Karaka Learning Centre 4 - 04/03/2016

1 Evaluation of Karaka Learning Centre 4

How well placed is Karaka Learning Centre 4 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.


Karaka Learning Centre 4, south of Auckland, is licensed to provide all day care and education for a total of 140 children aged 2 to 5 years. Although three centres (numbered 4, 5, and 6) have been combined onto one licence, each of the centres has retained its own name and separate play space. Numbers 4 and 6 cater for 50 children each, aged 3 to 5 years. Children aged 2 to 3 years attend number 5. The centre is privately owned and well established on a large rural site. The centre has a swimming pool, and its own bus to explore the larger community.

A manager and administrator oversee the day-to-day running of the centre. The programme for each space is led by head teachers. Long-serving, qualified teachers make up a high proportion of the staff.

The centre’s vision and philosophy aim to instil and encourage a love of learning in all children. Relationships with family and the community are seen as important to children’s individual success.

The 2012 ERO report noted that children were very engaged in learning experiences in and beyond the centre. The quality of relationships and interactions between children and teachers were also acknowledged as strengths. These aspects are still strengths of the programme.

Areas for review and development noted in the 2012 report included making greater use of current literature in the review and evaluation of the programme. It recommended more natural inclusion of literacy and numeracy learning experiences, and an increased focus on New Zealand’s bicultural heritage in the programme. Some progress has been made in some of these areas.

The Review Findings

Children are happy, settled and well cared for. They choose where they will play and move freely between indoor and outdoor environments. Children play independently and co-operatively. Friendships are evident and children know routines well.

Children have good physical challenges in the outdoor areas. Higher levels of quality resources in indoor spaces would allow children to bring complexity and continuity to their learning. Teachers could also consider how curriculum areas could more directly reflect bicultural perspectives and the cultures of the children attending.

Teachers have positive and caring relationships with children, their parents and whānau. They guide children’s behaviour well and try hard to meet parental expectations. Parents speak highly of the teaching team, and many families have long-term links with the centre. Children make smooth transitions as they move up through the various age-based areas within the centre.

Children’s records of learning outline their participation in the programme. They contain a mixture of individual and group learning stories. Some learning stories identify children’s learning and possible lines of further inquiry. This good practice could now be shared and used more consistently to effectively capture, and respond to, children’s learning.

The teaching team is enrolled in a year-long professional development contract in order to strengthen foundations for children's holistic learning. This should build toward teachers gaining a deeper understanding of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and best practice in early childhood education in relation to responsive programme development. It should also provide a stronger foundation for children's transition to school, and promote better coverage of bicultural and multicultural perspectives.

Regularly reviewed and effective policies and procedures guide centre practices. The different perspectives of the teaching teams are reflected in the vision and philosophy statements. Aspects of the centre philosophy are evident in practice. An effective selfreview process is in place, and long term projects are well documented.

Centre leaders are building leadership and teaching capacity in the centre. They understand the need for continuous development and improvement, and are committed to professional learning that builds teacher competence. A strategic appointment is helping to promote bicultural development.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders agree that key next steps for development include:

  • providing a programme that is based on teachers’ deeper engagement with, and more evident implementation of, Te Whāriki
  • continuing to strengthen bicultural practices
  • continuing to strengthen teacher appraisal processes through the inclusion of cultural competency expectations, such as those outlined in Tātaiako - Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners, and the setting of measurable and achievable goals for individual teachers
  • preparing an annual plan that details how goals set out in the strategic plan will be achieved
  • aligning strategic and annual plans with self review and appraisal processes.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Karaka Learning Centre 4 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 Karaka Learning Centre 4 will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

4 March 2016

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


Karaka, Papakura

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

140 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 55% Girls 45%

Ethnic composition





Cook Island Māori

other European

other South East Asian








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

January 2016

Date of this report

4 March 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

December 2012


Education Review

December 2009


Education Review

November 2006

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.