Ngongotaha Early Learning Centre - 24/10/2018

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, located in the Ngongotaha Village, provides education and care for children from birth to school age. This privately owned centre is licensed for 60 children, including 20 under the age of two years. The centre’s roll of 54 includes 20 Māori children. Children play and learn in two age-based rooms for children up to and over the age of two years. Both rooms share the same outdoor play space. The centre owners undertake the roles of centre administrator and centre manager. An experienced supervisor supports the centre manager to provide professional leadership for teachers.

Since the previous ERO report in 2014, centre leadership has remained the same and there have been only minor changes to the teaching team. Nearly all of the teachers are fully-qualified early childhood teachers.

The centre’s philosophy makes a commitment to supporting children to feel empowered with positive self belief, self esteem and have confidence to try new things, persevere and try again.

Ngongotaha Early Learning Centre has a positive ERO reporting history.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from participating in a broad and rich programme. The programme is predominantly child initiated with set meal times that provide children with a predictable structure for the day. Particular features of the programme that support positive outcomes for children include:

  • the natural integration of mathematics, literacy and music

  • many opportunities for exploration and safe physical challenge

  • regular trips into the local and wider community

  • children's ready access to a wide range of high-quality resources and equipment.

Well-presented Individual portfolios capture children's learning and development over their time at the centre. These are also available to parents and whānau in digital form. Portfolios increasingly incorporate parents' aspirations for their children's learning. Teachers are beginning to make good use of this valuable information to deliberately plan to extend children's learning.

Children under the age of two years enjoy respectful, caring and nurturing relationships with their teachers. They are well cared for in a calm and settled environment. Teachers place priority on presenting an age-appropriate environment that provides suitable challenge for very young children. A special feature of the programme is the opportunity for young children to play and learn alongside their older peers and siblings in the shared outdoor environment.

The centre has an inclusive approach to supporting children with additional health and learning needs. Teachers access appropriate external support to assist them to provide appropriate learning and care programmes for these children.

Māori children's language, culture and identity is recognised and celebrated. Teachers integrate karakia, waiata and tikanga Māori practices into the programme. They are continuing to develop their confidence and competence to regularly use te reo Māori in their interactions with children. Continuing to support teachers in this area is a priority for leaders.

Teaching practice strongly reflects the centre philosophy. Teachers work well together in the best interests of children. They have well-established links with the local community. Teachers use a range of effective strategies that promote children's oral language and problem solving skills. ERO observed teachers actively participating alongside children in meaningful play that sustained learning and engagement.

Leaders are knowledgeable and well informed. They are respected by teachers and parents and model good-quality teaching practice. Leaders have had a successful focus on maintaining a collegial teaching team. They have developed a very useful teacher appraisal process and access external professional learning and development to build teacher capability.

The centre owners provides good-quality governance. They are committed to promoting positive outcomes for children through the provision of high teacher-to-children ratios and employing fully-qualified teaching staff. A well-established policy framework guide' centre operations .The centre has a long-standing commitment to environmental sustainability including recycling, use of natural materials, children's vegetable gardens and use of solar energy.

Key Next Steps

The key next steps for leaders and teachers are to:

  • develop a local curriculum that responds to the intent of Te Whariki 2017

  • further develop planning processes to focus on children's learning.

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.

In order to improve current practice centre leaders should review the child protection and staff appointment policies to reflect the Vulnerable Children's Act 2014.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

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

Adrienne Fowler

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

24 October 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


near Rotorua

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 34 Girls 20

Ethnic composition



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 2018

Date of this report

24 October 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2014

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.