Topkids New Lynn - 21/09/2016

1 Evaluation of Topkids New Lynn

How well placed is Topkids New Lynn 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.


This is the second Education Review for Topkids New Lynn, a purpose built centre that was opened in 2011. The centre is licensed for 100 children including up to 20 children aged under two years. The BestStart Education and Care Centres organisation provides this service with an overarching governance and management structure and support. The centre manager and head teacher work closely with a designated Professional Services Manager and a Business Manager from BestStart.

The centre philosophy and vision guides and underpins practices and developments at the centre. Maintaining caring and respectful relationships with children and their families is a key aspect of the philosophy. Teachers have a collective focus on growing the independence, creativity and learning of each child. To achieve this they provide an environment where children can explore, make decisions and actively participate in the daily life of the centre.

ERO last reviewed Topkids in 2013. The ERO report identified that relationships were valued and communication between managers, teachers and parents was positive. It also noted the positive support for children to grow their independence and self-management. These strengths are still strongly evident throughout the centre. Leaders have addressed key recommendations from the 2013 ERO report. In particular, teachers have further developed their reflective practices in order to bring about improvements in their practice and the programme for children.

The Review Findings

Children in this centre are settled and demonstrate a strong sense of belonging. They are confident to explore as they play happily together and alongside each other. They enjoy their friendships with peers and the caring relationships they have with their teachers. Parents value highly the nurturing, respectful relationships their children experience with teachers.

Children make full use of the learning environment. The outside areas are spacious and attractively set out. Children are offered a wide range of appropriate and interesting challenges to help them grow their physical skills and confidence. The indoor areas are print rich and there are inviting spaces and displays that reflect the ever changing interests of children. Children are comfortable with centre routines.

Teachers provide nurturing care for infants and toddlers. They build trusting relationships and effectively support children's language development. Children's eventual transition to school is promoted from infancy by supporting them to grow their independence and confidence. Children who require extra learning assistance are well supported.

Teachers use Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, to guide programme development. They plan collaboratively for learning opportunities and 'provocations' that support and extend children's interests. The diverse languages and cultures of children and their families are represented in centre activities and displays and in teachers' and children's conversations. Mathematics and literacy are incorporated through play. Centre leaders continue to develop reciprocal relationships with local schools to ensure that children make effective transitions to school.

Teachers record children's learning and development in online portfolios. These contain good records of children's participation in the programme and often show connections to their previous learning experiences. Parents are beginning to provide comments and stories from home that contribute to what teachers know about children. Parents, teachers and children share information and lots of stories on a daily basis when children arrive and leave the centre.

The centre is well led by the centre manager and three team leaders. Sound appraisal processes support teachers to reflect on and improve their teaching practice. All staff are supported by targeted and appropriate professional learning and development opportunities. This is building teachers' shared understandings about the practices that best promote children's learning and wellbeing.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders and ERO agree that the next steps for the centre include:

  • continuing to support staff to critically reflect on their practice to further enhance and build upon the centre's focus on continual improvement

  • continuing to develop bicultural practice through deepening teachers' knowledge of te ao Māori perspectives and making this visible in centre programmes and documentation

  • deepening internal evaluation practices to measure effectiveness against the centre's strategic goals.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Topkids New Lynn 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 New Lynn will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

21 September 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


New Lynn, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

100 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 63 Boys 58

Ethnic composition






South East Asian









Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2016

Date of this report

21 September 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 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.