Noah's Ark Early Learning Centre - 24/08/2017

1 Evaluation of Noah's Ark Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Noah's Ark 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.


Noah's Ark Early Learning Centre is a privately owned, purpose-built early learning service in Whanganui. It is licensed for 50 children, including 18 aged up to two. There are 16 Māori children enrolled. Two separate areas cater for children up to two years old and those aged over two.

A manager oversees the operation of the service. She works alongside two head teachers to support, lead and guide the teaching team to provide education and care for children. The owners support the manager in the operation and administration of the centre.

The May 2014 ERO review found areas requiring further development included: building teacher capability in te reo Māori and implementing a culturally responsive curriculum; and self review to provide a more cohesive approach to teaching and learning. Strengthening the quality of education and care provision for infants, toddlers and young children has been a priority since that time.

The Review Findings

Children engage in a curriculum that is responsive to their interests and highly reflective of the service's identified priorities for learning. These are clearly underpinned by the service's values and beliefs as expressed in the service's philosophy. Children are supported to become confident and competent learners.

Children's individual strengths, interests and abilities are clearly identified by teachers. They know them well. Learning is enriched by outings into the community and, beyond that, is informed by children's interests. Assessment practices acknowledge social and cultural backgrounds. Through assessment, teachers review the extent to which the identified priorities for learning are reflected in the programme. Children are challenged to extend their learning.

Teachers have worked positively to grow Māori and Pacific children's sense of wellbeing and belonging and build their confidence and knowledge of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. Teachers have made contact with a local Pacific group to help build their understanding and better support Pacific children to experience success. They identify that they need to continue to strengthen their practice.

Infants and toddlers are given the space and time to lead their learning. The well-resourced environment encourages their exploration. Sensitive, caring and responsive teacher interactions to build secure relationships with familiar adults are promoting the wellbeing of these young children.

A commitment to inclusive education and care is evident. Children with diverse needs participate fully in the programme alongside their peers. Teachers work alongside family, whānau and external agencies to ensure their interests and needs are met.

The curriculum contributes to children's growing competence. Teachers are well supported with planned and relevant professional development. They keep up-to-date with current research and developments in early childhood. Appraisal and inquiry into their practice are well developed and promote ongoing improvements across the service. Leadership is being built within the teaching team.

Children's transitions into, within and out of the centre are well managed, timely and focused on children's needs. Teachers have a positive relationship with local primary schools. They work collaboratively with parents to take children on school visits as they approach five years old.

Self review and internal evaluation are ongoing and responsive to the identified priorities for children's learning and linked to the principles and strands of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Strategic goals are clearly aligned with the centre vision and mission. There is a clear focuson strengtheningthe curriculum and teaching practice. Embedding and sustaining high quality internal evaluation practices is a next step.

There is a strong focus on continual improvement. The owners of the service have a sound understanding of and capability to carry out their roles and responsibilities. They effectively support all staff to provide a high level of education and care for children. Management and staff continue to review and implement the goals from the strategic plan to support their ongoing focus on promoting positive outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

 The next steps to strengthen practice and further improve outcomes for children are continuing to:

  • embed internal evaluation practices across all aspects of the centre's operation
  • grow culturally responsive practices
  • promote educational success for Māori children. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Noah's Ark 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 Noah's Ark Early Learning Centre will be in four years. 

Alan Wynyard
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

24 August 2017

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




Ministry of Education profile number



Licence type

Education & Care Service


Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008


Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 18 aged under 2


Service roll



Gender composition

Boys 37, Girls 30


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 2


Better than minimum requirements


Over 2


Better than minimum requirements


Review team on site

June 2017


Date of this report

24 August 2017


Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

May 2014


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.