Mokopuna ki Whau Valley Early Childhood Service - 22/03/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

Mokopuna ki Whau Valley Early Childhood Service is well placed to continue to promote positive outcomes for children.


The centre is located in Whau Valley, Whangarei, and caters for children over the age of two years. The purpose built facility was opened in August 2010 and is located in the grounds of Whau Valley Primary School. This is the centre’s first review.

The centre is one of four early childhood services managed by He Puna Marama Trust, based in Whangarei. The Trust provides an overall vision, philosophy and operational framework for the centre. The centre has developed its own teaching philosophy that emphasises whakawhānaungatanga.

The Trust promotes increasing participation in early childhood learning within Whangarei. It provides an extra 10 hours funded education that is additional to the Ministry of Education 20 hour funding provisions.

The Review Findings

The Mokopuna philosophy promotes the centre as an extension of whānau and provides a supportive, nurturing environment for tamariki and their whānau. Relationships are valued and communication between kaiako and whānau are positive. The Trust and centre staff provide good support for families that includes liaison with external agencies.

Affirming interactions between kaiako and tamariki are evident. Effective teaching strategies support children to develop independence and problem solving skills. Teachers skilfully develop children’s vocabulary and language to enable them to become confident and competent learners. Children are able to make choices and set their own pace. Teachers foster sustained complex play. Literacy and numeracy skills are developed through meaningful learning contexts.

Culturally responsive teaching practices are evident. There is a high level of te reo Māori used and tikanga is embedded in centre practices. The centre is committed to further building staff capability in this area. Use of the Ministry resource Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners, would support this development.

Teachers deliver the curriculum in a strong, bilingual kaupapa Māori framework. This framework is clearly linked to Te Whāriki, the New Zealand early childhood curriculum, and reflects the centre’s increasing focus on using natural resources. Trust and centre leaders show a commitment to providing staff with access to a wide range of professional learning and development opportunities to build teacher capability.

Clear planning and assessment processes are in place. The 'notice, recognise and respond' approach is based on tamariki interests and informs teachers’ planning.  Effective systems are in place for individual and group assessment. Information about curriculum and tamariki learning is accessible to whānau.

The Trust’s education manager provides strong leadership at management level.  There is good support for the head teacher, who models good practice for staff and maintains a collaborative approach to children’s care and education.

Systems are in place for the review of centre policy and operations. Through external and internal professional development, a useful model is being developed to guide and record self review. Sustainability would be enhanced by a longer-term view of Trust and centre priorities, more detailed annual planning and clearer alignment between annual planning and self review.

Equity Funding received by the centre is additional targeted funding for eligible early childhood services aimed at reducing educational disparities, encouraging participation and raising achievement. Centre managers now need to report more clearly to parents and the local community about how this funding has been used.

Managers, teachers and ERO agree that areas for ongoing centre development include:

  • the inclusion of whānau and tamariki voice in programme planning
  • a more strategic and focussed approach to professional development to ensure that new learning is embedded and sustained
  • the review of appraisal systems to establish closer links to teacher professional learning and development programmes
  • self review that focuses more on aspects of teaching practice and positive outcomes for tamariki
  • further strengthening of strategic planning and self-review processes. 

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Mokopuna ki Whau Valley Early Childhood Service 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.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years. 

Dale Bailey
National Manager Review Services
Northern Region

22 March 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service 



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

All Day Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 0 aged under 2 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls       19
Boys      12

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

No children under 2 years

Choose an item.

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2013

Date of this report

22 March 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports


General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

  • 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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.