Star Early Learning - 12/08/2019

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 privately-owned and operated early learning service situated in Annesbrook, Nelson. It provides all year, full-day education and care on weekdays for children aged from 6 months to 3 years. At the time of this review, four of the children enrolled identified as Māori.

The centre’s philosophy emphasises the importance of primary caregiving, whanaungatanga, whakamana, and a sense of connectedness, belonging, aroha, warmth and trust.

Since the June 2016 ERO report, a new head teacher has been appointed who supports teachers to implement the centre's curriculum. The teaching team is supported by the manager who oversees the day-to-day operation of the service. Most teachers are qualified.

ERO's 2016 report identified areas requiring further development. These included: assessment, and planning for learning, greater prominence of bicultural perspectives, strengthening the appraisal process and build evaluative capabilities across the teaching team. Since that time these areas have been addressed and shown improvement, however ongoing work and development should ensure continued growth in these areas.

The Review Findings

Leaders have established a culture in which children and their whānau are first and foremost valued, celebrated and affirmed for who they are and what they bring to their learning. They show a strong commitment to the philosophy, vision and goals of the service.

Children play and learn in a calm and unhurried free-play programme. They are encouraged to explore, create and have fun with their peers. Teachers effectively use a range of intentional teaching strategies to support and extend children's interests. Oral language is woven skilfully into the programme. Positive, respectful interactions are highly evident in the programme.

Nurturing rituals and care support infants' and toddlers' need for strong and secure attachment. Teachers respond sensitively to children's changing needs and preferences. Younger children have many opportunities to learn and play alongside their older peers.

The recently reviewed philosophy underpins the centre’s values ,and beliefs that reflect a bicultural emphasis, and is strongly evident in the programme. Leaders and teachers should draw on whānau aspirations to determine what educational success looks like for their children. This should support the centre to develop a shared understanding of what learning matters for them.

Te reo me nga tikanga Māori practices are highly valued and celebrated. Enrichment of children’s learning in kaupapa Māori rituals is evident and understood by children. The centre's pepeha acknowledges the places of significant value to Māori and their community. The teaching team should consider how best they can celebrate these places through purposeful learning experiences. They should also continue to extend the use of te reo Māori in everyday learning.

There is a well-considered framework for planning for learning. Teachers use Te Whāriki, the Early Childhood Curriculum to create meaningful experiences based on children’s individual emerging interests.

Children’s learning journey records show their friendships, participation and learning as they develop their sense of belonging and confidence in the programme. Teachers work with parents and whānau to establish specific aspirations for their children. Assessment records show purposeful conversations and teachers providing opportunities for whānau to contribute to their child's learning. A key next step is for leaders and teachers to develop specific and measurable learning outcomes for each child to support learning and development and show progress over time. Records should also show how children’s cultures, languages and identities are celebrated and responded to.

Leaders and teachers are improvement focused and continuing to build their knowledge and understanding of internal evaluation to support decision making. Over time this should assist the team to better evaluate the impact of their teaching practices on children’s learning.

There is a sound appraisal framework to support and grow teacher practice. Teachers develop purposeful goals to build their practice and leadership. To further improve practice leaders should consider how best they can use formal observations of teacher practice in the appraisal process to identify good practice and inform next steps.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders and ERO agree, that the key next steps are to:

  • draw on whānau aspirations to determine what educational success looks like for their children

  • celebrate places of significant value for Māori and their community through purposeful learning experiences and encourage greater use te reo Māori in everyday learning

  • develop specific and measurable learning outcomes for each child

  • build teacher knowledge and understanding of internal evaluation to support decision making

  • include formal observations of teacher practice in the appraisal process.

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.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

12 August 2019

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 children aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 11, Girls 24

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2019

Date of this report

12 August 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2016

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.