Au Pair Link Auckland 3

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

20 Lewis Street, Blockhouse Bay, Auckland

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Au Pair Link Auckland 3 - 21/02/2017

1 Evaluation of Au Pair Link Auckland 3

How well placed is Au Pair Link Auckland 3 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 Auckland 3 is one of five networks in Auckland, 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 home, 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 80 aged up to two years. The roll at the time of the review was 44, with two identifying as Māori.

Programme managers are all fully qualified and registered teachers. They support educators to provide high quality education and care for children.

Au Pair Link has responded positively to the areas for development and review identified in the January 2013 ERO report.

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

The Review Findings

Au Pair Link provides high quality education and care for children. 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 service 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. Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, strongly underpins the service's curriculum. Children engage in a wide range of learning experiences within and outside the home. Well considered, high quality resources, regular excursions and special events further enhance these opportunities. 

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

Children's progress is captured and celebrated by educators in photos and stories. The programme managers provide comprehensive support for educators in homes and at regular service playgroups. This includes coaching and guidance to effectively model ways to plan for and extend children's learning. Parents' contribution to the programme is highly valued. Assessment practices successfully support continuity in learning and demonstrate 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 managers work 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 managers effectively work alongside educators, families and external agencies to promote the participation and engagement of these children in the learning programme.

A review of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori practices has strengthened programme managers' and educators' knowledge and understanding of te ao Māori. A wide range of resources has been developed to support educators' implementation of a bicultural curriculum.

Collaborative ways of working are fostered with everyone involved in the organisation. Emergent leadership is actively promoted.

The strategic plan effectively guides direction for the service. Goals are clearly linked to outcomes for children. Internal evaluation is embedded across all levels of the organisation and effectively informs change and improvement.

Key Next Steps

Management and leaders have the capability to self-identify appropriate next steps to maintain ongoing improvement and positive outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Au Pair Link Auckland 3 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 Auckland 3 will be in four years. 

Joyce Gebbie
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

21 February 2017 

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 25, Boys 19


Ethnic composition

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

January 2017


Date of this report

21 February 2017


Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

January 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 Auckland 3 - 21/01/2013

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Au Pair Link Ltd 3 in Parnell Auckland is one of four home-based care services providing high quality early childhood education and care for children from birth to school age in the greater Auckland region. Au Pair Link Ltd was established in 2006 and operates from seven locations throughout New Zealand.

The Auckland-based services were established in 2010. Au pairs are selected from overseas and successful applicants are matched for suitability to host families and their children. The service has well documented expectations, guidelines and systems and provides good support and induction for au pairs as they take up their responsibilities within the homes of their hosts. Programme managers continue this induction process through monthly mentoring and follow-up sessions for the duration of time that au pairs stay with families.

Warm and caring relationships are quickly established between children and au pairs. Au pairs provide practical learning activities and access to resources that are appropriate to children’s developmental stages. Additional learning experiences for children are provided at the playgroup sessions, and during the programme managers’ monthly home visits. Visits and excursions to places of interest further extend learning opportunities for children.

Au Pair Link Ltd 3 is well placed to sustain and continue to develop its care and education provisions. Strengths of the service include:

  • strong responsive relationships between au pairs, managers and children and their families
  • a focus on continuous improvement and high quality documentation to guide good practice in all aspects of the service
  • effective leadership and mentoring processes that ensure well managed transitions for au pairs, children and their families
  • well documented learning experiences for children based on Te Whāriki, the New Zealand early childhood curriculum.

Managers have identified that their next steps for developing the programme include the continuing use of self review to strengthen the quality of assessment, implementation of bicultural practices and staff professional development provisions. ERO affirms managers’ decision making about useful next steps for the service.

Future Action

ERO will review the service again 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 service is owned by Au Pair Link Ltd, which maintains a number of home-based care licences across New Zealand. A skilled and experienced Education Services Manager oversees all of the networks nationally. Due to the organisation's rapid growth in Auckland, an area manager has also been appointed, and three additional programme manager appointments are planned. Programme managers are responsible for the networks in their region. Au pairs are recruited from Europe, the USA, the UK and Canada.

This is the first review for Au Pair Link Ltd 3. The organisation has 52 children enrolled, with up to 28 au pairs caring for children. Four qualified and registered (ECE) programme managers coordinate provisions for children’s education and care. The sharing of strengths, knowledge and skills in early childhood education within the programme manager's team is a key source of professional learning for these managers.

Areas of good performance

Children’s wellbeing and belonging. Children are settled and interact positively with au pairs. They are confident in the company of their caregivers and programme managers. Children enjoy the attentive, calm and patient care provided by au pairs. Parents develop clear guidelines for au pairs about their expectations for their children’s behaviour. Children show an understanding of what is expected of them when they are at home and when they are out in the community.

Learning experiences. Children are exposed to a variety of learning experiences through visits to playgroups, music groups, library programmes and other locations. These trips enable children to interact with many other children on a regular basis. The playgroup provides a good variety of age-appropriate activities for children to participate in. Programme managers effectively model for au pairs how to interact with children and implement good learning programmes. They use excursions as an important part of the curriculum to further extend children’s learning in the wider community.

Resources and equipment. Resources and equipment available to support children’s learning and play are a combination of those belonging to the host family and items provided by Au Pair Link Ltd. Children’s choice is respected and catered for through a wide selection of well maintained equipment. Resources are changed regularly and are selected to stimulate and further extend children’s interests.

Communication and relationships. Parents value the open, well considered and mutually respectful communication they have with their au pair and programme manager. They appreciate being kept well informed about their child’s day and learning through communication books, monthly observation sheets and newsletters from programme managers and the wider Au Pair Link Ltd.

Programme management. Au pairs are committed to helping children progress their learning and children often benefit from programmes that focus on their current strengths and interests. An effective documentation process has been developed and is used well by most au pairs to plan for children’s care and education. Au pairs regularly observe children at play and are well supported by programme managers to further extend children’s interests. Planning for younger children appropriately focuses on developmental goals.

Leadership and management. A clear strategic direction and philosophy underpins all aspects of the service’s operations and practices. There are comprehensive, high quality guidelines and procedures to support staff, au pairs and their families. Guidelines are based on current good practices in early childhood education.

An experienced National Education Services Manager provides effective leadership for professional practice. She coordinates and supports the work of the area manager and programme managers. Her focus is on building a professional learning community that builds the capabilities of the au pairs and fosters positive outcomes for children and their families.

Induction and training. Au pairs are appreciative and enthusiastic about the ongoing training opportunities provided by the service. A well organised orientation workshop is an important element in helping au pairs to settle successfully into work in this country. Training provided consists of developing an understanding of Te Whāriki, the New Zealand early childhood curriculum learning how to evaluate children’s learning through the use of ‘learning stories’, and first aid studies. It includes an introduction to the Treaty of Waitangi, work to support the inclusion of bicultural practices, and strategies for promoting te reo and tikanga Māori in programme planning.

Managers also provide parent education programmes and encourage families and au pairs to attend workshops to strengthen their understanding about high quality early childhood programmes.

Self review. Self review is used purposefully to improve the quality of care and education for children and to monitor the effectiveness of health and safety practices. Staff implement a planned approach to self review that uses multiple perspectives and has its basis in current theory and research. Feedback is frequently sought from families, au pairs and children. Recent reviews have focused on the strengthening the quality of learning stories and the provision of the curriculum, Te Whāriki.

Areas for development and review

During the review service managers and ERO discussed next steps for further enriching the programme provided for children. These include:

  • making the programme more challenging by providing greater encouragement for children’s problem-solving and thinking skills
  • continuing to enhance professional development aimed at extending au pairs’ and parents’ knowledge about how to develop children’s thinking and reasoning skills
  • further work on learning stories to include greater detail about children’s learning
  • continuing to strengthen parents’ understanding of their role in supporting children’s education.

Programme managers also identified, and ERO agrees, that there would be value in:

  • strengthening and extending the depth of self-review practices
  • continuing to strengthen the service’s bicultural practices and knowledge.

3 Management Assurance on Compliance Areas


Before the review, the management and staff of Au Pair Link Ltd 3 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 will review the service again in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

21 January 2013

About the Service


Parnell, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Service type

Homebased Network

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 28, Boys 24

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā






Review team on site

October 2012

Date of this report

21 January 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports