Topkids Maunu Village - 30/06/2017

1 Evaluation of Topkids Maunu Village

How well placed is Topkids Maunu Village 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.


Topkids Maunu Village is licensed for 85 children including 20 up to two years of age. It provides allday education and care for children from an increasingly diverse community.

The centre is part of the national BestStart Education and Care Centres organisation, which provides an overarching governance and management framework as well as personnel to support individual centres. This service is one of eight managed by the Northland Area Manager.

A centre manager is supported by the area manager and other BestStart management services. The centre also employs an assistant manager and head teachers. The teaching team, made up of registered teachers and unqualified staff. The centre also employs a cook and an administrator.

The leadership team is new and much of the documentation and operating systems have been reviewed and are being embedded in practice.

The centre is purpose built. Children are in age related groups for most of each day. The older age groups share a playground. Children are thoughtfully supported to transition into the centre. The youngest children have a primary caregiver who provide support for the child and the family to transition into the centre.

Since ERO's 2013 review, teachers have attended professional development to help strengthen assessment processes. They have developed a philosophy statement for each of the rooms. These statements link to the BestStart philosophy and vision and include reference to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. They recognise the value of learning through play. The centre has made progress in all areas of practice.

This review was part of a cluster of six reviews in the BestStart Educare Limited organisation. 

The Review Findings

Children show a strong sense of belonging and are confident to engage in learning activities with their friends. Children have many opportunities for uninterrupted play.

Children in the infant and toddler rooms benefit from the individual care they receive. Teachers have developed meaningful relationships with families and children. Classrooms are calm with positive interactions between teachers and the children. Children's individual routines form the plan for the day. Teachers' conversations with young children are frequent and focused on what they are doing.

Older children are settled and confident. Teachers are responsive and respectful. Children share conversations with their friends and with teachers about their play. They are well supported to investigate emerging interests as part of the well planned programme.

Teachers plan for groups and for individual children. These plans are in place alongside more general topics for exploration. Teachers have identified the need to continue to strengthen assessment, planning and evaluation processes across the centre.

Teachers in all of the rooms are working to strengthen their bi-cultural perspectives through increasing use of te reo and tikanga Māori. Children clearly understand words and phrases in used by teachers, and respond positively to karakia and waiata.

Teachers have been supported to be more reflective in their work and to question and debate how they can better support effective outcomes for children and to deepen their learning. Professional development opportunities and leaders' support have helped to establish a culture of research and learning for teachers.

Teachers could improve internal evaluation systems by asking more evaluative questions to further deepen these processes. The area manager and the centre leaders are aware of the need to strengthen conversations and transitions between rooms. This could help to establish a culture that embraces children and teachers working together as one centre.

Parents are starting to have a greater impact on programmes through their responses to children's electronic portfolios. Assessment records are supporting parents' understanding of their child's learning. Parent's comments, including their learning aspirations for the child, are helping teachers to know more about children's home lives and activities. Centre leaders continue to find ways of involving parents in their children's learning at the centre.

BestStart has systems for monitoring centre operations. These include regular management meetings and an internal audit process, which is used to identify challenges and develop plans for improvement. In addition, the centre has a strategic plan that is linked to the BestStart vision and strategic direction, as well as the centre's philosophy statements, an annual management plan and action plans.

The area manager has an important role to support improvement. The centre leaders meet regularly with the area manager. These meetings provide good opportunities for the managers to reflect on how well their centre is operating and how well children's learning is being supported.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders and the area manager are committed and working strongly to making positive changes to the centre. Key steps include teachers and managers continuing to:

  • build a centre-wide team culture

  • provide more time for children's uninterrupted play, and focus on their ideas and thinking to extend children's learning

  • ensure that teachers strengthen bicultural practices, and ensure that parents are aware that this is part of the curriculum.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Topkids Maunu Village 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 Topkids Maunu Village will be in three years.

Violet Tu'uga Stevenson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

30 June 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 



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

85 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 52% Boys 48%

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 2017

Date of this report

30 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

October 2013

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.