Learning Adventure Maraenui - 12/02/2019

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 is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Learning Adventures Maraenui, located in Napier, is operated by Evolve Education Group Ltd (Evolve). It is licensed to provide education and care for 60 children aged over two years. Of the 48 children currently enrolled, 39 identify as Māori and 7 as Pacific heritage learners. Most children go to and from the centre in a van.

Governance and management is provided by Evolve. The centre is supported by an acting Area Manager, a General Manager of Centre Operations and Evolve Teaching and Learning Managers.

The centre manager was appointed in November 2018. Over the last year, centre staffing has stabilised as a consistent team.

The February 2018 ERO report identified that improvement was required in the quality of curriculum design, cultural responsiveness, assessment for learning, transition to school, appraisal and internal evaluation. The need for better guidance and support from Evolve managers was also identified.

Leaders and kaiako have been engaged in a range of professional learning and development (PLD), through Evolve, with a Ministry of Education Strengthening Early Learning Opportunities (SELO) contract and other sources. Ongoing PLD has been put in place for staff. Steady progress has been made.

The Review Findings

Teachers know the children well. Each child is supported by a key teacher throughout their time at the centre. This promotes strong relationships with the child and their whānau, and fosters a sense of belonging and increased confidence.

An effective place-based, bicultural curriculum supports children's learning and well-being. The centre's philosophy, written in te reo Māori and English, emphasises the importance and value of respectful, reciprocal relationships in which diversity is embraced. It outlines the centre’s valued outcomes and is evident in the programme. 

Success for Māori is prioritised. Te ao Māori is highly valued and strongly reflected in practice. Leaders model the use of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori which are woven throughout the learning experiences enjoyed by tamariki. Visits by local kaumātua enrich the learning programme. A range of easily accessible Māori resources support this focus. Children know their pepeha, and mihi whakatau and poroporoaki are being introduced as part of the centre’s regular practice.

A knowledgeable staff member and the use of Pacific resources and artefacts promote a sense of belonging for Pacific children and aiga. The centre has identified that continuing to build the teaching teams knowledge of working with Pacific children is important.

There has been a focus on the development of assessment, planning and evaluation practices. In September 2018 a new planning model was introduced. Planning has become more intentional and deliberate. A useful monthly planning format identifies children’s interests and new areas of focus, along with signposts of learning. Narrative assessment requires further development and strengthening to:

  • clearly identify the learning that is taking place
  • articulate next steps for the child
  • show progress in learning over time
  • evaluate the impact of the programme and teaching strategies on outcomes for children.

Kaiako promote opportunities for parent involvement and feedback in their child’s learning. The use of a digital portal and children’s portfolios support this.

The centre is in the early stages of understanding the impact of Te Whāriki 2017 and what this means for teaching practice. Leaders identified that developing a shared understanding is a focus for ongoing PLD from Evolve for 2019.

Suitable provision is in place for children with additional learning needs. External agency expertise is sought as required.

Teachers facilitate visits to local schools to support children's transitions. Developing an understanding of how well this process works for all should assist in ongoing development.

Consistent implementation of a robust appraisal process is in place to guide teacher development. Across the organisation teachers’ position descriptions have been revised and work is underway to develop a quality practice template that aligns with the Teaching Council's Code of Professional Responsibility and Standards for the Teaching Profession. Appraisals include useful feedback which relates to observations of teaching practice. An inquiry process has been introduced to enable teachers to reflect and grow their capability. Further development and use of this framework is necessary.

Centre leaders and staff are being supported by an external professional development provider to further develop internal evaluation. A useful internal evaluation framework is in place however, a shared understanding of internal evaluation is still being established.

Evolve should continue to provide support and guidance to centre leaders to promote sustainable practice. Further defining strategic goals and monitoring outcomes should also strengthen sustainability of operation.

Key Next Steps

Evolve education should continue to strengthen:

  • assessment for learning practices
  • the appraisal process
  • shared understanding and implementation of internal evaluation
  • the leadership capability and sustainability through updated strategic goals, deliberate actions and monitoring.

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.

In order to improve current practice the service provider should ensure that:

  • teachers notify parents of any accidents and this process is clearly documented.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Learning Adventures Maraenui will be in three years.

Phil Cowie
Director Review and Improvement Services Central
Central Region

12 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

60 children, aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 26, Girls 22

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2019

Date of this report

12 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2018

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.