Breakthrough Timatanga - 14/08/2015

1 Evaluation of Breakthrough Timatanga

How well placed is Breakthrough Timatanga 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.


Breakthrough Timatanga is a privately owned and operated service located in a residential suburb of Whangarei. It caters for 24 children from two years to school age. The centre offers full day and sessional education and care. The centre operates from an office building which has been thoughtfully modified to maximise the use of available space.

The centre’s philosophy is focussed on providing a supportive and caring environment to promote children’s life skills and support transitions to the service and to school. Catering for a diverse community, it is also licensed for before and after school care to primarily assist their early childhood families and their older siblings.

The centre opened in 2012 and this is its first ERO review. The owner has significant experience in centre ownership and management. Leadership is collaborative, consultative and shared amongst the staff. The centre has four fully registered teachers. Two are qualified in early childhood education, and two in primary education. Two other teachers are in their final year of early childhood education degree study. The centre has a high ratio of teachers to children.

The Review Findings

Children settle quickly and benefit from warm relationships with their teachers and each other. They are well supported by their teachers to develop their social and emotional skills. Children’s wellbeing is well supported by caring and affirming teachers.

Māori children benefit from teachers who frequently and confidently use te reo Māori. Teachers celebrate Māori language and culture to awhi and value Māori children’s identity and heritage. Tikanga Māori is thoughtfully integrated into centre practices and routines.

Teachers provide very good support for children’s oral language development. They engage in frequent, meaningful conversations with children. Teachers effectively respond to children's contributions. They know children well and promote a highly inclusive learning environment.

Children with additional learning requirements are very well supported by teachers and management. Ongoing relevant professional development and external relationships are in place to help teachers promote positive outcomes for children with high needs. The centre works effectively with whānau to share information and decision making.

Teachers continue to develop a responsive and relevant emergent curriculum. Their programme planning develops learning themes from the interests of individual children. Meaningful literacy and mathematical learning opportunities help children, when they are ready, to develop these skills. Regular staff meetings to discuss teachers’ assessment of children’s learning, helps to improve programme planning.

Individual children’s assessment records are attractive, accessible and detailed. They offer valuable insights for whānau on how well their children are progressing. Teachers are developing links between their self review and the daily programme to cater for individual children’s interests.

Online portfolios are helping to increase parents’ access to their children’s learning. Teachers would like to find ways to make it easier for families to document their comments about their children’s learning. Useful communication strategies help the centre regularly connect with families.

The programme currently has several group times. Teachers could review the structure of the day and the extent to which routines interrupt children's engagement in sustained play.

The centre is well managed and well resourced. A comprehensive policy and procedure framework guides operations. This is effectively reviewed to make ongoing improvements. The philosophy and the annual management plan have been enhanced through input from families.

Effective leadership is evident. Shared leadership strategies help teachers develop their leadership skills, promoting a cohesive and collaborative team. Robust performance management systems inform teachers’ professional development and improve outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

To continue to promote positive outcomes for children, ERO and the centre owner agree it would be useful to develop:

  • long term strategic planning focussed on promoting positive outcomes for children
  • personnel management roles and policies to sustain good personnel practices
  • centre-wide understanding of effective teaching practice and structures
  • teachers’ evaluation of how well teaching promotes positive outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Breakthrough Timatanga 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.

In order to improve practice, the service owner should:

  • further consult with the Ministry of Education regarding the use of the car park as an outdoor play space/outdoor excursion experience and minimise hazards and risks to children during peak traffic times.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Breakthrough Timatanga will be in three years. 

Graham Randell
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

14 August 2015 

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 


Regent, Whangarei

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

24 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys      14
Girls       13

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

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2015

Date of this report

14 August 2015

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.