Ngongotaha Early Learning Centre - 06/10/2014

1 Evaluation of Ngongotaha Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Ngongotaha Early Learning 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.


Ngongotaha Early Learning Centre is located in new and well-maintained, purpose-built premises in the centre of the Ngongotaha community. The centre is privately owned and licensed to provide full-day education and care for up to 60 children, including 20 aged under-two years, at any one time. There are currently 72 children enrolled of whom 18 identify as Māori.

The centre is made up of two age-based indoor areas, a spacious shared area for meals and an extensive outdoor area for all children. Although areas are primarily separate for older and younger children, there are many opportunities for younger children to benefit from using the outdoor area alongside older peers.

The teaching team includes 11 qualified full-time teachers, nine of whom are registered teachers. The centre philosophy is based on respect and a strong partnership among parents, children and teachers. Current topics for review are focused on sustainable practice, increasing the use of te reo Māori and improving the usefulness of self-review processes.

Since the last ERO review in 2011, there have been ongoing developments to the environment and staffing, and leadership has remained constant. The service has addressed the areas for review and development from the last ERO report and has achieved a positive reporting history with ERO.

The Review Findings

The curriculum is planned to foster children’s current and emerging interests and strengths. Children observed by ERO were happily engaged in learning and exploration alongside their peers and well supported by teachers. Relationships between teachers and children are caring and responsive. Teachers skilfully recognise opportunities to support and extend children’s ideas and language. Their approach to managing children’s behaviour is sensitive and appropriate. This enables valuable learning to occur as children develop their social and cooperative skills.

Learning environments throughout the centre are attractive, clean and well maintained. Teachers carefully plan the environment to stimulate children’s interest and invite exploration. Children in the under-two area are receiving high-quality education and care from teachers who are flexible and responsive to the needs and rhythms of young children. The atmosphere in the under-two area is calm and interactions are sensitive. Babies and toddlers have time to problem solve and master aspects of their physical development in an unhurried and nurturing environment. Teachers make good use of opportunities to take young children into the extensive outdoor area where they are able to challenge themselves alongside older peers and siblings. Play areas for older children are extensive and include ongoing access to interesting, challenging learning spaces and activities.

Learning areas allow children to take risks in safe and well-supported learning contexts. The outdoor environment is landscaped to promote physically challenging activities, active play and discovery.

Leaders and teachers have worked hard to build a Māori perspective into the physical environment.

Opportunities for children to develop and practice early literacy and mathematical skills are integrated throughout the centre programme. Children willingly take part in imaginative, creative and art-based activities. The service is also responsive to the learning needs of children with special support needs. Teachers work with external agencies to ensure these children are able to benefit from an inclusive programme.

Assessment practices include consideration of children’s developing knowledge, skills and learning dispositions. Individual child assessment portfolios contain attractive and useful records of learning and involvement with activities at the centre. They provide a focus for children to share and revisit important learning with parents and families.

The centre owner works closely with team leaders and teachers to provide clarity of direction and purpose for the service. High levels of trust among the centre team are contributing to stability for children and professional growth for teachers. Leaders have high expectations for teacher performance, and teachers feel they have a voice in decision making about centre improvements. Leaders ensure teachers have access to appropriate professional learning to increase their individual and collective knowledge and capabilities.

Leaders and teachers have a well-developed understanding of self review and current review processes provide a sound foundation for centre development and improvement.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders and teachers have identified that:

  • self-review will continue to be an area for inquiry to further strengthen outcomes for children and families
  • teachers will continue to review and develop bicultural practice within the centre.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Ngongotaha 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Ngongotaha Early Learning Centre will be in four years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

6 October 2014

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

60 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 36

Girls 36

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā

Cook Island Māori








Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements


Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2014

Date of this report

6 October 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2011

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.