Moko Club - 12/01/2018

1 Evaluation of Moko Club

How well placed is Moko Club to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Moko Club requires further development in the areas of professional leadership for quality early childhood education, teaching capability, internal evaluation and aspects of environmental safety.

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


Moko Club is located on the grounds of Huntly West Primary School. The service is licensed for 35 children including five up to the age of two years. At the time of this ERO review 26 children were enrolled, including 21 Māori. This is a mixed-age centre with two separate aged-based areas that are used for some periods of the day.

The centre was established as a pilot playgroup programme in 2011, and became a provisionally licensed early childhood centre in 2015. It became fully licensed in 2016. This is the first ERO review of this service. A second centre, Moko Club Ngāruawahia, has also been established.

Moko Club (NZ) Ltd. is a fully owned subsidiary of Kowhai Consulting, an advisory firm specialising in Māori development. They provide governance support with personnel, culture, strategic direction, administration, documentation and policy. Moko Club is supported by an external advisory board. It includes corporate advisors, charitable governance and management, and a representative of the Māori King's office. A manager, who is a trained primary school teacher, oversees both centres. A teacher with an early childhood qualification takes responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the centre.

Since the centre's opening, governance and leadership has remained constant and there have been a number of changes to the teaching team. Some teachers have participated in Ministry of Education funded professional development related to self review, appraisal and positive guidance.

The centre philosophy aims to provide learning in a fun environment with the Māori concept of ‘Kaitiakitanga’ being the guiding framework. Te Ao Māori and the importance of tangata whenua in Aotearoa underpin this philosophy. Priority is placed on the engagement of children and whānau, removing barriers to attendance and establishing trust in their communities.

The Review Findings

The curriculum reflects aspects of the Moko Club vision and philosophy. However, it is yet to effectively and consistently provide children with an appropriate and rich range of experiences to promote their learning. The delivery of the curriculum that needs further development include:

  • effective integration of literacy, oral language and mathematics learning in a play-based programme

  • teachers' capability to recognise and respond to children's emerging interests, strengths and dispositions and plan appropriate learning opportunities

  • development of a shared understanding, and processes for assessment, planning and evaluation including strengthening child and whānau voice, and capturing the language, culture and identity of all children

  • a consistent alignment from the centre's curriculum to the New Zealand early childhood curriculum Te Whāriki.

The provision for all children, including up to the age of two years of age, requires strengthening. While children enjoy opportunities to learn alongside their peers in a spacious, calm environment there is a need for teachers to improve their supervision, interactions and engagement with children at all times.

The manager is an advocate for children and whānau in the community. She has developed inclusive and trusting home connections and is committed to working in partnership with parents, teachers, the wider community, external agencies and iwi. Initiatives introduced to increase participation include free transportation using a bus, and supporting families in holistic ways. There is a need for the centre manager to further develop her understanding of best practice in early childhood education and performance management systems. This is likely to enable her to effectively build the capability of the lead kaimanaaki and teachers to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

Children participate in a centre which reflects and acknowledges Maōri culture and identity. They have ready access to the natural world and outdoor areas. Children actively participate in exploring Papatūānuku, growing and sharing vegetables for the wider community and embracing the concepts of kaitiakitanga and manaakitanga. They learn about Kingitanga, Tūrangawaewae Marae, kapahaka, waiata and karakia. Some te reo Māori is used in the programme and teachers are committed to strengthening their skills and confidence in this. Māori children are supported to achieve success as Māori.

Whānau are encouraged to contribute their knowledge and skills to the programme. Children benefit from learning about their local and wider community through regular excursions and trips. Children and whānau demonstrate a strong sense of their cultural identity and belonging.

Children with additional needs are well supported. Teachers access appropriate specialist support for children with additional needs. The Ministry of Education has provided professional development for some teachers about oral language acquisition and working with children who have suffered trauma.

Self-review processes require further development. Teachers have participated in professional development to support them in establishing a framework for self review. This needs to be further strengthened by collecting evidence, linking to research, best practice and learning outcomes for children.

Kowhai Consulting Ltd need to consider accessing early childhood educational advice and expertise to support them to meet their commitment to providing a high-quality service to children and their whānau. This should include reviewing the service's vision, goals and philosophy to better reflect the requirements of the early childhood licensing criteria and principles of Te Whāriki.

Key Next Steps

Priority must be given to strengthening the effectiveness of governance, professional leadership and teaching practice.

  • internal evaluation systems and processes including appraisal

  • the implementation of Te Whāriki curriculum

  • teaching practice and positive guidance strategies

  • monitoring of compliance systems to promote safety for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Moko Club 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 found significant areas of non-compliance in the service with regard to:

  • provision of the early childhood curriculum

  • ensure gates (external and internal) are always closed

  • ensure fire exits are kept open

  • effective supervision of children at all times.

[Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008: C1, PF13, HS8, PF2]

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 Moko Club will be within two years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

12 January 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

35 children, including up to 5 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 16

Girls 10

Ethnic composition



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

October 2017

Date of this report

12 January 2018

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.