Learning Adventure Maraenui - 09/02/2018

1 Evaluation of Learning Adventures Maraenui

How well placed is Learning Adventures Maraenui to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Learning Adventures Maraenui has experienced significant change in management roles and staffing over the past two years. The centre manager requires support to guide centre direction and teaching and learning

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


Learning Adventures Maraenui is operated by Evolve Education Group Ltd (Evolve). It was purchased from its previous owner in 2015 and rebranded in 2017. The service is licensed for a maximum of 60 children aged over two. At the time of this ERO evaluation, of the 59 children enrolled, 48 are Māori and seven of Pacific heritage. Most children go to and from the centre in a van.

Governance and management is provided by Evolve and is currently in a period of change. A regional business manager guides the service. A support manager was recently appointed to work alongside the centre manager and team.

The centre manager began in this position in November and the team leader in August. There has been a high turnover of centre staff within the past year.

The philosophy reflects the unique culture of the service. It was recently reviewed to reflect the teaching team beliefs and centre values. Ongoing evaluation is planned as Evolve develops a curriculum framework for Learning Adventures services in 2018.

The Review Findings

Children participate in a wide range of learning experiences. Learning resources are freely available and support children's growing capabilities. Children are able to follow their interests and teachers work alongside them to extend these opportunities. Children play with and alongside their peers well. Children are supported to enjoy a learning environment that offers challenge.

Staff demonstrate a strong commitment to promoting children's care and wellbeing, and to developing teaching strategies that support children's learning. Centre expectations and routines are familiar to children and staff. 

The programme has recently changed from being activities-based to focusing on individual learning goals. Staff should continue to give priority to development of a curriculum that emphasises clear learning outcomes for all children. Assessment, planning and evaluation processes are developing. Teachers should seek support from Evolve to build their knowledge of effective practice.

Children's language and culture are increasingly reflected in the learning environment. Some teachers use their expertise and knowledge to support children's language through waiata and action songs. Priority should be given to continuing to develop and implement teaching practices and strategies that promote and support Māori children to achieve success as Māori.

Leaders and teachers have identified a number of important ways to better promote Pacific children's language, identity and culture. These include increasing programme resources and developing teachers' planning, knowledge and use of Pacific languages. ERO's evaluation confirms this direction.

A key teacher role has been introduced to build learning relationships with children, families and whānau. Teachers engage with agencies to support children with additional learning needs. The teaching team is working towards establishing relationships with local schools to support individual children and their families and whānau to transition to school.

Using internal evaluation to inform ongoing improvement is developing. Teachers are beginning to gather information to determine the impact of their actions on children's learning. Continuing to develop understanding of the purpose and use of internal evaluation for improved outcomes is an important next step.

A recent restructure within Evolve has led to the introduction of new management roles that aim to provide increased support for centre staff. Evolve managers should continue strengthening systems to provide ongoing guidance and support to centre leaders and teachers for continuous improvement of teaching and learning. This includes further development of the appraisal process.

Key Next Steps

ERO and the Centre Manager agree that a priority for centre development is continuing to inquire into the impact of the curriculum to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

The service should also continue to develop:

  • assessment, planning and evaluation to ensure it is responsive and clearly links to Te Whāriki (2017)
  • teacher capabilities through the robust implementation of the appraisal system
  • internal evaluation for improvement. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Learning Adventures Maraenui 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

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to curriculum. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following areas:

  • the centre's curriculum is informed by assessment, planning and evaluation (documented and undocumented) that demonstrates an understanding of children's learning.
    [Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, C4]

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service, in consultation with the Ministry of Education, develops a plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report. 

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Learning Adventures Maraenui will be within two years.

Alan Wynyard
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

9 February 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

60 children, aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 34, Boys 25

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%
Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2017

Date of this report

9 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 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.