Au Pair Link Wellington 1

Education institution number:
Service type:
Homebased Network
Not Applicable
Total roll:

505 Riverside Drive,, Fairfield, Lower Hutt

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Au Pair Link Wellington 1 - 30/08/2016

1 Evaluation of Au Pair Link Wellington 1

How well placed is Au Pair Link Wellington 1 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.


Au Pair Link Wellington 1 is one of two networks in Wellington, operated by the national early childhood organisation Au Pair Link. There are fourteen licensed networks across New Zealand. The organisation recruits au pairs (educators) from overseas to work with young children in their homes, usually for a maximum term of one year. Through the recruitment process, families choose an educator who they think will meet the needs of their children. Building strong, secure relationships between families and educators is a high priority for the organisation.

This network is licensed for 80 children, including up to 80 aged up to two years. The roll at the time of the review was 41, with three identifying as Māori.

All programme managers are fully qualified and registered teachers.

Au Pair Link has responded positively to the areas for development and review identified in the April 2013 ERO report. This included: further supporting educators to recognise and respond to children's learning; building parents awareness of the expectations for curriculum delivery; and strengthening strategic planning to include expected outcomes for children.

This review was part of a cluster of three in the Au Pair Link organisation.

The Review Findings

Au Pair Link provides high quality education and care. Well aligned, robust systems and processes, including quality assurance, monitoring of practice, effective leadership and systematic internal evaluation contribute to improvement, sustainability and positive outcomes for all children.

There is a strong commitment to the philosophy at all levels of the organisation. A focus on high quality care and education in children's own homes and positive learning outcomes is highly evident.

The service values the importance of children learning through play. Children are introduced to a wide range of learning experiences within and outside the home. Well considered, high quality resources and regular excursions further enhance these opportunities. Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, strongly underpins the service's curriculum. 

Educators undertake a comprehensive induction process. This includes support to develop an understanding of Te Whāriki, children's learning dispositions and bicultural practices.

The programme manager provides comprehensive support for educators in homes and at regular service playgroups. This includes coaching and guidance to effectively model ways to plan children's learning and identify next learning steps. Children's progress is captured and celebrated by educators in photos and stories. Parents' contribution to the programme is highly valued. Assessment practices successfully supports continuity in learning and demonstrates children's progress in a range of contexts.

Many children in the service are infants and toddlers. The placement of educators is well considered and responsive to the needs of individual children and their families. The programme manager works positively alongside educators to provide a curriculum that effectively supports infants and toddlers.

Provision for children with additional learning needs are carefully considered. The programme manager effectively works alongside educators, families and external agencies to promote the participation and engagement of these children in the learning programme.

The strategic plan effectively guides direction for the service. Goals are clearly linked to outcomes for children. Au Pair Link has identified the need to increase the participation of Māori and Pacific families. Since the April 2013 ERO report, this has occurred and continues to be a priority.

Key Next Steps

Management has identified, and ERO's evaluation affirms, the need to continue to strengthen participation of Māori and Pacific families.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Au Pair Link Wellington 1 completed an ERO Home-based Education and Care 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 Au Pair Link Wellington 1 will be in four years. 

Joyce Gebbie
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

30 August 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 Home-based Education and Care Service 



Ministry of Education profile number


Institution type

Homebased Network

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

80 children, including up to 80 aged under 2

Service roll


Standard or Quality Funded


Gender composition

Girls 21, Boys 20

Ethnic composition

South East Asian
Middle Eastern
Other ethnic groups


Number of qualified coordinators in the network


Required ratios of staff educators to children

Under 2


Over 2


Review team on site

July 2016

Date of this report

30 August 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 the draft methodology for ERO reviews in Home-based Education and Care Services: July 2014

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. 

Au Pair Link Wellington 1 - 08/04/2013

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Au Pair Link is a national home-based education and care service with a number of licences across New Zealand. This is the first Education Review for Au Pair Link, Wellington 1. The network is licensed for 80 children aged less than two years and 80 aged over two. At the time of this review 32 children were enrolled. The area manager and two family and programme managers are responsible for the provision of home-based care, implementing a quality curriculum for children and for the ongoing professional growth of au pairs in the area.

Au pairs are generally recruited from Europe, the USA, the UK and Canada. They attend orientation on arrival. Guiding documentation for this process provides information on Au Pair Link’s mission, programme expectations, regulations and policies. Individuals have the opportunity to acquire knowledge about children’s development and behaviour to assist them to safely and effectively care for children.

Strategic planning has appropriately determined key priorities for the service. Au Pair Link managers have begun to determine performance indicators and expected outcomes from these goals to strengthen their review process. ERO affirms this direction.

Future Action

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

2 The Focus of the Review

All ERO education reviews in early childhood focus on the quality of education. For ERO this includes the quality of:

  • the programme provided for children
  • the learning environment
  • the interactions between children and adults.

The Quality of Education


The programme managers visit au pairs regularly and provide advice and guidance. They supplement home resources, particularly in response to children’s emerging interests. There is an expectation that au pairs will support the learning and development of each child through the provision of programmes aligned to the early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki.

The Au Pair Link mission is to provide cultural, affordable and quality in-home childcare for families. Au pairs are placed in family homes for up to twelve months. At orientation, au pairs receive a range of information to promote their well-being and support their work with children. Au pairs receive an overview of the early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki, and initial guidance to assist them in suitably encouraging children's interests and responding to their emerging needs.

Areas of good performance

Children engage in a range of child-initiated, play-based experiences. Au pairs' capacity to provide learning opportunities that are always relevant, authentic and interesting is variable. Excursions into the wider community provide children and adults with additional activities and regular social interaction in a larger group. Au pairs spoken to, who choose to attend these experiences, acknowledge they are a useful way of networking with other adults and sharing ideas.

Children’s individual portfolios are well presented records of happenings and experiences with their au pair. Some au pairs visited by ERO capture children’s passions and significant moments of learning. They recognise and respond to their emerging interests within narratives. Children revisit these “memories of their life and the experiences they share with their au pair and whānau”. Parents are encouraged to share events about their child through frequent conversations with their au pair and regular contact with the family and programme manager.

Parents receive ongoing information to assist with the inclusion of an au pair into their home and liaise regularly with family and programme managers. Newsletters, email correspondence and home visits support families to access relevant information to assist the work of au pairs. The family and programme manager provides useful verbal and written feedback to au pairs on a regular basis.

Responsive and reciprocal interactions are evident. Au pairs encourage and display positive values and behaviours. They participate in children’s activities; working with them at their level and at times modelling appropriate play. Children are encouraged to listen, share ideas and communicate. Au pairs visited know their children well and respond promptly to requests and physical and emotional needs.

Au Pair Link managers meaningfully reflect on and respond to the outcomes of planned and spontaneous self review. Continued review of the curriculum has focused on considering the processes, including assessment, that build practice and support children’s learning. Clear priorities for review have been established and information gathered to consider current practice.

Areas for development and review

Au pairs' ability to recognise and respond to individual learning, including the cultural context of Māori and Pacific children, requires further support and guidance. Au Pair Link managers should review and extend current processes to assist au pairs to set relevant goals to develop their practice. Aligning professional learning and development (PLD) and providing more specific feedback should increase au pair knowledge of expected practice and lift educational outcomes for children.

Au Pair Link area managers have developed six key strategic goals to build practice and promote future development. This includes a focus on the purposeful inclusion of Māori and Pacific families and children. Through discussions with ERO, area managers have begun to determine performance indicators for the goals. Identifying expected outcomes from these indicators should align the service’s mission, strategic intent and actions contained in the annual plan. It should also improve self review at all levels of the organisation.

Family and programme managers state that au pairs have opportunities for professional development and role modelling of good practice through weekly playgroups. At times, the ability to attend these sessions conflicts with daily plans and programmes parents may have for their child. Managers should consider further ways to ensure parents are aware of expectations for curriculum design and delivery and PLD for home-based care.

3 Management Assurance on Compliance Areas


Before the review, the management and staff of Au Pair Link Wellington 1 completed an ERO Home-Based Education and Care Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • curriculum standard
  • premises and facilities standard
  • health and safety practices standard
  • governance management and administration standard.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on outcomes for children:

  • emotional safety (including behaviour management, prevention of bullying and abuse)
  • physical safety (including behaviour management, sleeping and supervision practices; accidents and medication; hygiene and routines; travel and excursion policies and procedures)
  • staff qualifications and organisation
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

4 Future Action

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

8 April 2013

About the Service



Ministry of Education profile number


Service type

Homebased Network

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Service roll


Gender composition

Male 18,

Female 14

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Latin American



Review team on site

February 2013

Date of this report

8 April 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports