New tools to help with evaluation and compliance for New Zealand learning services

We regularly hear from educators and educational leaders that you wish you had more time! You spend a lot of your time reading regulatory documents and guides and figuring out ways to implement the requirements that ensure you provide a quality early learning environment for your children and their families. 

Keeping up to date and implementing the new requirements is a lot of work!

For educators in New Zealand, you have had a lot of extra work to do recently, keeping informed and up to date with the latest Ministry of Education and Te Ara Poutama (ERO) requirements and licensing criteria. We have heard that it has been a time-consuming and overwhelming exercise for some of you. Particularly when you already have many essential administrative tasks to tackle daily! Of course, there is then the mission of figuring out how to implement the information into your processes and practices. Planning these things takes up even more of your precious time!

An easier way to manage these changes

We have been working on ways to help you carry out this extra work without sacrificing your time! 

Storypark now has planning templates and learning sets available for services in New Zealand that include the new NELP requirements, the updated licensing criteria from MOE and the new and updated documents from Te Ara Poutama (ERO).

These help you focus on fostering the success of all learners (particularly for Māori and Pacific learners). Having these available will ensure that the new requirements underpin and inform your practice, keeping them top of mind when you are documenting and planning.

Transparency for your whole team

The new planning templates and learning sets will help you in various ways. For example, the licensing criteria planning templates will help ECE services identify precisely where your learning service meets the requirements. They will also help you to see areas that may still need your focus. Adding and linking to relevant documents means that everyone in your teaching team knows the different areas of compliance and how you are tracking in achieving these.  

Often educational leaders or managers hold this sea of vital information “in their heads” or in various documents and notebooks. Not having this information available for others to easily access can cause confusion and chaos for other team members if the leader has time off work or leaves a learning service. 

Having the new and improved learning sets and planning templates set up in Storypark can save you a lot of stress. It means the information is not lost and is accessible to other members of your teaching team. It also makes the process of gathering and analysing evidence easier.

New learning sets

You can find the new learning sets under the ‘My Region’ tab within Storypark’s learning set library. Click on the learning set you would like to use, and click “Copy to your learning sets.” Once you have done this, you will find the learning set added to your “Our Learning Sets’ tab. They are then ready for you to use, just as you have used other learning sets previously. 

The new learning sets you will find in Storypark are:

  • Te Whāriki Centre-based learning outcomes (personalised) 
  • The Statement of National Education and Learning Priorities (NELP)
  • New Zealand (2020) Te Ara Poutama – Indicators for Quality for ECE including examples (ERO) (2020)

Te Ara Poutama - Indicators for quality for ECE including examples from ERO 2020

New planning templates

The planning templates are under the “My Region” tab within Storypark’s planning templates library. Click on the template you want to use and click the “copy to our templates” button. You will then find the “Our Templates” area. You will then be able to either start using it as it is or you can edit it to add or remove any further information you need. 

Here is a list of the new planning templates now available for New Zealand educators and Learning Services:

  • Licensing Criteria Checklist (ERO Audit)
  • Audit/Checklist – Section 1: Curriculum standard
  • Audit/Checklist – Section 2: Premises and facilities standard
  • Audit/Checklist – Section 3: Health and safety practices standard
  • Audit/Checklist – Section 4 – Governance, Management and Administration
  • EVALUATION JUDGEMENT RUBRIC Akarangi (ERO) 
  • Quality Improvement Plan (NZ) 
  • Annual Professional Growth Cycle
  • Ngā Aronga Whai Hua – Internal Evaluation for Improvement (updated)
  • Annual Plan (updated)

Evaluation judgement rubric akarangi from ERO

A new addition to the planning templates you will find valuable is the Evaluation Judgement Rubric Akarangi. The rubric supports ERO and early childhood services to judge quality and improvement using internal AND external evaluation. Having the rubric as a planning template in Storypark means that your team can collaboratively identify the extent to which your learning service has the learning and organisational conditions to promote and achieve equity and excellence. You will find it easier to decide what to work on next as part of your internal evaluation. Linking documentation to the planning template rubric will help you keep your evaluation evidence-based. Understanding where your service sits within the rubric will help your team determine the next steps you need to take to plan for ongoing reflection and improvement. 

Supporting your teaching team to evaluate quality and areas for improvement

Having the tools to nurture strong connections and communication within your team is critical if you are to ensure your learning service continuously focuses on improvements that make a positive impact on children’s learning and development. Are you confident that the systems and processes you use for internal and external evaluation are effective? Do they support your team to easily document and evaluate areas of quality and improvement? 

Using a streamlined system to achieve this is fundamental to promoting equity and excellence. Storypark’s new planning templates and learning sets are a fantastic tool to support high-quality practice and strengthen outcomes for children. 

Want to learn more about how these tools can work together in Storypark to highlight and integrate all of the work that you are already doing and to support your ongoing quality improvement? Watch our free online workshop to help you get started now!

Posted by Sonya McIntyre

Sonya was born in Lower Hutt and went to Rata Street Kindergarten and Petone Kindergarten. A qualified ECE, she studied at Victoria University in Wellington and has worked with home-based educators, in community-based childcare and in kindergarten. With childhood memories of reading books and writing stories, combined with her passion for all things social media, Sonya segued into her role with us at Storypark as social media manager.


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