Akoranga Childcare Centre - 20/06/2018

1 Evaluation of Akoranga Childcare Centre

How well placed is Akoranga Childcare 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.


Akoranga Childcare Centre is a not-for-profit service, located on the Akoranga campus of Auckland University of Technology (AUT). It is an open-plan, mixed-age centre, licensed to provide for up to 40 children, including eight under two years of age. The centre serves a culturally diverse community. The families of many children enrolled are AUT staff members or students.

Parents lead a management committee that is made up of parent, staff and AUT representatives, as well as the centre director. They work collaboratively and meet regularly to receive reports from centre leaders against the strategic and annual plans. The centre director/senior teacher and head teacher are part of a team of nine teachers, most of whom are registered teachers. Many have been in the centre for a long time.

The centre's philosophy is underpinned by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, with an emphasis on bicultural practices, positive guidance, literacy and numeracy. Teachers believe that children learn best through play and incorporate routines and structure into daily programmes.

ERO's 2014 report noted that positive practices identified in its previous report had been sustained. The centre was well led and managed. The report identified a variety of high quality practices that continue to be evident. These include effective communication and relationships with whānau, culturally responsive practices, and skilful support for children's learning and wellbeing.

ERO's 2014 report affirmed the teaching team's plans for enhancing outcomes for children, and noted the need to strengthen strategic planning and teacher appraisal practices. The centre has responded very well to these next steps. Since 2014, targeted professional development (PLD) for teachers has helped to promote and sustain consistently high quality teaching and learning. The centre is part of the Northcote Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako, which provides access to further comprehensive PLD opportunities.

The Review Findings

Children are active participants in a challenging and responsive curriculum. They are well supported by teachers to see themselves as capable and confident partners in the learning process. Children show initiative and engagement in leading their own uninterrupted learning for sustained periods. They have access to a wide variety of resources in all learning areas. The natural and open-ended resources promote children's creativity and provide them with good opportunities to explore.

Children up to the age of two years benefit from caring teachers who promote a calm and peaceful environment. Education and care routines are appropriately individualised. Tuakana/teina relationships are supported as younger children have easy access to the outside area for their own exploration and to play with the older children.

The introduction of a 'Real Play' approach has been influential in strengthening children's leadership of their own play, supported by effective teaching practices. Teachers respond very effectively to children's emerging interests. They value and affirm children for their ideas, prior knowledge and experiences. High quality questioning encourages higher order thinking and facilitates complex play. Teachers foster literacy and mathematical learning opportunities as part of children's play and as they relate to children’s interests.

Teachers' commitment to bicultural practices is evident in daily programmes. Adults and children use te reo Māori naturally during play and daily interactions. A focus on integrating Māori concepts is apparent in the use of natural resources and in displays in the environment. Strong partnerships with whānau and the community support teachers' responsiveness to diversity.

Planned learning is very visible in centre displays and is reflected in the programme in action. High quality portfolios provide good information about children’s learning experiences and progress over time. Centre leaders encourage families’ contributions to planning and evaluating programmes, and their engagement in their children’s learning.

The centre is well led and effectively managed. Strategic planning is a collaborative exercise and is informed by internal evaluation. Professional development is planned to support centre leaders in their leadership and management roles. Teachers enthusiastically commit to PLD to improve their practices and enhance outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders and teachers have identified appropriate strategic goals and next steps for ongoing centre development, including:

  • continuing to build capability in, and the use of, in-depth internal evaluation

  • ongoing high quality professional development for teachers.

This is also an opportune time for centre leaders to refine the centre's philosophy to better reflect the centre's strategic direction.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Akoranga Childcare 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 Akoranga Childcare Centre will be in four years.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

20 June 2018

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


Northcote, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 24 Boys 22

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

20 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

December 2014

Education Review

February 2012

Education Review

November 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.