How ERO reviews early childhood services

This section explains what reviews we do and how we review your early childhood service.

It explains the changes we have made to early childhood reviews, starting from 2019. We will continue to make changes through into 2022.


What early childhood services we review

ERO reviews all early childhood services that are:

  • Centre based
  • Home based
  • Hospital based


We use different review approaches using two review frameworks with evaluation indicators

1. Ngā Ara Whai Hua: Quality Framework for Evaluation and Improvement in Early Childhood Services.

This framework includes Te Ara Poutama – indicators of quality for early childhood education: what matters most.

In this framework there are three review approaches, introduced between 2019 and 2022.


Akanuku | Assurance Reviews

We assess whether the early childhood service is meeting the regulatory standards and licensing criteria.

How we decide to do an Akanuku | Assurance Review                         

We do an Akanuku | Assurance Review of your centre-based or home-based early childhood service when:

  • This is the services’ first ERO review, even if it is part of a governing organisation.
  • We previously identified the service as ‘not well placed’ or ‘requiring further development’.
  • The service has moved from a provisional licence to a full licence.
  • The service has been relicensed due to a change of ownership.
  • We are already doing a review and our reviewers find that an Akanuku | Assurance Review is needed.
  • We decide with the service that an Akanuku | Assurance Review is appropriate.


Akarangi | Quality Evaluations

We evaluate the extent to which the early childhood service has the learning and organisational conditions to support equitable and excellent outcomes for learners.

How we decide to do an Akarangi | Quality Evaluation                      

We do an Akarangi | Quality Evaluation of your centre-based early childhood service when:

  • We previously identified the service as ‘well placed’ or ‘very well placed’; or
  • The service has completed a satisfactory Akanuku | Assurance Review and is meeting the regulatory standards.

We will start to do these evaluations in home-based early childhood services later in 2021.


Akamatua | Evaluating Excellence and Innovation

This is a case study approach. We will identify, investigate and evaluate cases of excellence and innovation in early childhood services.

We are developing this approach. We will start to use it later in 2021 and into 2022.


2. He Pou Tātaki

In this framework we do Education Reviews of home-based and hospital-based early childhood services.



All services need the Handbook 

The Handbook for Early Childhood Services describes some of the existing legislation and legal requirements for early childhood services.

Read the Handbook for Early Childhood Services.


How we review using the different approaches

For more information on how we review using the different of approaches see the following pages on this website: