First Five Incorporated - 10/12/2018

1 Evaluation of First Five Incorporated

How well placed is First Five Incorporated 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.


First Five Incorporated is a community-based early learning service located in the grounds of Cannons Creek School, Porirua East. It is licensed to provide all-day education and care for 25 children, including 8 up to two years of age. The physical learning environment is organised into two distinct spaces, one for the youngest children and the other for children aged over 2 years. Each group has a distinct teaching team. Children share an outdoor play space.

The centre is governed by a management committee made up of staff representatives and parents. Day-to-day operation of the service is the responsibility of the centre supervisor. There have been some changes to the teaching team and management committee since the January 2014 ERO review. Almost all teachers are qualified and hold current practising certificates.

The centre philosophy acknowledges the dual heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand and is based on the values of whanaungatanga, manaakitanga, and kaitiakitanga.

The learning community is ethnically diverse. The service attracts families, whānau and aiga from the local community and also from the wider Porirua area.

The lease on the current property is not renewable and securing permanent premises for the service has been a priority for the management committee and supervisor for the past 18 months. This continues as a challenge for them.

The Review Findings

Children's holistic development and learning are enhanced through their active participation in well considered learning experiences and activities. An inclusive culture and positive tone are evident. Responsive, attentive teachers know children's strengths, interests and needs well. Their wellbeing, sense of belonging and learning is promoted.

The service's youngest children are nurtured within a culture of care. The high ratio of adults to children and small group size result in close relationships, a calm and unhurried environment and sustained interactions and learning episodes.

The centre philosophy underpinned by the values, is enacted in practice. It aligns with Te Whāriki 2017, the revised early childhood curriculum, and together these guide planning for learning and assessment practice well. Children's individual portfolios contain meaningful assessment learning narratives. These record their developing skills, knowledge and learning attributes and record their progress against valued outcomes.

A culturally responsive curriculum and practice is evident. This is especially noticeable through the inclusion of te reo and te ao Māori in meaningful ways. The ongoing development of practices and inclusion of experiences responsive to children of Pacific heritage, and their aiga, continue to improve and evolve.

Well-incorporated literacy and mathematical learning experiences are an integral part of children's early learning experiences. Teachers support their developing understandings and provoke their thinking and meaning making through the use of deliberate strategies.

Leaders and teachers are committed to providing quality early childhood education for families, whānau and aiga that make up the service's community.

Practices to build the service's capacity, including appraisal and professional learning for teachers, align with identified strategic priorities. Self review for accountability and improvement purposes is well understood.

Key Next Steps

Leaders and teachers should continue to build their understandings and use of effective internal evaluation practice to sustain and continually improve outcomes for children, families, whānau and aiga.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of First Five Incorporated 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 health and safety practices leaders need to:

  • ensure all high storage in adult working spaces is secure.

Since the onsite phase of this review, this issue has been rectified.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of First Five Incorporated will be in three years.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

10 December 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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 19, Girls 15

Ethnic composition

Cook Island
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

October 2018

Date of this report

10 December 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

January 2014

Education Review

August 2010

Education Review

June 2007

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.