Naenae Aoga Amata - 09/03/2017

1 Evaluation of Naenae Aoga Amata

How well placed is Naenae Aoga Amata 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.


Naenae Aoga Amata is a long established, Samoan bilingual service, located on the Naenae Primary school grounds. It is a community based, not-for-profit service, owned by the Naenae Incorporated Society. A governance and management committee sets strategic direction for the aoga.

The aoga is licensed to provide education and care for 26 children including eight up to two years. Most of the children enrolled are of Māori or Pacific descent. There are three registered teachers, including a supervisor who oversees the day-to-day operation of the centre. The aoga is divided into two separate indoor areas for infants and toddlers, and for older children.

In 2010 ERO identified significant areas of concern. The 2013 ERO report noted that efforts had been made to address these areas. ERO recommended that more evaluative approaches be developed to improve management and governance. ERO also suggested that teachers improve programme management and the environment so that they could better respond to individual children's interests.

Although some progress has been made, further work is required to fully address ERO's 2013 recommendations. The aoga requires support to make improvements in the areas of teaching practices, governance and management.

By February 2017 the aoga could be under new ownership. Some aspects of governance will remain with the Society. Current governance and management systems and practices are not adequate to ensure a smooth transition to the new owner. Parents and whānau are still to be consulted about the impact of this changeover process.

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

The Review Findings

The programme provided for children has a bicultural emphasis and is guided by Te Whariki, the early childhood curriculum. It reflects the aoga philosophy and is inclusive of all cultures. Most of the time children learn and play together in a fanau approach.

The supervisor and teachers should access external ECE expertise to help them to develop more effective teaching practices that focus on extending children's thinking and supporting them to engage in more complex play and deeper learning.

The committee has recently reduced to just a few members. This has been a challenge for effective governance to occur. Committee members recognise that while some progress has been made, they need advice and support to improve governance and leadership practices and financial management. They have invited an external management group to support them and to provide financial and administrative support. 

Key Next Steps

The supervisor and teachers should:

  • strengthen planning, assessment and evaluation to identify and build on individual children's interests, learning and progress over time
  • review the quality of programmes and purchase open-ended resources that help to add complexity to children's learning and play
  • continue to develop internal evaluation that leads to ongoing improvements.

The committee should now:

  • review policies and procedures and ensure that they align with current legislation
  • clarify governance and management roles and responsibilities
  • develop an annual action plan to prioritise areas identified for development
  • include a focus on financial sustainability in long-term and annual plans
  • regularly evaluate progress towards strategic goals
  • align teacher appraisal and goal setting with the Practicing Teachers Criteria and aoga strategic goals.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Naenae Aoga Amata 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 identified areas of non-compliance relating to governance and management, and provision for health and safety. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in areas related to:

  • excursions off the licensed premises
  • hazard identification
  • reviewing and evaluating the service's operations
  • teacher appraisal
  • ensuring all policies and procedures meet current requirements, including those of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, PF16, 26, 28; HS 1, 17, 18, 31; GMA 4, 6-9; Education (ECS) Regulations 2008

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service consult with the Ministry of Education and 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 Naenae Aoga Amata will be within two years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

9 March 2017 

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 


Lower Hutt, Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

26 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 14, Boys 6

Ethnic composition





Other Pacific






Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2016

Date of this report

9 March 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

January 2013

Education Review

October 2010

Education Review

March 2007

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.