Hikurangi Educare - 10/04/2015

1 Evaluation of Hikurangi Educare

How well placed is Hikurangi Educare 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.


Hikurangi Educare located beneath the maunga of Hikurangi north of Whangarei, provides high quality full and part time education and care for infants and children up to school age. The centre is part of the Educare Early Learning Centres group of early childhood services. It operates under the management systems that support all Educare centres.

The programme for older children is influenced by the Reggio Emilia approach and teachers in the infants and toddlers area are guided by the Magda Gerber practices. It emphasises respectful relationships in a natural environment. The centre has the capacity to provide a dedicated space for infants and toddlers.

Value is placed on developing meaningful relationships with whānau and families. Staff are focussed on developing children’s understanding of sustainable lifestyle practices and involving whānau and the community on this journey. Positive relationships with the local primary school and kindergarten support children’s transitions into and out of the centre.

The newly appointed centre manager is an experienced early childhood practitioner. The centre currently has three qualified and registered teachers, two of whom are provisionally registered. Natural resources are well integrated throughout the centre. Recent renovations and refurbishments have enhanced the indoor learning environment.

This review was one of three reviews of Educare Early Learning Centres. Educare owners and senior managers took an active role in each review.

The Review Findings

Teachers provide a sound emotional environment for children. Infants and toddlers benefit from responsive and trusting relationships. Teachers deliberately provide an unhurried programme allowing children time to absorb experiences and wonder at the resources they investigate. Calm routines, respectful interactions and relaxed play contribute significantly to happy children with a sense of wellbeing and trust in the adults who guide them.

Older children are self-motivated, confident explorers who lead their own play. They enthusiastically contribute to conversations and express opinions about ways their play might develop. They learn in a well-resourced environment that supports their sustained engagement in play and learning. Profile folders show connections between children’s learning and their world, and genuine opportunities for children to develop their leadership skills.

Skilful teachers engage older children in authentic learning experiences. They ask open questions, listen well to children and are responsive to shifts in children's interests and ideas. Teachers are inclusive and culturally responsive, guided by children’s interests and parents’ aspirations. They encourage children to make their own discoveries and celebrate children’s growing independence and exploration.

The curriculum is underpinned by the principles of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, bicultural practices and partnerships with parents/whānau. Māori concepts of aroha, whakawhanaungatanga, tuakana/teina and kaitiakitanga are evident in learning programmes and teacher practice. Literacy, numeracy, science and environmental practices are purposefully integrated through meaningful play scenarios.

The centre is well led. Despite being new to the role, the centre manager has formed a positive professional relationship with staff. Collaboratively, they have developed indicators to enhance teachers’ understanding of expectations reflective of the centre’s philosophy. The strategic plan guides centre direction and aligns with Educare’s new strategic plan. Self review is well established and focussed on improving outcomes for children.

The Educare leadership team provide effective governance and management systems and processes to centre leaders and teams. They support centre leaders and teachers to provide high quality education and care. Distributed leadership and sharing of expertise across centres is promoted. The owners provide very well for the professional development of staff. The general manager capably supports each Educare centre to improve outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

The centre leader and teachers could enhance current high quality practices by extending older children’s critical thinking through goal setting and assessing their own progress.

At the organisational level, the leadership team could enhance Educare’s direction by reviewing teachers’ leadership pathways within Educare.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Hikurangi Educare 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 Hikurangi Educare will be in four years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

10 April 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


Hikurangi, Whangarei

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

35 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 19 Girls 11

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


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2015

Date of this report

10 April 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

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.