the EEG Ltd board of directors.

In this service, four programme tutors, who are qualified teachers with current practising certificates, work alongside educators to assist them to implement care and learning programmes for children in 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. Three out of the four tutors working in this network have been employed in the last three years.

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. In this network all educators have New Zealand Qualifications Authority-approved Level 3 qualifications in early childhood education and care.

The PORSE 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 in 2018 to highlight ‘natural childcare’ and an increased emphasis on authentic relationships, environments and learning experiences. Changes are in line with the intent of the recently revised early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki.

This ERO review is one of a cluster of four in PORSE In-Home Childcare (NZ) Ltd.

The Review Findings

Children enjoy continued opportunities to participate in a wide range of learning experiences in educators' homes and the local community. Many attend PORSE-organised playschools and excursions. These provide children with interesting challenges and opportunities to socialise with peers.

Children’s placement and transition in to and out of the service are carefully considered in collaboration with parents. Improving their transition to school is a national strategic focus. A variety of learning opportunities and resources supports educators' practice in this area. Programme tutors should continue to seek ways of assisting educators to share information about children's learning which should support continuity as they move to new services. Consideration should also be given to promoting further understanding of best practice in relation to transition to primary school.

A continued focus on promoting stronger and more purposeful relationships with families is evident. Communication channels are well facilitated through regular newsletters and on-line platforms. Families are well informed about their children's participation and aspects of their learning through programme tutors' monthly visit notes. A recent focus on making more authentic connections to families’ cultures, languages, backgrounds, and their aspirations for their children’s learning should further strengthen relationships and the quality of the programme.

Children with complex or additional learning needs benefit from the low child-to-adult ratios. Programme tutors have access to a range of information and knowledge about external agencies which enable them to support these children's full participation.

The programme tutor and leaders articulate commitment to practice and operation that acknowledges the intent of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. The implementation of a bicultural perspective in children's programmes is supported through access to on-line information and other resources. Programme tutors should continue to seek connections in the local Māori community, and develop educators’ familiarity with Ministry of Education resources to inform their practice. The development of a more strategic and sustainable approach, strongly led at governance level is a priority. This should be supported by the planned national review.

PORSE managers have identified the need to further strengthen provision for the growing number of Pacific families choosing home-based services. New Ministry of Education resources have been accessed to support this work.

Educators are purposefully supported to provide suitable learning experiences in response to children's emerging interests. Work has been done to implement the revised early childhood curriculum Te Whāriki. The quality of educators' planning for children's learning across the network is variable. Programme tutors should continue to strengthen educators' practice particularly in relation to:

  • identifying, recording and extending children's significant interests and learning in both planning records and visit notes

  • parent input and feedback, and planning that meets families' aspirations

  • reflection of children's cultures, languages and identities in learning records

  • ongoing opportunities for children to reflect on and revisit their learning.

Programme tutors have identified the need to support educators' understanding of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, through the provision of authentic learning experiences. Now that the PORSE philosophy guiding teaching and learning has been refreshed, it is timely to undertake further work on weaving the network's own curriculum to best support its learning community. Improved understanding of planning for learning should result when the recently revised curriculum guideline is fully implemented.

Regular visits and communication with educators by programme tutors give suitable attention to ensuring compliance requirements and PORSE expectations are met, educator practice is acknowledged and ongoing guidance is provided. Good support is provided for educators’ ongoing learning and development through the certification process, provision of professional development, webinars and training opportunities. A recent initiative to promote their sense of belonging in the organisation has been a focus for the teaching team. Resources have been developed to support trained teachers working as educators to retain their teacher registration. However, programme tutors' approach to educators' ongoing development support is not consistently effective. Strengthening the quality of feedback, in relation to their practice, is required.

The programme tutors in this service continue to develop their team approach. PORSE provides them with opportunities for:

  • good face-to-face support for their practice through coaching

  • collaborative discussion with other programme tutors

  • professional learning and development

  • leadership.

A well-developed and implemented appraisal process which is linked to the Standards for the Teaching Profession supports programme tutors' practice. In the future, leaders could give consideration to implementing a more inquiry-based process linked to child outcomes.

PORSE values self review as a tool to promote improvement. Parents' and educators' views are regularly sought as part of the process. Suitable internal evaluation frameworks have been adopted and learning opportunities provided to strengthen the programme tutors’ practice. Further work is needed to support the successful use of the frameworks to better inform decision making about improvement.

A well-organised governance and management framework supports operation and practice. Reporting lines and responsibilities are clear. Quality assurance is prioritised, effective and well implemented. PORSE has a comprehensive range of up-to-date guidelines and management support that enable programme tutors and educators to successfully undertake their roles. A next step is for PORSE to further define child outcomes in the strategic plan and use these to measure progress in meeting goals. The recent appointment of a curriculum and quality assurance coach should support this work.

The PORSE organisation continues to undergo significant change. A strong focus on developing operation and practices to support a sustainable future is evident.

Key Next Steps

Priorities for this network are to continue to strengthen:

  • assessment, planning and evaluation

  • implementation of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum

  • the bicultural curriculum

  • teamwork

  • internal evaluation.

At governance and management level priorities are to:

  • use the success indicators identified in the strategic intent to measure progress in relation to child outcomes

  • embed the revised appraisal process.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of PORSE Palmerston North Q1 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 PORSE Palmerston North Q1 will be in three years.

Phil Cowie

Director Review & Improvement Services

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

10 December 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


Palmerston North

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

Girls 42, Boys 41

Ethnic composition

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

October 2018

Date of this report

10 December 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2014

Education Review

February 2011

Education Review

June 2006

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.