Nga Rito o Te Puawaitanga Early Childhood Centre - 27/02/2018

1 Evaluation of Ngā Rito o Te Puawaitanga Early Childhood Centre

How well placed is Ngā 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.


Ngā Rito o Te Puawaitanga Early Childhood Centre is situated in Palmerston North. It is adjacent to the Whakatipuria Teen Parent Unit and attached to Freyberg 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 for children from the local area. Many of the children attending the centre are Māori.

It operates as a charitable trust and is governed by 'The Learning and Growing Together Trust'. The trust is in the process of formalising its relationship with Freyberg High School. Since the October 2014 ERO report a new centre manager has been appointed.

The centre's philosophy emphasises whanaungatanga and manaakitanga and supporting whānau to learn and grow together.

Ngā Rito o Te Puawaitanga has responded appropriately to the key next steps identified in the previous ERO report.

The Review Findings

Teachers know children well and use this knowledge to provide appropriate support to assist their learning and social, emotional and physical development.

The centre vision 'building respectful relationships to support and encourage one another to learn and grow' is highly evident. Children are nurtured in an environment where whanaungatanga and manaakitanga underpins teacher practice that promotes children's learning.

Children confidently participate in a curriculum that is responsive to their interests and needs. They benefit from positive interactions with highly respectful and attentive teachers. Children are familiar with routines and expectations. They are well supported to develop their self-help skills and social competence through a range of learning opportunities and activities.

Children's interactions to support each other's learning are actively promoted. They are encouraged to be leaders. Transitions within the centre are flexible and responsive to the needs of individual children.

Infants and toddlers are very well supported through consistent, responsive teaching. They have easy access to resources and freely explore learning spaces according to their preferences. Teachers respect children's rights and inform them about decisions that affect them.

The culture, language and identity of Māori children are well promoted. Staff are strongly committed to providing an environment that promotes bicultural practice.

Parents are respected by staff as contributors to their children's learning. They are encouraged and have opportunity to be involved in their children's learning. The centre has identified that continuing to build knowledge of the diverse aspirations of whānau for their children is a next step.

Recently reviewed assessment, planning and evaluation practices contribute to improved learning opportunities for children. Te Whāriki (2017), is deliberately integrated into planning and assessment. Programmes to promote children’s learning are reviewed each term to inform areas of curriculum focus. Assessment through learning stories records children's experiences. A next step for the centre is to strengthen assessment to clearly show progress and how children's learning could be extended.

Self review is well documented and changes to practice are made in response to findings. External professional learning and development effectively supports teachers to strengthen evaluation of their improvement.

The recently introduced appraisal system is useful and collaborative. Teachers inquire into the effectiveness of their practice using evidence linked to care for children, teaching and leadership practice. The centre manager works alongside teachers to support their decision making and challenge their thinking to promote positive outcomes for children. ERO's evaluation affirms this direction.

Trustees are well informed, by the centre manager, about priorities, finances and operation. They use this information to inform decision making. The trust and centre staff have worked collaboratively to develop the centre philosophy, vision and strategic plan. Aligning the annual plan more clearly with strategic goals should support cohesion across processes and practice.

Key Next Steps

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

  • continue to develop planning, assessment and evaluation

  • strengthen assessment of children's learning

  • align the annual plan more clearly with strategic goals

  • continue to develop internal evaluation of the impact of the curriculum and its effectiveness in enacting the centre philosophy.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Ngā 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.

To improve current practice the trust should fully implement the appraisal process for the centre manager.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

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

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

27 February 2018

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


Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

37 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 16, Girls 12

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 1


Better than minimum requirements

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2017

Date of this report

27 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2014

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.