Tall Poppies Education Ltd - 18/11/2020

1 Evaluation of Tall Poppies Education Ltd

How well placed is Tall Poppies Education Ltd to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Tall Poppies Education Ltd is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Tall Poppies Education Ltd is a quality funded home-based service in North West Auckland. Three educators, two of whom are registered teachers, provide education and care for up to four children at any one time in their homes. Children have diverse cultural heritages, including two who are Māori.

The owner/service provider is responsible for the overall governance of the service and has a coordinator role. Alongside a second coordinator, the owner has responsibility for the quality of education and care provided for children. A key aspect of the service philosophy is play-based learning, as described in Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

Since the 2017 ERO review, the service provider has implemented a regular system of appraisal for coordinators and teachers, and improved processes for risk management of excursions. Coordinators continue to be responsive to parents' wishes for their children's learning and wellbeing.

The Review Findings

Service documents show that home environments are richly resourced to enable children to choose from a wide range of indoor and outdoor learning experiences. Individual children have good opportunities to explore and make discoveries. Children's learning records show their high level of engagement in day-to-day household activities, as well as regular excursions in the community. Teachers and educators maximise opportunities to include literacy, mathematics and science through play in everyday activities.

Educators have a good understanding of the preferences and learning styles of infants and toddlers. They provide individualised and nurturing care. Children's communication skills, positive interactions and relationships with others are clearly documented. There is good support provided to children as they initially settle into educators' homes and then move on to school.

Planning and assessment documents show educators' responses to children's interests, strengths, preferences and needs. A priority for coordinators and educators is to build their understanding of practices that reflect the dual heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Coordinator records clearly show how they support educators' professional growth. Health and safety practices are monitored. Open communication is evident between the owner, coordinator, educators and families. This includes opportunities for coordinators and educators to review the quality of education and care in the homes. Parents share their aspirations for their children's learning and give positive feedback about the education and care, and their children's experiences.

Effective management and leadership underpin service operations. The philosophy and strategic direction of the service is well understood at all levels of the organisation. Robust recruitment, induction and appraisal processes are evident. Ongoing professional development is supported through well attended workshops. Policies and procedures clearly define the expectations for coordinators and educators.

Key Next Steps

Service leaders agree that key next steps are to:

  • strengthen internal evaluation by focusing on the impact of improvements on learning outcomes for children, and making clear links to the service's vision, philosophy and long-term goals

  • provide more opportunities for teachers and educators to build their understanding of te ao Māori and use of te reo Māori with children

  • increase the extent to which children's languages and cultures are honoured in children's learning records.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Tall Poppies Education Ltd 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.

ERO identified a non-compliance relating to written supervision plans in home. Since the review, the service has provided ERO with evidence to show this non-compliance has been addressed.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services (Northern)

Northern Region - Te Tai Raki

18 November 2020

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


Huapai 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 80 aged under 2

Service roll


Standard or Quality Funded


Gender composition

Girls 11 Boys 10

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
other ethnic groups


Number of qualified coordinators in the network


Required ratios of staff educators to children

Under 2


Over 2


Review team on site

September 2020

Date of this report

18 November 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review January 2017

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

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.