Topkids St Lukes - 16/03/2015

1 Evaluation of Topkids St Lukes

How well placed is Topkids St Lukes to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Topkids St Lukes requires further development to promote positive outcomes for children. This report identifies significant concerns about provisions relating to:

  • the environment in the toddlers' room and how this could more effectively support children's wellbeing, learning and environment
  • aspects of centre leadership and management.

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


Topkids St Lukes provides an education and care service for children from three months to five years of age. It is licensed for 98 children, including up to 45 children under two years of age. The centre is located in a semi-commercial area near the St Lukes shopping centre. Children and staff at the centre reflect its diverse ethnic community. The centre has three separate rooms, each catering for different age groups.

The centre operates under the umbrella of Kidicorp Ltd. Professional and administrative direction is provided by a Kidicorp professional services manager and a business manager. The organisation provides frameworks, policies, support and guidance to develop and monitor consistency of practice.

Centre leadership and management have been through a number of changes since the last ERO review in 2012. More recent centre-based staff changes include the appointment of a new centre manager and the temporary appointment of an acting head teacher. Changes have also occurred in Kidicorp personnel supporting the centre, with the recent appointment of a new business manager and professional services manager.

Plans are also in place for other staff changes across the centre, including the appointment of a new assistant centre manager. At the time of this 2014 review, the centre had three fully registered teachers, seven provisionally registered teachers and seven unregistered staff.

Since the 2012 ERO review, centre practices have continued to progress. Self-review processes have been strengthened and Kidicorp have recently developed a plan aimed at strengthening leadership and management processes across the centre.

The Review Findings

Topkids St Lukes provides a well resourced, spacious environment that supports children’s play and learning. Children have access to a variety of activities and make their own choices about participation in the programme. A range of good teaching practices are evident, including:

  • positive interactions between teachers and children
  • good assessment, planning and evaluation processes for guiding and supporting children’s progress and learning
  • good relationships between teachers and parents
  • culturally responsive teaching practices that acknowledge children’s language and culture, and parents’ aspirations for their children.

The centre has also developed a useful appraisal process that supports teachers’ ongoing professional learning.

Key Next Steps

While children benefit from the above good practices, the centre's governance body identified that some recent behavioural incidents relating to the physical and emotional wellbeing of children in the toddlers’ room were not well managed. The centre’s governance body recognises that it must act with urgency to:

  • improve overall leadership capability to ensure that professional practice in aspects of centre operations and children's safety and wellbeing is promoted and sustained
  • clarify the roles and responsibilities of staff members through effective induction, ongoing leadership support and professional development.

In order to improve management practices, centre management should ensure that:

  • Kidicorp policies and procedures are known and followed by staff
  • clear lines of communication are maintained amongst staff, between staff and managers and between centre managers and Kidicorp personnel
  • teachers work together well so that learning environments are well supervised and provide a safe and nurturing environment for children at all times.

The management team should also continue to develop the quality of teaching practices by fostering greater use of in-depth conversations that extend children’s thinking abilities. They should work with staff to build greater consistency in enacting the centre’s philosophy.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Topkids St Lukes 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.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to the wellbeing of children. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following areas:

  • the documentation and recording of incidents involving physical injury and harm to children
  • improved supervision and staff rostering through effective leadership and centre management. Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008; Regulations 46 and 47

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service consult with the Ministry of Education and plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Topkids St Lukes will be within two years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

16 March 2015

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


St Lukes, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

93 children, including up to 43 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 53, Boys 50

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā



Sri Lankan










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


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2014

Date of this report

16 March 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2012


Education Review

March 2009

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.