Agape Aoga Amata - 10/09/2013

1 Evaluation of Agape Aoga Amata

How well placed is Agape Aoga Amata 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.


Agape Aoga Amata is operated by the Alofa o’le Atua Trust, under the umbrella of the Samoan Independent Seventh Day Adventist Church (SISDAC) in Mangere. The aoga is licensed for 30 children, including seven children under two years. The aoga was opened in 2011 as a result of consultation with families and the church community.

The families in the church community wanted an aoga that could cater for their children’s learning, and help to maintain the Samoan language and the spiritual aspect of their beliefs.

A board of trustees governs the centre and a management committee, which includes parent representatives, oversees the operation and administration.

The centre has made good progress since opening with the support of the governance and management committee. The centre manager was instrumental in establishing the aoga amata and oversees the daily operations of the centre. A supervisor coordinates the programme provided for children, and leads a team of six staff, including two registered teachers.

The agoa philosophy promotes the Samoan language, culture and identity, which is embedded in a Christian ethos.

The Review Findings

Children are well settled, confident and have a strong sense of belonging in the aoga. The programme that teachers provide for children promotes children’s sense of well being, language and identity. The centre manager and teachers value and foster positive relationships with parents and families/aiga. Good practices that promote positive learning for children include:

  • teachers who are caring and know children and their families well
  • a programme focussed on the learning goals of Te Whāriki, the New Zealand early childhood curriculum
  • teachers who are fluent in the Samoan language and who foster children’s spiritual development
  • assessment and portfolios that value children’s learning
  • strong links with the church and the local community.

Teachers work well together. They ensure the environment is welcoming and informative for parents. Defined areas of play support children to explore their interests.

Key Next Steps

The manager agrees with ERO that the aoga should continue to develop and strengthen an organisational culture that contributes to ongoing improvement through:

  • teachers gaining deeper understanding of purposeful teaching and learning through play
  • reviewing and improving the learning programme for children under two years
  • promoting strategies that encourage children to have the confidence in responding to adults and other children in gagana Samoa
  • using current early childhood education theories and professional learning and development to guide teaching practice.

To further promote positive outcomes for children. The governance and management group should consider:

  • developing robust self-review processes to improve professional practice and establish policies that meet the requirements of the 2008 early childhood regulations
  • aligning the strategic plan more closely with aoga annual plans and philosophy in consultation with teachers and parents
  • providing leadership training and good quality professional development for the supervisor and centre manager.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Agape Aoga Amata 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 Agape Aoga Amata will be in three years. 

Dale Bailey
National Manager Review Services
Northern Region

10 September 2013 

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 


Mangere, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 7 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 16, Girls 14

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Cook Island Māori


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2013

Date of this report

10 September 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports


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.