Porirua Whānau Centre Childcare - 18/10/2017

1 Evaluation of Porirua Whānau Centre Childcare

How well placed is Porirua Whānau Centre Childcare 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.


Porirua Whānau Centre Childcare is a privately owned service operated by the Porirua Whānau Centre Charitable Trust. It is situated in Cannons Creek Porirua. The service provides education and care for children from infants and toddlers to school age five days a week.

The centre is licensed for up to 65 children, including 15 children up to two years of age. At the time of this evaluation, 26 children identify as Māori and 31 are of Pacific heritage.

Since the February 2015 ERO report, a new business manager and a new head teacher have been appointed. The centre also increased its licensed numbers to 65 children and developed a new learning environment for infants and toddlers.

A chief executive has overall responsibility for Porirua Whānau Centre and this includes overseeing the management of the childcare centre. All teachers are fully qualified. Day-to-day operation of the centre is the responsibility of the business manager, who supports two head teachers and the teaching team.

The previous ERO report identified areas requiring further improvement. These included: strengthening aspects of review and evaluation; assessment and planning; improving interactions; building leadership capability; and annual planning. Good progress has been made in these areas.

The Review Findings

Children's independence is fostered by teachers. They experience warm and respectful relationships with staff and each other. Opportunities for sustained play and literacy learning is woven into the programme. Teachers know children well, they work alongside them and use range of strategies to support learning.

Teachers effectively interact with children and their parents by using their home language to make the programme more meaningful for them. Those with additional learning needs are well supported and where appropriate teachers liaise with external agencies.

Responsive caregiving supports infants' and toddlers' need for strong and secure attachment. Children experience a calm, welcoming and unhurried learning environment. Teachers offer children a range of choices to support their learning.

Te ao Māori is celebrated and well promoted in the centre. The programme incorporates a marae visit, waiata and te reo Māori. Iwi support have been used to strengthen leaders and teachers knowledge of kaupapa Māori practices.

Strong relationships with whānau Māori and their Pacific community is well established. The centre uses a range of strategies to develop meaningful learning partnerships. Leaders have identified the need to further strengthen these by developing specific strategies that encourage greater family and whānau participation.

The centre recently revised its programme planning. Leaders support the teaching team to gain a greater understanding of this process. Teachers design a programme that is based on children’s individual interests. Regular reflections on daily activities enable them to respond to developing individual skills and dispositions to support learning.

Children’s profile books are attractive records of their interests, friendships and participation in the programme. Celebrating and promoting children’s culture, language and identity is highly evident in these records. Further strengthening assessment and planning through:

  • integrating parent aspirations into learning stories to demonstrate how these are responded to overtime

  • demonstrating how deliberate teaching strategies contribute to children’s learning

  • providing greater challenge and complexity to experiences to enable teachers to show how children's learning progresses.

A recent review of the centre philosophy was undertaken with staff. Including parents and whānau in this process would provide wider perspectives on the learning that is valued. Identifying good quality practices would enable valued learning to be realised. In addition the centre, should consider ways to provide opportunities for parents and whānau to contribute to the review processes of the centre. This should aid leaders and teachers to measure how well these practices have supported the realisation of the shared valued outcomes.

Leaders recently implemented a new internal evaluation framework. They are working with the teaching team to build their evaluative understanding and capability. This has the potential to improve teacher practice and to enable them to evaluate the impact of their practices on children’s learning.

A collaborative leadership approach is highly evident. Leaders are improvement focused. A strategic relationship with an external organisation has been developed to support and grow leaders' capability.

Developing and growing teachers' capability is supported through an appropriate appraisal process. Specific goals focus on development, centre-wide aims and personal growth. Further areas to improve this process include focused teacher observations and development goals to strengthen teacher practice.

Key Next Steps

ERO and leaders agree that key next steps include:

  • strengthening aspects of assessment and planning for learning

  • consulting with the centre's community and developing indicators of good teaching practice based on the teaching philosophy

  • enhancing the appraisal system and embedding internal evaluation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Porirua Whānau Centre Childcare 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.

In order to meet its agreed accountabilities, centre management needs to ensure that:

  • Parents of children attending the service and adults providing education and care are provided with opportunities to contribute to the development and review of the service's operational documents. (Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008: GMA4)

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Porirua Whānau Centre Childcare will be in three years.

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

18 October 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

65 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 35, Boys 31

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2017

Date of this report

18 October 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2015

Education Review

March 2012

Education Review

September 2008

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 whānaungatanga – 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.