How we do Education Reviews of Home-based education and care services

This page explains how we review your home-based education and care service that is having an Education Review. Find out what you need to do and what you can expect from us.


The framework and indicators we use

He Pou Tātaki explains the framework and how we do Education Reviews. He Pou Tātaki also explains the indicators we use when we are deciding our judgements.

Read the framework He Pou Tātaki — How ERO reviews home-based education and care services.


Services under umbrella organisations

We will work with your organisation to decide the approach we will take if there are a number of networks in the organisation. We still review the individual service, not the organisation.


How we work with you during a home-based Education Review

1.  We email you to tell you we’re doing a review

We email you around 4-6 weeks before we visit your service for the review. Our email includes all the information you need to prepare for the review.


2.  You prepare for the review

You’ll need to complete two things at least 2 weeks before our review visit.

  1. Send a letter to parents, whānau and kaiako telling them about the review.
  2. Send us the documents we need so we can prepare for the review. These documents help us understand the context and practices of your service.

Below are the documents you’ll need to complete these two steps.

We’ll also need to complete one of the following self-reports.

We encourage you to let us know about any consultation your home-based service has done. We’re interested in any consultation that shows:

  • how the service works with parents, whānau, and educators
  • how staff, parents, whānau, and educators contribute to the service’s internal evaluation.


3.  We will contact you before we visit

We will contact you, usually by phone or online, to explain what will happen in our review for your service and talk about arrangements for our visit.  You can ask any questions you have.


4.  We work with you to prepare the review

We learn about the context of your service and work with you to decide what to focus on.

We focus on identifying strengths and possible improvements. We aim to help your service promote children’s learning and support their wellbeing.

In some services, we may focus on compliance, because of risks to children’s safety and wellbeing. We’re likely to do this where your systems for checking compliance could be better.

We use what you know from your internal evaluation to help design the review.

When the design is decided, we share it with you and decide who we need to talk with during the review.


5.  We talk with people, read and discuss documents and make observations at your service

When we are at your service, we talk with your key staff and other people, including:

  • coordinators or visiting teachers
  • the owner of your service
  • the contact person or service provider
  • managers  and educators
  • staff from the umbrella organisation
  • children, parents and whānau
  • the Māori community and other groups.

We ask questions and make observations. We read and discuss documents and records. We involve you in these activities where we can. We use the indicators and the information we gather to decide our findings and judgements.

We visit a selection of educator homes to confirm our judgements. A key focus of these visits is the Licensing Criteria for Curriculum, Premises and Facilities and Health and Safety.

Read the licensing criteria for home-based ECE services on the Ministry of Education website.


6.  We check compliance

We start from the Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist that you completed before our visit.

We discuss this with you and check the following items because they have a potentially high impact on children’s learning, wellbeing and health and safety:

  • emotional safety including positive guidance, child protection including safety checking
  • physical safety including supervision, sleeping practices, accidents, medication, hygiene and excursion policies and procedures
  • suitable staffing including qualification levels, safety checking including police vetting, teacher registration and ratios
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.


7.  We discuss our findings with you

We either:

  • share our findings throughout our review visit; or
  • meet with your key staff to discuss the findings at the end of our review visit.

Key staff include the service provider, the coordinator or visiting teacher, and anyone else responsible for taking action as a result of our review.


8.  You give feedback on the draft report

We send you the draft report within 20 working days after our review visit ends. If we identify your service as ‘not well placed’, we send the draft within 10 days.

You have 15 working days from the date we email the draft report to do the following. If we identify your service as ‘not well placed’, you have 10 days to respond.

You can:

  • note anything that’s wrong or missing
  • comment on the findings
  • provide extra documents or evidence.

We’ll consider your response. If the evidence justifies a change, we’ll update the report


9.  We publish the report

We confirm the report and email a copy to you within 2 weeks.

We publish the report on our website 2 weeks after we email you the confirmed report.

The audience for ERO reports includes the public, parents and whānau, the Government and people in the early childhood education sector.


You can give us feedback about your review

We’re interested in your experience of the review. Please take the time to complete our questionnaire.

You can complete the questionnaire online or download it as a Word document to discuss and complete as a group. 

Send completed Word versions of the questionnaire to either:

  • Feedback Questionnaire, Evaluation Services, Education Review Office, Box 2799, WELLINGTON 6140.

Email if you have any questions about the questionnaire.