Nga Rito o Te Puawaitanga Early Childhood Centre - 14/09/2014

1 Evaluation of Nga Rito o Te Puawaitanga Early Childhood Centre

How well placed is Nga Rito o Te Puawaitanga Early Childhood Centre 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.


Nga Rito o Te Puawaitanga is situated in Palmerston North. It is located adjacent to Whakatipuria Teen Parent Unit (TPU) attached to Freyburg High School.

The non-profit centre is licensed for 37 children aged from birth to five years, primarily of teenage parents who have returned to school. Some spaces are allocated to children from the local area. Many of the children attending the centre are Māori.

The centre operates as a charitable trust, supported by a management committee. The running of the centre is the responsibility of the centre manager. A social worker employed by the trust provides support for parents and whānau.

The Review Findings

Children are nurtured in an environment where whanaungatanga is significant. A sense of belonging is promoted through responsive and respectful relationships with parents and whānau. Teachers know the children and their parents well. Parents spend time settling their children, guided by teachers.

Strong bicultural practices are evident. The philosophy is anchored in te ao Māori and underpins all aspects of the curriculum, teaching and learning, and partnerships with parents and whānau. The philosophy is being reviewed to ensure that it reflects current practice. Parents are encouraged and supported to participate in many aspects of their child’s learning and development. Contributions to the programme are valued.

Children learn in a calm and settled environment. Routines are flexible and responsive to children’s needs. Independence and self-help skills are encouraged. Teachers use routines as learning opportunities.

Teachers’ interactions with children are positive and caring. They engage in conversation with children as they play, encourage and affirm them in their learning. Children have opportunities to take the role as teacher. They actively promote tuakana teina relationships to support learning.

Teachers work collaboratively. Responsive care giving supports children’s need for strong and secure attachments. Ongoing communication helps teachers respond to the needs of children. A range of resources are accessible to encourage children’s exploration.

Teachers notice, recognise and respond to children’s emerging interests. Ongoing discussion guides programme planning. There is an established procedure for assessing children’s learning. Teachers agree they need to continue to develop programme planning, assessment and evaluation practices to better help them identify and support learning.

Mathematics and literacy in the daily programme are not strongly evident. This needs to be more thoughtfully planned for, assessed and resourced in the environment to enable children to become confident and capable in mathematics and literacy.

There is a strong commitment to promoting Māori children’s success as Māori. Children and staff use te reo Māori and children learn aspects of tikanga throughout the daily programme. Leaders have identified the need to further strengthen teachers’ knowledge and understanding of te ao Māori to support children’s learning.

Leaders have identified some useful next steps to strengthen partnerships and understanding. Promoting success for Pacific children as Pacific is an area for further development.

Teachers are enthusiastic and work collaboratively. Appraisal provides staff with useful feedback and next steps to develop their practice and improve outcomes for children. Leaders have identified the need to strengthen appraisal by including use of the Registered Teacher Criteria andTātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners.

Strong partnerships, a shared vision and a comprehensive strategic plan set directions for ongoing development. A process for self review has been established and informs decision-making. Parents and whānau are consulted and their contribution to the process is valued. Leaders acknowledge that their understanding of self review is developing. They are being supported through professional development to improve their practices.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre leaders agree that the key next steps are to:

  • continue to develop assessment, planning and evaluation practices
  • strengthen staff knowledge and understanding of te ao Māori and incorporate this into the programme.
  • promote Pacific children’s success as Pacific
  • strengthen appraisal
  • continue to develop staff knowledge and understanding of self review.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Nga Rito o Te Puawaitanga Early Childhood 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Nga Rito o Te Puawaitanga Early Childhood Centre will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

14 October 2014

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service


Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

37 children, including 25 aged up to 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 19,

Girls 14

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā





Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements


Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2014

Date of this report

14 October 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2011


Education Review

April 2008

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.