Ruahine Home-Based - 12/12/2017

1 Evaluation of Ruahine Home-Based

How well placed is Ruahine Home-Based 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.


Ruahine Home-Based Service is a licensed home-based education and care network in the Manawatu that is governed and managed by the Ruahine Kindergarten Association (RKA). Day-to-day management of the association's affairs is the responsibility of the chief executive officer (CEO). A governing board sets the overall strategic direction. The coordinator works with the senior teacher to provide professional leadership for teaching and learning and support the visiting teacher and educators. An operations manager supports the service's compliance, policy development and leadership.

At the time of this review, there were seven educators. Many of the children who attend this service go on to one of the Ruahine Kindergartens. Of the eighteen children on the roll, four identify as Māori.

The service's philosophy emphasises the importance of providing quality home-based education and care for infants, toddlers and young children in safe, nurturing home environments that inspire young minds. Children’s individual strengths and interests form the foundations for the play-based learning programmes.

Ruahine Home-Based was licensed in 2016. This is its first ERO review.

The Review Findings

Educators are well supported by visiting teachers to provide experiences in homes that promote children as capable and competent learners. They provide a range of activities and opportunities that suitably respond to the interests and needs of infants, toddlers and young children.

Playgroups and the wider programme are valued by educators. These provide children and educators with a good range of learning experiences in the local community. Visiting teachers effectively support and guide educators to engage in respectful and responsive relationships with children and their families.

Opportunities for educators to develop their knowledge are well considered. Educators are well supported through clear systems and documented processes to know what is expected of them in their role. This includes an in-depth induction process and regular involvement in the association's continuous professional development (CPD) programme.

Parents access an online forum that shows their child's progress and development and includes clear links with home. These records show the relationships and knowledge that visiting teachers and educators have about children and their families. Visiting teachers share examples of ways educators can enhance what they notice about children's learning, how they respond to this and provide ideas to extend learning. Continuing to grow educators' assessment practice is an ongoing focus.

Targeted support and additional strategies assist educators to meet the needs of those children with additional needs. The coordinator carefully matches families with educators to support children's wellbeing.

There is a clear vision and purpose that sets the direction for the network within the association. The coordinator and visiting teachers identify that they should increase their knowledge of te ao Māori to better support educators to respond to Māori learners. ERO's evaluation affirms this.

Health and safety processes are sound. Good systems are in place to assist with daily operation.

Trustees receive information about aspects of the home-based operation from the senior management team. Extending these to include more about the educational provision is needed. This should assist the board to more clearly know about the quality of education and care and to better examine and inquire into the information provided.

Processes for building capability of visiting teachers and coordinators are sound. Effective and targeted support for teacher development through appraisal are part of the process. Appraisal for educators is an area identified for development.

Self review is well understood by visiting teachers and coordinators. The sound framework supports in-depth inquiry and leads to positive change and improvement to aspects of teaching and learning. Continuing to evaluate the impact of actions on improved outcomes for children is an ongoing focus.

Key Next Steps

ERO and association leaders agree that the service needs to continue to strengthen:

  • internal evaluation to evaluate the impact of actions on improved outcomes for children

  • educators' understanding of assessment for learning

  • visiting teachers' and coordinators' knowledge and understanding of te ao Māori

  • the quality of reporting to the board to assist trustees to better examine and inquire into the information provided.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Ruahine Home-Based 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 Ruahine Home-Based will be in three years.

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

12 December 2017

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

Boys 11, Girls 7

Ethnic composition



Number of qualified coordinators in the network


Required ratios of staff educators to children

Under 2


Over 2


Review team on site

October 2017

Date of this report

12 December 2017

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 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.