ERO evaluated how ECE services work in partnership with whānau of Māori children in 374 early childhood services. The sample was representative of the national profile of service types.[15] The data was gathered during each service’s regular education review in Term 4, 2010 and Term 1, 2011.

ERO’s framework for this evaluation

The evaluation focussed on three questions:

  • To what extent does the service understand and value the identity, language and culture of Māori children and their whānau, particularly when they transition to the service?
  • To what extent have managers and educators built relationships with whānau Māori?
  • To what extent does the service work in partnership with whānau Māori?

Approach to this evaluation

Evidence was gathered during scheduled education reviews of early childhood services and included:

  • meetings with teachers/educators at the service
  • meetings with the manager(s) of the service
  • conversations with whānau of Māori children
  • observations of interactions between Māori whānau and teachers/educators, and between teachers/educators and Māori children
  • observations of the programme in action
  • documentation related to the service’s operation and to the learning of individuals and groups of Māori children.

Review officers provided descriptive information for each key question. A framework with best practice indicators [16] was used to support reviewer’s judgements for each service.