ABC Hokowhitu - 29/08/2014

1 Evaluation of ABC Hokowhitu

How well placed is ABC Hokowhitu 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.


ABC Hokowhitu is an all-day education and care centre located in urban Palmerston North. At the time of the March 2011 ERO review this service was one of two licensed centres. It is now amalgamated to one service in two buildings and is licensed for 56 children including 17 up to two years of age.

Separate areas are provided for children aged two to three and a half, and for those over three and a half years in one building. The second house caters for infants and toddlers aged up to two years. Currently there are 14 Māori children on the roll.

In November 2011, Kidicorp took ownership of the service. Changes were made to improve the indoor and outdoor learning environments for children and adults. The newly appointed centre manager and teachers are supported by a regional manager, business manager and professional services.

The visiting teacher from professional services is responsible for monitoring the quality of the curriculum and supporting teachers’ ongoing professional learning and growth. The centre manager is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the service.

The overall centre and individual area philosophies underpin practice. Teachers have recently focused on strengthening bicultural awareness and assessment for learning documentation practices to enhance outcomes for children.

There is a satisfactory reporting history with ERO for the centre prior to the merging of the two licences.

The Review Findings

The centre has a positive organisational culture. Its approach to reviewing, with a focus on improvement, is positively influencing teaching and learning practices.

Children enthusiastically engage in spontaneous and planned experiences. Learning programmes are relevant and responsive to children’s interests and ideas. Infants and toddlers develop trusting relationships with key teachers.

Children’s sense of belonging is enhanced through positive interaction with caring adults who know them and their families well. The centre’s youngest children are effectively catered for by adults who encourage developing verbal language and recognise their cues and wishes. Early mathematics concepts occur for infants through enjoyable everyday experiences that encourage them to explore further.

Older children show confidence and high levels of independence. Teachers mostly allow children to extend their learning without interruption. Conversations challenge children’s thinking through questioning and exploring possibilities.

Literacy and numeracy is often integrated and part of children’s choices. Mathematical learning is enhanced through a range of opportunities to engage in games in which children can vary the level of challenge.

Teachers are respectful and affirming in their relationships with children. A positive tone is noticeable across the centre.

Staff work collaboratively to determine parents' aspirations and expectations. Learning and development are increasingly celebrated and shared between teachers and parents. A developing part of this process is the collection and sharing of assessment information with families through e-portfolios. This approach has the potential to further extend children’s learning and encourage parent input.

Staff are reviewing the use of te reo Māori in their practice. One consequence is increased use of te reo Māori in daily practice in most areas of the centre.

Managing change to strengthen centre practices is a focus for the newly appointed centre manager. She effectively leads review processes that assist centre developments and decision-making. Leadership is supportive and collaborative. Clear expectations for managing centre operations provide direction through well-developed systems and processes.

Developing systems for planned and spontaneous self review promote ongoing reflection and improvement. Managers support staff as they develop their evaluation capability.

Key Next Steps

Attention should be given to strengthening practice in relation to aspects of the centre’s philosophy statements. Managers and teachers should continue to develop and increase shared understanding of formal, in-depth, evidence-based self review to enhance decision-making. Further development should include:

  • maintaining Māori learners' connections to their cultural identity through increased inclusion of te ao Māori in curriculum practices
  • inquiring into the effectiveness of formal programmes for older children to support their literacy and numeracy learning
  • enhancing assessment practices to guide future teaching and learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of ABC Hokowhitu 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 ABC Hokowhitu will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

29 August 2014

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

56 children, including up to 17 aged up to 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 40, Girls 39

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā


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

July 2014

Date of this report

29 August 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2011


Education Review

January 2008


Education Review

February 2005

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.