Hikurangi Educare - 20/02/2019

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

Hikurangi Educare is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


Hikurangi Educare, north of Whangarei, provides education and care for 35 children, including up to 10 under the age of two years. Children are cared for in two age-related areas. Children transition to the older age group at approximately two years of age. The centre manager, who was appointed in April 2018, works closely with an Educare area manager.

The centre's philosophy is consistent with the values and philosophy of Educare Early Learning Centres, and aligns with the aims of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. The centre promotes the values of whanaungatanga, manaakitanga, kotahitanga and kaitiakitanga.

The 2015 ERO report commented positively on many aspects of the centre including relationships, teaching practices, partnership with parents, the curriculum, bicultural practices and cultural responsiveness. ERO recommended that children's learning be extended through their involvement in setting learning goals and assessing their own progress.

The centre is one of 16 centres owned by the directors of Educare Early Learning Centres. The shared vision across this group is "Learn, Laugh, Play". The group's senior leaders provide administrative and professional support. They also monitor and evaluate the centre's progress towards achieving centre-specific strategic goals that align with the organisation's goals.

Educare's focus over the past three years has been professional learning and development (PLD) in leadership and in te ao Māori. More recently, PLD has included a focus on supporting children’s oral language, programme planning, assessment and aspects of performance management.

This review was part of a cluster of three reviews of Educare Early Learning Centres.

The Review Findings

Children have many opportunities to learn, in a supportive environment. Their interactions with adults are positive and affirming. Teachers engage them in conversations that encourage them to think and respond. Teachers help children to access resources, and they make good use of questioning to extend children's play.

The programme encourages children to lead their own learning. It enables children to make choices about their play and work uninterrupted for extended periods. Rolling morning tea times help children to self-manage and take responsibility.

Infants and toddlers are well cared for. While they have their own space, they can interact with the older children. Teachers' approach is unhurried and respectful of the child and their whānau. Children are encouraged to make choices about their participation in the programme.

Tikanga and te reo Māori are an integral part of the programme. Teachers skilfully include te reo in their conversations with children and encourage their responses. They are developing links with local marae to extend their relationship with the local community, and build their knowledge of local history and places of cultural significance.

Teachers' documentation of planning and assessment enables them to share information about children's current interests and dispositions with their parents. Teachers collaboratively discuss their thinking about plans to support individual children's learning.

The learning environment is well resourced and organised. It provides appropriate physical challenge and supports the centre's curriculum focus on environmental sustainability. Resources are easily accessible to children as they move freely between the indoor and outdoor areas.

The new centre manager provides sound leadership, and has managed the centre well during a period of significant staff changes. Teachers work collaboratively to ensure that centre operations run efficiently and effectively.

Educare managers are proactively building leadership capability within the organisation. The sustainable leadership model is working well in this centre. An improved appraisal system and targeted professional learning are supporting ongoing improvements to teaching and learning.

Key Next Steps

Centre managers agree that key next steps include:

  • consolidating the use of recently introduced processes for programme planning and assessing children's learning

  • strengthening internal evaluation, particularly in relation to teaching and learning

  • monitoring progress towards achieving strategic goals.

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.

Centre managers should increase the detail in risk management plans for excursions to encourage staff to think carefully about how risks will be managed and how they should respond to emergencies.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Hikurangi Educare will be in three years.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

20 February 2019

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

35 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 24 Boys 24

Ethnic composition

other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2018

Date of this report

20 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 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.