Makoura Community Early C-Hood Centre - 05/11/2015

1 Evaluation of Makoura Community Early C-Hood Centre

How well placed is Makoura Community Early C-Hood Centre 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.


Makoura Community Early C-Hood Centre is attached to the Wairarapa Teen Parent Unit (TPU) in Masterton. It is administered as a not-for-profit incorporated society. The centre is governed by a management committee which includes parents, staff and the head teacher of the TPU.

The centre is licensed for 50 children, including 25 up to two years old. Half the licensed spaces are allocated to the TPU, with the other half for the wider community. The centre is made up of two separate modules. Atutahi caters for children up to two years of age. Rehua and Takarua cater for children over two years. Each module has a separate teaching team.

There have been significant staff changes since the January 2013 ERO report. Restructuring occurred during 2014-2015. The strategic focus since then has been on team building, developing a positive culture and improving organisation structures, systems and processes for sustainable practice.

The manager oversees day-to-day operation of the centre, human resources and professional practice. Head teachers in each of the modules lead curriculum review, development and implementation. These senior leaders, along with 10 teaching staff, are all qualified teachers with current practising certificates.

The centre philosophy is positioned in ‘Whakawhanaungatanga – The art of families caring for families’ and the mission statement 'to nurture and empower our community of learners to belong, to believe, to discover, to grow'. These positively influence teaching practice and continuity of learning between home and the centre and through close links with the community.

The Review Findings

Te ao Māori and the principles of Te Whāriki are evident in the service philosophy and influence ongoing curriculum development. Children’s holistic development is promoted through developing their sense of belonging, wellbeing and social competence.

A calm, positive and inclusive tone prevails in the centre. Interactions between adults and children are nurturing, respectful and reciprocal. Families and whānau work in partnership with centre staff to support their children’s learning.

Children enthusiastically participate in a varied, rich and culturally-responsive curriculum. Children’s developing knowledge and skills are further enhanced through regular outings and experiences in the community.

Primary caregiving for the service’s youngest children is guided by teachers’ research into best practice. This relationship-based model results in teachers knowing young children and their whānau well. Adults are nurturing, highly attuned to these youngsters’ verbal and nonverbal cues and responsive to their needs and requests.

Leaders and teachers use assessment information well. Individual learning portfolios celebrate children’s achievements, culture and dispositions for learning as well as their developing skills, knowledge and attitudes. Teacher analysis of assessment information also identifies children requiring additional support and informs ongoing programme planning.

As children get older they have increased opportunities to determine the direction of their own learning. Teachers support this well. They are intentional in the teaching strategies they use and provide children with more complex learning experiences. Many activities have a particular emphasis on the inclusion of te ao Māori and literacy and mathematical skills learning.

Families and whānau transitioning into the centre, between age groups and to school are well supported.

Centre governors and managers work collaboratively to continually improve outcomes for children, their families and whānau. Self review for improvement is well understood and effectively guides ongoing decision making. Building and supporting professional practice is well considered and aligns to the service’s strategic and annual priorities for development.

A deliberate and extensive review of the service's personnel policies has resulted in the development of a strengthened appraisal system. Prior to this revision, teachers kept comprehensive professional-evidence based learning journals that demonstrated the acquisition of new knowledge and how this has improved their practice with children.

The revised process, while in the early stages of implementation, enhances and formalises teachers' earlier practice. It builds on the inquiry approach and the provision of high quality evidence to demonstrate achievement of goals and the Practising Teacher Criteria. Teachers are highly reflective practitioners who seek out current theory and best practice to adapt their teaching.

The inclusion of Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners in appraisal promotes culturally responsive practice. As a result of this, leaders and teachers have deliberately focused on building their knowledge of te ao Māori, especially pertaining to Ngāti Kahungungu ki Wairarapa. Te reo Māori is an integral part of teaching and learning.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders recognise it is timely to evaluate how well the service philosophy is enacted in practice and how this improves outcomes for children, their families and whānau. ERO affirms this next step development as appropriate.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Makoura Community Early C-Hood Centre 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 Makoura Community Early C-Hood Centre will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

5 November 2015

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

50 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 37, Girls 19

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2015

Date of this report

5 November 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

January 2013

Education Review

December 2009

Education Review

September 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.