Malamalama Moni Laiti - 06/11/2015

1 Evaluation of Malamalama Moni Laiti

How well placed is Malamalama Moni Laiti 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.


Malamalama Moni Laiti caters for infants and toddlers up to two years. The centre is licensed for 20 with a current roll of 12. All children are Samoan with several also identifying with heritage from other Pacific nations, Māori and Pākehā. Children transition to the adjacent, well-established centre, Malamalama Moni Aoga Amata EFKS Pn Inc. around the time of their second birthday.

The promotion of Samoan language and culture guides the curriculum and is highly evident in practice. The centre’s philosophy also describes Christian beliefs, recognition and responsiveness to individual children and their fanau, and a safe, stimulating programme as key curriculum influences. The centre is affiliated to the Samoan Congregational Christian Church (EFKS) and is governed by a komiti faafoe made up of representatives from the Church, centre staff and fanau.

The centre began as an initiative of the Church as a way to immerse children in Samoan language and culture, and to promote their successful transition to school. The Church then provided very good support when the need for a separate centre for the children up to two years was identified.

This is the first ERO review of Malamalama Moni Laiti, which opened in 2010. The centre has three qualified staff, with one who holds full teacher registration. Centre leaders provide good support for staff to gain qualifications. A new supervisor, appointed at the beginning of 2015, is successfully leading programme development and improvements to teachers’ practice.

The Review Findings

Children settle easily and are confident in this setting. They respond happily to the sense of fun fostered by teachers. Children benefit from a programme that is very appropriate for infants and toddlers. They readily choose from a good range of suitable and accessible resources. Children enjoy the many photographs displayed at their height. Teachers add interest by providing new resources to interest children over the day.

Teachers demonstrate a clear focus on the importance of their support for children’s developing oral language. They make good use of interactions with individual children and use song, rhymes and repetition as strategies to promote children’s growing oral language. Teachers who speak Samoan use the language consistently with children. Teachers also recognise the importance of including aspects of te ao Māori in the programme. A review of the ways that the learning environment promotes language has resulted in greater interactive opportunities for children.

Teachers care for children very well and individual routines and preferences guide teachers’ work. Useful information is shared between home and the centre each day. Although a key teacher takes responsibility for each child, a team approach focussed on children is evident.

Recently introduced programme planning and assessment practices are guiding teachers to document what they notice about children in an ongoing way. This is supporting them to recognise children’s’ learning and plan for ways to respond to individual children. Assessment records for each child show learning and development over time. Teachers are beginning to document reflections on their practice and on the success of the programme. It could be useful for teachers to review these processes as they continue to be embedded.

Parents and fanau value the sense of belonging they feel as Pacific people at Malamalama Moni Laiti. They share their aspirations for their children’s learning and provide a good level of feedback to teachers. This feedback is well used by teachers to plan for children’s learning. Centre leaders are responsive to fanau and have extended opening times to meet their needs.

The dedicated and long-serving komiti faafoe are clear about their governance role and provide good support for centre leaders and staff. They are well informed about centre operations and their discussions focus on improving outcomes for children and teachers. A sound policy foundation for centre operation is well established. Good systems for internal evaluation are being developed. Teachers take leadership roles in these evaluations to use their individual skills and expertise.

Key Next Steps

Members of the komiti faafoe and centre leaders agree with ERO that the key next steps for centre improvement include:

  • developing strategic planning that includes ongoing monitoring systems and is linked to a related plan for internal evaluation
  • continuing to develop the rigour of teachers’ reflective practice.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Malamalama Moni Laiti 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 Malamalama Moni Laiti will be in three years. 

Graham Randell
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

6 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


Westbrook, Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

20 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys      9

Girls       3

Ethnic composition

Samoan/Cook Island Māori


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2015

Date of this report

6 November 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)


No previous ERO reports

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.