Ko Aroha Tuatahi Childcare Centre - 28/03/2017

1 Evaluation of Ko Aroha Tuatahi Childcare Centre

How well placed is Ko Aroha Tuatahi Childcare Centre 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.


Ko Aroha Tuatahi is an established childcare centre located in Elsdon, Porirua which caters for children in its local vicinity. The centre works to provide affordable and flexible hours of education and care to support the varying needs of families. Meals are provided. Children up to two and over two years of age play and learn in defined areas. Specific programmes operate for different age groups. Most children are Māori, many who whakapapa to Ngāti Toa iwi.

A committee made up of parents and whānau, community members and staff contributes to the running of the centre. A supervisor and two senior teachers manage day-to-day operation. Both qualified and unqualified staff are employed to maintain high ratios of adults to children. Since the February 2014 ERO review, there have been a number of staff changes.

Recently, Ko Aroha Tuatahi management has taken over a neighbouring childcare centre. The supervisor manages both centres.

The Review Findings

The philosophy guiding teaching and learning is currently under review to better reflect the uniqueness of the centre. Key values have been identified. These include whanaungatanga and manaakitanga which are evident in interactions with children and families. Rangatiratanga and kaitiakitanga are beginning to be supported through planned programmes and group learning opportunities. Teachers should continue to build a clear, shared understanding of how their identified values are enacted through the curriculum and guide approaches to teaching and learning.

Good progress has been made in developing a local focus in the curriculum that responds to Māori learners' language, culture and identities and supports a bicultural perspective. Relationships with Ngāti Toa iwi and whānau Māori have been strengthened and the centre is building meaningful connections with the local marae and members of the wider community. These developments have been well supported by professional learning and development (PLD) and self review. 

Provision for children up to two years of age is being reviewed. These children are cared for in specifically assigned spaces which provide them with separate learning areas to move in and explore. Additional staff support teachers to provide supervision and care. Parents are made to feel welcome and involved. To further improve provision, teachers should examine practices and interactions which promote respectful care and independence, and support rich learning opportunities.

Teachers collaboratively plan a range of learning activities in response to children's identified interests and dispositions. Community excursions and the adjacent bush are increasingly used to extend children's learning. Regular evaluations of the programme are occurring, particularly for group activities.

Children's interests and physical and social development are recorded through learning stories. Leaders recognise the need to further develop assessment for learning, to promote consistent teacher practice, richness and continuity of children's learning.

Centre staff are building meaningful relationships with families and a sense of community. Parents are provided with opportunities to participate in, and contribute to, the centre. Further developing partnerships with parents, to support children's learning, is an appropriate focus for teachers.

Leaders work collaboratively in restructured teams. They are undertaking external leadership training to build their capability and develop shared processes for consistent, professional practice throughout the centre. Ensuring expectations are clearly communicated and documented should support this alignment.

An appraisal system, which meets statutory obligations, is in place. To improve practice, formal observations of practice should be undertaken and documentation completed.

A committee of parents and staff meets regularly to oversee centre operation. Annual work plans and strategic planning are in place. There are good systems to manage finance and resourcing and for the monitoring of health and safety. A new approach to the review of policies has been implemented. Some policies require updating and improved alignment with procedures.

There has been a focus on developing understanding and use of internal evaluation, aligned to priorities for improvement. Teachers are exploring the use of indicators of effective practice to examine and improve provision. Their next steps are to further build understanding and consistent practice using a wider range of evidence, clearly linked to the indicators and to parents' aspirations.

Key Next Steps

The centre should continue to develop and strengthen:

  • shared understanding of curriculum emphases and a clear philosophy to guide teaching and learning, especially for children up to two years of age

  • expectations and consistency of effective teacher practice

  • understanding and development of leadership roles and capabilities

  • internal evaluation. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Ko Aroha Tuatahi Childcare Centre completed an ERO Centre 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 Ko Aroha Tuatahi Childcare Centre will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

28 March 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 Early Childhood Service 



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

41 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 26, Girls 24

Ethnic composition







Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2016

Date of this report

28 March 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

February 2014

Education Review

November 2010

Supplementary Review

March 2009

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 ERO’s Approach to Review in Early Childhood Services.

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.