Shore Kids - 23/03/2017

1 Evaluation of Shore Kids

How well placed is Shore Kids 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.


Shore Kids (Barbados Kids Ltd) is in Unsworth Heights on Auckland's North Shore. The service provides all day education and care for up to 30 children, including 15 children under two years old. Infants and toddlers have a separate indoor and outdoor space, though children of all ages spend time together at the beginning and end of each day.

The centre was purchased by the current owner/director in 2014. She is an experienced early childhood teacher and is actively involved in the running of the centre. The new manager was previously a teacher at the centre. All teachers have early childhood qualifications.

The service provides higher than required adult to child ratios so that infants and toddlers receive individualised care and attention. Children also benefit from an ethnically diverse teaching team. Many children and families have access to a staff member who can communicate with them in their home language.

The centre's philosophy is to provide each child with a positive foundation for learning and life, through a nurturing, safe and respectful environment. Play-based programmes support children to learn and develop holistically through exploration and making choices about where, what and who to play with. Parents' contributions are valued and encouraged.

The 2013 ERO report identified that centre leaders had made very good progress in addressing the areas of development in the previous report. It noted that key strengths included responsive adults who interacted positively to engage children. The report also identified that staff had a growing sense of confidence, empowerment and collaboration as a team.

The Review Findings

Children are happy, relaxed and settled in the centre's home-like environment. They are very well cared for, and the programme supports their development. They confidently interact with others and purposefully choose what activities they want to engage in. Children benefit from interacting in a mixed-age environment, having skilled teachers and easy access to resources.

The centre's philosophy is regularly reviewed and well understood by staff. It is clearly reflected in teachers' practices and the daily programme. Children, including those under two years old, are treated as capable and confident learners. They are empowered to make decisions about their care and play opportunities. Teachers are effective in supporting children's social development. They provide positive guidance to help children communicate their wants and needs.

The learning programme is based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Children are supported to develop dispositions that encourage learning. Literacy, numeracy, science, art and music are developed through children's independent play choices. Teachers also consider how play opportunities in the outdoor environment can enhance children's early literacy and numeracy skills.

Teachers have strengthened planning, assessment and evaluation by including children's next learning steps. They notice what children are interested in and allow them time to explore independently or with others. Teachers are responsive and set up activities to extend children's language, creativity and thinking, and to challenge children to further explore their interests. Children help to set up the programme for the day.

Children's languages and cultures are valued in the centre, as is Aotearoa/New Zealand's bicultural heritage. Teachers celebrate events that are important to families through displays and activities. Children experience te reo Māori through waiata, stories and day-to-day activities such as counting. Leaders and teachers have identified strengthening the centre's bicultural curriculum as an ongoing focus.

Teachers respect children and their families. They value and encourage supportive partnerships between home and the centre for each child. Good systems ensure the centre's daily communication with families. Leaders and teachers encourage, and are responsive to, parent perspectives and suggestions about their child's learning. Teachers take time to explain to parents what the curriculum means for their child. Annotated photos are used well to record children's involvement in the programme and the progress they are making.

The centre owner and manager provide effective, improvement focused leadership. They use approaches that promote positive staff morale, open communication, and support teachers to try new teaching strategies. Teachers take on leadership roles, including self-review activities that contribute to improving outcomes for children.

Teachers' appraisals are aligned to the Practising Teacher Criteria. Teachers use these criteria to collaboratively reflect on the impact of teaching practice on children's learning. Centre systems reflect a strong focus on health and safety. The centre's policies are currently being reviewed to ensure that they are consistent with practice, and to incorporate changes in legislative requirements. 

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre leaders agree that key next steps include:

  • ensuring that self-review findings and appraisal records document the impact, value, and effectiveness of what is being evaluated on outcomes for children

  • continuing to develop the centre's bicultural curriculum and regularly evaluating how centre operations support tamariki Māori to succeed as Māori.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Shore Kids 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 Shore Kids will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

23 March 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 Early Childhood Service 


Unsworth Heights, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 17 Boys 14

Ethnic composition






Middle Eastern


other European









Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2017

Date of this report

23 March 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Supplementary Review

December 2013

Education Review

February 2012

Education Review

December 2009

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 ERO’s Approach to Review in Early Childhood 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. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.