Te Aroha Noa Early Childhood Centre - 26/10/2017

1 Evaluation of Te Aroha Noa Early Childhood Centre

How well placed is Te Aroha Noa Early Childhood 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.


Te Aroha Noa Early Childhood Centre in Palmerston North caters for children from birth to school age. Of the 73 children enrolled, 43 are Māori.

The service is made up of two parts: He Ngakau Matua, a teen parent unit catering for 10 children aged up to 2 years; and He Ngakau Whānau for 50 children from birth to five years old.

The centre is part of the Te Aroha Noa Community Services Trust, a community development agency committed to empowering its families to identify their own needs, resources and solutions. The centre kaupapa/philosophy reflects the core values of the Trust. Managers and educators provide parents with a range of opportunities to learn alongside their children.

Positive aspects of practice identified in the October 2014 ERO report continue to be evident.

The Review Findings

Positive interactions are evident. There is a strong emphasis on building respectful relationships with children and actively involving parents and whānau in the daily programme. Teachers respond suitably to children’s development and social learning needs. There is a settled and calm tone throughout the centre.

Learning environments are well resourced and stimulating. Spacious outdoor play areas provide many opportunities for physical challenges, social play and gardening.

Babies in He Ngakau Matua benefit from a secure and supportive environment. They receive respectful and nurturing care.

Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori, literacy and mathematics are effectively integrated within the curriculum and environment. Mihimihi, pepeha and karakia are prominent features. There is a strong focus on whanaungatanga, with parents’ aspirations positively included in the programme.

Children experience a curriculum based on their interests and local contexts. Teachers plan collectively to support learning. Children’s work is celebrated in profile books and colourful wall displays. Assessment practices identify learning and record the breadth of participation in the programme. An area for ongoing development is to enhance these practices to clearly identify the strategies teachers use to extend learning and demonstrate learners' progress over time. Strengthening internal evaluation to better understand the impact of the programme on outcomes for children is a next step.

Children with additional learning needs are well supported. Staff have developed positive relationships with local schools and actively support children to transition to new entrant classrooms.

The manager works positively with staff and is building a centre-wide culture and management systems that promote positive outcomes for children. The appraisal system is under review to reflect changing requirements and better support teacher development.

The Trust actively supports the centre, providing funding for resources and professional development. It also provides sound strategic direction that promotes increasing community participation in early childhood education. Updating and documenting processes to support the centre's strategic direction are needed.

Key Next Steps

ERO and the centre manager agree that priorities for further development are to:

  • strengthen internal evaluation focused on positive outcomes for children

  • further enhance assessment practices to clearly identify the strategies teachers will use to extend children’s learning and demonstrate their progress over time

  • continue to refine and strengthen staff appraisal processes to better support teacher growth and accountability

  • formalising the centre's long term planning and strategic priorities.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Te Aroha Noa Early Childhood 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 Te Aroha Noa Early Childhood Centre will be in three years.

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

26 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


Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

60 children, including up to 35 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 38, Girls 35

Ethnic composition

South East Asian
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

August 2017

Date of this report

26 October 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2014

Education Review

November 2011

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 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.