Sparkles Home-based Childcare and Education 2 - 26/07/2018

1 Evaluation of Sparkles Home-based Childcare and Education 2

How well placed is Sparkles Home-based Childcare and Education 2 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.


Sparkles Home-based Childcare and Education 2 is one of two networks that operate across West, Central, North and East Auckland. It is licensed for 80 children from birth to five years of age, with up to 60 children under two years of age. Most of the children are of Chinese heritage. This is the first report for this network since its establishment in 2016.

The two owner/directors work alongside four qualified coordinators, two of whom are dedicated to this network. Coordinators oversee the delivery of the curriculum by 45 educators who work with up to four children in homebased settings. Most educators are Chinese, and some are family members or grandparents of the children in their care. They receive regular coaching and mentoring from visiting teachers. This supports them to deliver an early learning programme that aligns with Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

Sparkles Home-based Childcare and Education's vision expresses a strong commitment to early childhood education through rich learning opportunities in home settings. High expectations for children's learning through play and promoting children's sense of belonging, wellbeing and cultural diversity are prioritised. The importance of te Tiriti o Waitangi is acknowledged.

This is the first review of the service's second network. Leaders and coordinators have focused on embedding policies and systems to support the provision of good quality education and care.

The Review Findings

Children and educators are well matched. Positive and respectful relationships are nurtured and valued. Children and their parents are well supported. Parents are well informed about their children's learning and development.

Ensuring that children are happy and engaged in learning through meaningful play is an important goal for this service. Older children are encouraged to use self-help skills to build their confidence and independence. There is good provision for younger children, and a strong commitment to well-resourced learning environments.

Children's wellbeing is a strong focus. This helps to build trusting and responsive relationships between educators, children and their whānau. Coordinators use information technologies and social media to share children’s learning with parents. They invite parent feedback and celebrate children's learning and development.

Educators are encouraged and supported to further their knowledge of Te Whāriki. They demonstrate varying levels of understanding about planning and assessment practices. Coordinators willingly share their understanding of planning, assessment and evaluation and continue to model these practices for educators.

Relevant professional learning is available for all educators and coordinators. Further professional learning for educators in assessment and planning would help support more positive outcomes for children.

Skilled coordinators enthusiastically promote te ao Māori concepts in the programme for children. There is a genuine commitment to te Tiriti o Waitangi and acknowledgement of the place of tangata whenua in Aotearoa on the part of directors and coordinators. They have identified the need to strengthen bicultural practices across the service. They provide regular opportunities for professional learning to build educators' knowledge of te reo and tikanga Māori.

A feature of this service is a commitment to building good relationships and open communication between the directors, coordinators, educators and families. High expectations for professional practice and for open communication are evident in the service's documentation and feedback from parents.

Very good health and safety systems and clear guidelines for educators are in place. Regular monitoring of health and safety systems in homes is well documented. The clear and comprehensive framework of policies is reviewed regularly.

Good management practices are in place and there are clear lines of accountability, and as a result relational trust is evident across all staff. The directors and coordinators form a skilled and collaborative leadership team. Good processes for recruitment and induction are helping to build a quality foundation for this new service.

Leaders understand how internal evaluation can be used to support ongoing improvement and now need to be more evaluative when reviewing practices. Strategic and annual plans identify priorities for achieving the service's vision and positive outcomes for children. These plans now need to be more clearly documented and monitored. Performance management is appropriately a current focus for development.

Key Next Steps

The key next steps for the service are to continue to:

  • build coordinators' and educators' knowledge of assessment, curriculum planning and evaluation

  • refine and streamline strategic planning documentation, monitoring and evaluation processes

  • develop robust internal evaluation processes through the use of current research and professional learning opportunities.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Sparkles Home-based Childcare and Education 2 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 Sparkles Home-based Childcare and Education 2 will be in three years.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

26 July 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


New Lynn, Auckland

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 60 aged under 2

Service roll


Standard or Quality Funded


Gender composition

Boys 36 Girls 33

Ethnic composition



Number of qualified coordinators in the network


Required ratios of staff educators to children

Under 2


Over 2


Review team on site

July 2018

Date of this report

26 July 2018

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.