Star Early Learning - 08/06/2016

1 Evaluation of Star Early Learning

How well placed is Star Early Learning to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Star Early Learning is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


Star Early Learning is a small, stand-alone, privately-owned centre. It provides for the specific needs of infants and toddlers (three months to three years old) within a home-like setting. The centre owner is a registered practising teacher. All other staff are also either qualified teachers or in training.

There have been some changes to staffing and leadership of the centre since the ERO review in August 2012. The positive features identified in the report have been sustained and built on.

The Review Findings

Management and teachers have a strong shared vision and philosophy, based on respectful ways of working alongside young children. This is highly evident in practice. A key feature of the philosophy is the provision of primary care where the child is mostly cared for by one teacher. This supports the individual child's sense of security and wellbeing. Teachers foster positive and trusting relationships with children. They provide nurturing interactions that are responsive to their individual needs and preferences. The daily routines are flexible and timed to fit around the children's needs. They enjoy a calm and settled learning environment.

Children and families are warmly welcomed by friendly and caring teachers. Children are well supported to make a positive transition into the centre and to develop a good sense of belonging. Teachers promote a collaborative approach to children's learning and wellbeing. They value parent and whānau opinion and involvement. Parents are well informed about their children’s wellbeing, interests and participation in the programme through attractively presented profile books and frequent discussions with teachers.

Teachers provide a child-centred curriculum and learning environment that promotes children's confidence and independence. Teachers are responsive to, and extend on, children's interests. A wide range of natural, open-ended resources are well presented to encourage children's natural curiosity. Children have long periods of uninterrupted time to explore and make their own discoveries. There is a strong focus on promoting active exploration, free movement and safe challenges to extend children’s confidence, capability and physical skills.

Bicultural perspectives are integrated in ways that are respectful of the Māori culture and meaningful to children.

Managers encourage a positive, collaborative, professional team culture. Teacher strengths are valued and well utilised. Internal and external professional development helps to build reflective practices and increase teacher capabilities. Effective systems, including self-review and sustainable processes, guide the efficient operation of the centre. There is a strong shared focus on providing positive outcomes for children and families.

The next steps for improvement at management and curriculum levels are well understood by centre leaders. They are proactive about addressing identified needs.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, that the key next steps are to continue to:

  • refine and embed new assessment, planning and evaluation processes and practices

  • give greater prominence to bicultural perspectives in key documentation

  • strengthen appraisal processes and evaluative inquiry capabilities across the teaching team.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Star Early Learning 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 Star Early Learning will be in three years.

Chris Rowe

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

8 June 2016

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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 24 aged under two

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 19; Boys 23

Ethnic composition





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

April 2016

Date of this report

8 June 2016

Most recent ERO report 

Education Review

August 2012

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.