Nga Ririki Early Learning Centre - 04/02/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

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

Ngā Ririki Early Learning Centre is well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.


Ngā Ririki Early Learning Centre is located in Kawerau and caters for children from birth to school age. It operates under the ownership, governance and management of the Central North Island Early Learning Services Trust (CNIELS). At the time of the ERO review there were 34 children enrolled, including 11 children under two years of age. The centre aims to work in partnership with parents and whānau to enhance children’s early learning and provides culturally responsive care for whānau and families.

The centre has a memorandum of understanding with Kawerau College and caters for children of parents in the Teen Parent Unit (TPU). The TPU was closed for the school year and no children from the unit were present during the onsite ERO review.

Since the 2010 ERO review, the centre has been relicensed under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008. The centre manager and assistant manager were appointed in 2011 and were previously teachers in the centre. In addition, three new teachers have joined the teaching team.

Several teachers have recently completed and upgraded their qualifications. Teachers have participated in professional development through the Education Leadership Project. There has been a focus on adding depth to assessment and planning, and building children’s social skills. This professional development has contributed to the good progress made in addressing the areas for improvement identified in the previous ERO report, related to assessment and planning.

Areas of strength

Central North Island Early Learning Services [CNIELS] Trust is providing effective governance and management for Ngā Ririki Early Learning Centre. The vision, philosophy and strategic planning of CNIELS provide clear direction for the service. Professional leaders visit regularly and provide useful mentoring and guidance for the new centre manager and other staff. The trust has also accessed and implemented relevant professional development for teachers. There is generous provision for non-contact teacher time and teacher ratios to ensure that a high-quality service is maintained.

Self review is well embedded and informs centre development and improvement. Centre finances are well managed by CNIELS and the centre benefits from this good management and the equity funding they receive.

The centre manager and assistant manager have a shared vision for, and commitment to, the provision of a high-quality service for teachers, families and children. Both are reflective practitioners and model wise centre practice. They have worked constructively with dedicated teachers to form a positive team culture through a time of change. The centre manager sets clear expectations for teaching practice, roles and responsibilities. This has led to an increased focus on improving outcomes for children and further involvement of whānau in the learning partnership.

Centre leaders encourage teachers to develop their leadership skills and take responsibility for day-to-day operations. Leaders are committed to providing a service that reflects bicultural approaches and practices.

The centre’s curriculum is well designed, inclusive and promotes positive outcomes for babies, toddlers and young children. It is responsive to children’s interests which provide the basis for teacher planning. Recent self review has resulted in well-planned transitions into and within the centre, and on to school. These are promoting a settled and calm process. Particular strengths of the curriculum identified by ERO are:

  • the safe environment that provides children with ready access to a wide range of good quality materials and equipment for exploration, with an emphasis on Papatūānuku and the natural world
  • the knowledge and information that children, whānau and teachers bring to enrich the centre programme
  • manaakitanga, whanaungatanga and wairuatanga, which are highly evident and integrated practices
  • many opportunities for children to learn early concepts in literacy and mathematics and to experiment and refine their skills
  • flexible routines that promote children’s independence and allow them to make choices and sustain their play
  • excursions into the community and wider world that focus on children’s interests and enrich the programme
  • a peaceful and responsive curriculum that meets the individual care and learning needs of babies and toddlers and promotes their sense of wellbeing and belonging.

Children’s learning is documented and displayed in individual profile books that contribute to their identity as confident and competent learners. They can revisit and share their learning with teachers, other children and whānau.

Teachers participate in relevant and ongoing professional development and reflection to keep up-to-date with current theory and practice. They promote children as active decision makers and engage alongside them to promote and foster their learning. Staff have established positive and inclusive relationships based on attitudes of caring and acceptance that benefit children and their families, particularly children with special needs. Teachers make effective use of information and communication technologies for research and to complement children’s learning. Teachers model te reo me ona tikanga Māori practices, reflecting their understanding of te Ao Māori.

Areas for development and review 

Centre leaders and teachers have identified, and ERO agrees, that the important next steps are to:

  • review and refine the centre philosophy
  • continue to embed and enrich reflective teaching practice, including the documenting of children’s learning
  • enhance the appraisal process by providing teachers with regular and robust feedback about their practice
  • take a planned approach to developing teachers’ confidence and competence in integrating te reo Māori meaningfully into the programme.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Ngā Ririki Early Learning Centre 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.Click here to enter text.

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

4 February 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 24 Boys 10

Ethnic composition

NZ Māori

NZ European/Pākehā





Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Exceeds minimum requirements


Over 2


Exceeds minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2012

Date of this report

4 February 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review Education Review Review Type

February 2010 June 2007 

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.