PORSE Palmerston North Q1 - 19/11/2014

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 network operating under the national early childhood education provider, PORSE In-Home Childcare. With a strong focus on education and training, PORSE supports individuals, families and communities by using the latest scientific research in early brain development and attachment theory to inform programme delivery and address education needs. The vision, 'expanding the hearts, minds and wellbeing of a nation through nurturing childcare in-home' is anchored with a mission 'to have all people in New Zealand schooled in nurturing and educating children in their care'. There are two models that PORSE offers as a part of in-home childcare delivery-the home educator model where an educator works from their own home and a nanny educator model, where an educator works from the family's home. Of the 77 children enrolled in the network at the time of this ERO review 21 are Māori.

Qualified and registered programme tutors work alongside educators to provide ongoing support with learning programmes to enhance learning and development opportunities for children. PORSE also supports families and educators with contract set-up, administration and payroll services. Two recently appointed community coaches in Palmerston North and Whanganui support programme tutors, reporting to national coaches.

PORSE Palmerston North Q1 has a positive reporting history with ERO.

This review was part of a cluster of five home-based network reviews for PORSE In-Home Childcare.

The Review Findings

The curriculum is child-led and focuses on the learning needs and interests of individuals. Children engage in meaningful learning opportunities, including everyday happenings in the home. Educators extend children’s learning through excursions outside the home. PORSE supports educators by providing a range of experiences where children can engage with a wider network group. Children’s ideas and emerging interests are well supported by educators. Educators network with each other and provide social experiences and extended play opportunities for children.

Educators are well supported to provide appropriate experiences for all children in the network. Many children in this PORSE network are infants and toddlers. Programme tutors access appropriate training opportunities for educators focused on working with this particular age group. Both internal and external expertise assists educators to extend children’s experiences across the curriculum.

Extensive resources have been developed to assist educators to link their programmes to Te Whāriki. These include information to guide children’s transition to new educators or other early childhood services. Further development to support children’s transition to school is planned. The intention is to make links between Te Whāriki and The New Zealand Curriculum.

PORSE is developing plans to strengthen participation of Māori and Pacific families in the organisation. Programme tutors encourage educators to be culturally responsive. Educators demonstrate a growing confidence to include te ao Māori in children’s daily experiences. Further review of resources and practices is being undertaken.

Programme tutors work actively alongside educators, children and their families to support children’s learning. Parents have detailed records of their children’s learning in learning journals. Programme tutors continue to develop educators' knowledge of assessment through recognising and responding to children’s learning.

Children are encouraged and supported to become confident and capable mathematical learners. The inclusion of mathematics in the curriculum was recently reviewed. Educators borrow mathematics kits from PORSE to use with children. The PORSE website has information about supporting children’s understanding of mathematical concepts.

A collaborative team culture and professional approach is evident. Staff are improvement-focused and continue to find ways to assist educators make children’s learning experiences meaningful. Educators are encouraged to develop their leadership skills and many take up these opportunities. Career pathways are well designed. Rewards for study and achievement of particular milestones are available for educators and programme tutors. Ongoing training opportunities provide professional growth. A good range of professional learning and development is available nationally and locally. Regular goal setting supports programme tutors to improve aspects of their practice.

Ongoing consultation with parents, educators and staff guides the service’s provision of a curriculum focused on promoting positive outcomes for children. This collaborative approach enables families and whānau to have input into their children’s education and care. Self review is highly valued as a tool to promote improvement. PORSE is responsive to feedback, and reviews processes regularly.

A wide range of up-to-date and relevant policies, procedures and resources support educators, programme tutors and coaches in their roles. Appropriate emphasis is placed on ensuring that all reasonable steps are taken to meet health and safety requirements in homes. Clear documentation outlines useful induction procedures for educators and programme tutors. Regular safety checks by programme tutors focus on children’s health and wellbeing.

Key Next Steps

Self review at all levels of the organisation should be strengthened. PORSE places high value on the outcomes of self review. The PORSE vision acknowledges the importance of promoting quality outcomes for children. Strategic goals do not clearly focus on promoting quality or effectiveness of practice in relation to children. A more evaluative approach to review focused on the quality and effectiveness of practice and the impact on outcomes for children should be the major focus. This should include the effectiveness of the service’s approach in supporting educators' and children’s mathematical learning.

The performance management process for staff should be strengthened to clearly include links to professional teaching requirements. Suitable evidence should be collected to show how these are being met.

PORSE has a quality assurance system in place for monitoring practice across the regions. This has the potential to assure at a governance level that expectations are met. Compliance is an example. PORSE should consider how this system can be used more effectively to monitor and assure that all operational expectations are met.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of PORSE Palmerston North Q1 completed an ERO Centre 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.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

19 November 2014

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 Early Childhood Service


Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Home-based 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

Quality funded

Gender composition

Girls 40

Boys 37

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā

Other ethnic groups




Number of qualified coordinators in the network


Reported ratios of staff educators to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements


Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2014

Date of this report

19 November 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2011


Education Review

June 2006


Accountability Review

May 2003

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.