Living & Learning Family Centre Mangere - 28/03/2018

1 Evaluation of Living & Learning Family Centre Mangere

How well placed is Living & Learning Family Centre Mangere 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.


Living & Learning Family Centre Mangere is a community-based service. It is licensed to provide sessional and full-day education and care for up to 110 children, including up to 35 under two years of age. The centre has five rooms for different age groups. Children often mix as movement between spaces, including the outdoors, is very flexible. Most children have Pacific or Māori heritage with smaller numbers of Pākehā, Indian and Asian children. The centre vision is 'Faith, Hope, and Love'. Teachers aspire to provide 'safe and fun-loving environments which promote a zest for learning'.

The service is one of two Living & Learning Centres supported by the Kindercare organisation. Although they report to the Living and Learning Foundation Trustees, the centre director and area manager autonomously manage the centre. A significant feature of the centre is its links with community agencies and health professionals. Together they provide a wrap-around service for centre whānau and the community.

The centre director is supported by a curriculum leader and team leaders. There are 11 registered teachers and a number of unqualified staff. At the time of this review a new centre director had recently been appointed.

In the 2014 report ERO identified several positive features of the service. Caring and respectful relationships supported children's sense of belonging, and the responsive curriculum encouraged child-initiated learning. ERO recommended that teachers strengthen their evaluation processes and aspects of the programme. Appraisal processes and bicultural practices were also areas for development. Teachers have continued to work on these areas.

The Review Findings

Children observed were happy and confident in the centre. Their identity, language and cultures are affirmed. Children have positive relationships with teachers, and engage in play that interests them. They enthusiastically explore the outdoor environment, often playing in small groups, communicating respectfully with each other, and responding well to adult support. They benefit from uncluttered indoor spaces and a good variety of natural and open-ended resources. Children's independence is fostered through opportunities to make choices and develop self-help skills.

Teachers know children well. They respond to individual interests and are sensitive to children with additional learning needs. Infants and toddlers enjoy nurturing care and benefit from good adult to child ratios. Programmes support their developmental milestones, and teachers encourage them to explore interesting resources. Toddlers frequently play with older children, as they develop their mobility and social skills. This enables children to transition easily through the centre.

Adults' conversations with children encourage them to share their ideas and sustain their play for long periods. Teachers often use te reo Māori and foster the use of children's first languages. They support children to develop early literacy and numeracy skills in meaningful contexts. Teachers are planning to enhance children's transition to school. As part of this initiative, those working with older children could now further challenge children to develop more complexity in their play.

Teachers maintain extensive planning folders and journals to document shared interests and highlights of children's play. They record individual learning in learning stories, but currently do not maintain hard copy assessment portfolios for children. Unfortunately these systems do not provide strong guidance for intentional teaching or continuity for children's individual learning. Leaders have identified the need to enhance teachers' critical evaluations of programmes.

Leaders encourage teachers' ongoing professional development. Internal workshops, mentoring and external learning opportunities are linked to teachers' appraisal goals and centre goals. Leaders plan to increase teachers' leadership capabilities and their knowledge of intentional teaching. Allocating curriculum leadership roles may be a useful strategy, and could also help teachers to plan more deliberately for their roles in extending children's learning.

Leaders and teachers maintain trusting relationships with families. They are responsive to the social, emotional and physical needs of the centre community. Respect for Māori and Pacific languages, culture and taonga provides a sense of belonging for all. Leaders consult families informally and through surveys. They also have a digital portal for families to access learning stories. As this process does not work well for many families, leaders are now considering ways to re-establish hard copy assessment portfolios.

The centre is well managed. The centre director and leadership team are well supported by the area manager to operate the centre efficiently. Centre management is guided by a sound policy framework and health and safety systems. A strategic plan guides centre goals. Implementation and evaluation processes for these goals would help leaders to document progress and the achievement of their aspirations.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders agree that key next steps for centre development should include:

  • reviewing the centre philosophy and establishing a kaupapa that reflects the strengths of the centre's community
  • developing the quality of internal evaluation including teachers' understanding of critical reflection

  • strengthening programme planning, assessment and evaluation to enhance the focus on individual children's interests and learning dispositions

  • refining the teachers' appraisal process to align with the Education Council's requirements.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Living & Learning Family Centre Mangere 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 Living & Learning Family Centre Mangere will be in three years.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

28 March 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


Mangere, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

110 children, including up to 35 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 51% Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

Cook Island Māori


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

January 2018

Date of this report

28 March 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2014

Education Review

May 2011

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.