Harakeke Early Learning Centre - 19/01/2018

1 Evaluation of Harakeke Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Harakeke Early Learning 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.


Harakeke Early Learning Centre, previously known as Kreative Kidz, is located on the outskirts of Rotorua. The centre is a privately owned, full day education and care service and is licensed for 75 children, including up to 20 under the age of two years. At the time of this review 41 children were enrolled, of which 30 identify as Māori.

The centre philosophy aims to promote the values of manaakitanga, wānanga, and ako as well as the principles of whānau, tikanga and success for Māori as Māori.

Since ERO's last review in 2015 the centre manager has remained the same, however, there have been considerable changes to the teaching team. Currently there are six qualified teachers working in the centre. The centre has benefited from ongoing Ministry of Education support through the Strengthening Early Learning Outcomes (SELO) programme. In addition, in 2017 an external education manager was contracted to support leadership development in the centre. At the time of this review the centre was undergoing significant renovations that were impacting on the delivery of the programme.

ERO's review in June 2015 identified significant areas for improvement in relation to:

  • governance and management, roles and responsibilities

  • philosophy development and self review

  • curriculum, assessment, planning and evaluation

  • performance management processes.

In addition, ERO identified significant areas of non-compliance relating to teaching and learning and in matters of health and safety.

Management have responded positively in addressing many of the areas for improvement identified in the 2015 ERO report and have made sufficient progress to move to ERO's regular review cycle.

The Review Findings

Governance and management systems have been strengthened. The owner and manager have developed a useful strategic plan that sets clear policy and procedural expectations. This plan has informed the major redevelopment of the centres facilities. Self-review practices have been strengthened and implemented to support on-going improvements. The clearly defined vision, policy and expectations for centre operations are contributing to improved learning outcomes for children.

Leadership across the organisation has improved. The centre manager has effectively led a review of the centre's philosophy that provides teachers with a clear direction for teaching and learning. She has been well supported by an education manager to develop and improve systems that support curriculum development assessment, planning and evaluation, self review and appraisal. Effective leadership is contributing to the overall improvement to the quality of the education and care children experience.

The centre has made positive progress in strengthening aspects of the curriculum. This includes:

  • improving the quality and quantity of resourcing

  • teachers reviewing and developing a shared centre philosophy

  • an inclusive approach to supporting children with complex learning and care needs.

To strengthen the learning and teaching programme there is a need to further develop aspects of the centre's assessment, planning and evaluation practices. This is likely to support teachers to fully enact the services philosophy.

Teachers have continued their positive focus and kaupapa for Māori children and whānau. The natural integration of te reo and tikanga Māori supports children to become confident in their identity as Māori. The centres extensive pastoral care networks promotes Māori children's wellbeing and participation in the centre.

Infants and toddlers enjoy respectful and caring relationships with teachers. Their care routines are nurturing and well managed. Teachers take opportunities to talk with whānau and involve them in their child's day.

Teachers are establishing positive and responsive relationships with children. They use a variety of useful teaching strategies that encourage children to play cooperatively alongside their peers. Teachers are developing a collaborative and shared approach to teaching and learning. Through these responsive and reciprocal relationships, children are developing confidence to explore, play and learn.

Key Next Steps

In order for the centre to continue to build on the progress that has been made in the previous two years, priority should be given to:

  • refining strategic and annual planning to focus more deliberately on the curriculum and teaching and learning

  • further developing self-review processes including the establishment of a self-review policy and schedule

  • strengthening teacher appraisal processes.


ERO recommends that the centre needs to:

  • continue to access external pedagogical and educational leadership and professional learning and development in relation to curriculum development, assessment, planning and evaluation and teaching practice

  • develop and share with ERO an action plan that responds to the key next steps identified in this report.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Harakeke Early Learning 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 Harakeke Early Learning Centre will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

19 January 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

75 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 21 Boys 20

Ethnic composition



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

October 2017

Date of this report

19 January 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2015

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.