Aoga Amata (AAPICA) Centre Avondale - 04/10/2017

1 Evaluation of Aoga Amata (AAPICA) Centre Avondale

How well placed is Aoga Amata (AAPICA) Centre Avondale 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.


Aoga Amata (AAPICA) Centre Avondale is a community based, Samoan bilingual service offering care and education for children from three months to five years of age. It is licensed for 50 children, including up to 12 under two years old. Most children are Samoan and many also have Māori, Tongan and Cook Islands Māori heritage.

The aoga is governed by the Aoga Amata Pacific Island Church Avondale Trust and is located on the church grounds. The purpose-built facility provides separate spaces for the children under and over two years of age.

The manager oversees daily operations and management of the aoga, and provides guidance for the board. The licensee is chairman of the board and is also employed as the administrator. The aoga employs four qualified teachers and six teacher aides. Trustees are chosen by church members and include parents, church and community members. The board meets regularly to discuss governance and management matters.

The 2015 ERO review found that improvements were needed in governance and management, through a greater level of shared responsibility for strategic planning, financial management and internal evaluation. ERO identified non-compliance with requirements for health and safety, personnel and financial management, the quality of teaching and learning, and aspects of record keeping and hazard management.

The board and staff have made progress in some of the areas for development identified in the 2015 ERO report, primarily in the quality of teaching and learning. Ongoing external support will be necessary to embed these improvements and for the board to improve the quality of governance and strengthen centre sustainability.

The Review Findings

Children's identity is celebrated in the programme. Teachers continue to promote the centre's philosophy through Samoan language and culture, and Christian values. Te reo Māori and aspects of the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa are integrated into the programme. Children are confident, articulate and have some opportunities to negotiate and engage in complex play. Teachers should review the learning environment to ensure it stimulates, extends and challenges older children's thinking and physical development.

Infants and toddlers receive nurturing care and support in a calm environment. They know the routines of the day and settle quickly with staff. Children can access resources independently and enjoy exploring their environment.

Teachers have participated in Ministry of Education professional development, which has resulted in a more child-led curriculum and strengthened curriculum management. Progress is particularly evident in the assessment of children's learning and development, and the prominence of children's voice in learning stories. Teachers should continue to work with external support to further improve their professional practice, including their responsiveness to children and ways that they extend children's learning.

The manager understands the value of external and internal evaluation for ongoing improvement. Staff should continue to improve their use of internal evaluation to identify the impact of their teaching practice on outcomes for children. The board needs to ensure that the recently developed process for staff appraisal is implemented to support staff to raise the quality of teaching and learning and to strengthen distributed leadership.

The board has implemented a strategic plan to guide aoga development. The board should access external support to help trustees strengthen their shared understanding of their roles and responsibilities. This should include implementing and monitoring the strategic plan, improving financial management and policy review, and ensuring that they are meeting all legal requirements.

Key Next Steps

Priorities to improve outcomes for children and centre sustainability include the board urgently accessing external support to help them to improve:

  • strategic and annual planning, monitoring and reporting of targeted equity funding
  • ongoing policy review to ensure that they are kept up-to-date and that licensing and legal requirements are met
  • teaching practices that further support an emergent, child-led curriculum
  • annual staff appraisals that inform a programme of professional development and meet the requirements of the Education Council.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Aoga Amata (AAPICA) Centre Avondale 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.

To improve current practice, the board should ensure that records of in-committee discussions are kept and securely stored.

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to the following areas.

  • annual appraisals for all staff
  • an ongoing process of internal evaluation that helps the service maintain and improve the quality of education and care
  • risk assessment, analysis and management, including clear identification of adult-to-child ratios
  • recording of in-committee minutes
  • personnel, employment and child protection policies and procedures relating to the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.
    Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, HS17; GMA6, 7, 7A.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Aoga Amata (AAPICA) Centre Avondale will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

4 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


Avondale, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 25 Girls 10

Ethnic composition



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

4 October 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2015

Education Review

March 2012

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.