Mokopuna ki Whau Valley Early Childhood Service - 25/05/2016

1 Evaluation of Mokopuna ki Whau Valley Early Childhood Service

How well placed is Mokopuna ki Whau Valley Early Childhood Service 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.


Mokopuna ki Whau Valley is situated in the grounds of the Whau Valley Primary School on the northern outskirts of Whangarei. It caters for tamariki from two to five years of age.

Nga pou ako (teachers) provide a learning environment with a bicultural focus which is inclusive of children from other cultural backgrounds. High levels of qualified and registered teachers are provided. Children are well supported by committed staff with a range of skills and strengths.

The centre is one of five early childhood services, including two in Auckland, managed by He Puna Marama Trust. It provides a kaupapa Māori framework with a growing focus on te reo Māori me ona tikanga, including the values of tuakana/teina, whanaungatanga and kotahitanga. Tamariki enjoy the experience of learning in a bilingual environment.

The trust actively promotes access to early childhood learning within Whau Valley. It provides an extra 10 free hours of education and care in addition to the Ministry of Education’s 20 hour funding provision. The trust continues to provide good governance and management support for the centre, with the aid of a capable Education Services Manager. Recent changes in the leadership of the centre are being well managed.

The 2013 ERO report recognised the inclusive and respectful practices within the centre. The report recommended that the centre continue to review teaching practices and programmes, and these areas for development remain ongoing. A good basic self review process has been established and managers are beginning to link performance appraisal systems to the Practising Teacher Criteria.

The Review Findings

The centre’s philosophy is enacted well in the programme. Tamariki are comfortable in their in Māori culture, language and identity. Teachers promote whānau values and tikanga Māori. Children continue to display a growing confidence in te reo me ōna tikanga. They welcome manuhiri, and leading karakia, waiata and kapa haka are a normal part of centre life. Cultural values of all tamariki are valued.

Whakawhanaungatanga strengthens relationships between whānau and staff, and enables them to work together to support tamariki to develop confidently as learners. Children thrive within an affirming, supportive and respectful learning environment where aroha for and the manāki of tamariki are evident.

Tamariki are provided with choices in the daily programme and a range of learning experiences are offered over time. Projects allow children and teachers to explore specific planned and spontaneous learning interests in depth. They are provided with good opportunities to develop resilience, physical adeptness and social confidence.

Teachers are genuinely affectionate and caring toward tamariki and are keen to help them develop at their own pace. They work patiently with children, settling them effectively into the centre and later into school.

Key Next Steps

Managers, teachers and ERO agree that teachers require external professional support to help them address next steps that include:

  • promoting opportunities for children to develop conversational te reo Māori
  • further enriching the learning environment to provide more complex and creative play choices, and including specific teaching strategies to challenge and further extend children’s learning
  • strategically using Teacher Registration Practising Teacher Criteria to strengthen appraisal processes
  • ensuring regular policy review meets current legislative requirements, including the Vulnerable Children’s Act 2014
  • strengthening internal evaluation processes by including indicators of effective practice and evaluating outcomes, and reviewing the use of strategic planning to identify and achieve long-term goals effectively.

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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Mokopuna ki Whau Valley Early Childhood Service will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

25 May 2016

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


Whangarei, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 14 Boys 10

Ethnic composition













Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2016

Date of this report

25 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s) 

Education Review

March 2013

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.