Papakura Early Learning Centre - 18/05/2016

1 Evaluation of Papakura Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Papakura 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.


Papakura Early Learning Centre, next to Kelvin Road School, is part of a family service centre (FSC) providing health, education and support services for families. All day sessions are offered for children from two to five years of age. The centre is operated by the Great Potentials Foundation, which is a charitable trust governed by a board of trustees and the FSC manager.

A team leader is responsible for teaching and learning. Since the 2013 ERO report there has been some staff turnover. The present team, which includes three registered teachers, reflects the cultural diversity of families and their community.

There has been a positive response to the 2013 ERO report. Teachers have improved their planning and assessment documentation, reviewed the provision of resources, and improved their self review. They continue to strengthen their evaluation practices and are developing ways to better involve parents.

The Review Findings

Children play in good quality, spacious indoor and outdoor environments that are equipped with a range of resources that are readily accessible for them. Children have opportunities for a wide variety of play, social interaction and imaginative, creative play. They are supported well as they move to school.

Children and their whānau experience respectful relationships with kind and caring teachers. Teachers know their children well. Mixed-age play opportunities are encouraged, valued, and support tuakana/teina relationships. Children learn together in the presence of trusted adults.

Teachers make very good provision for Māori perspectives in the curriculum and include te reo Māori in the daily programme. Children have leadership opportunities to lead karakia and participate in kapa haka. Children of Pacific nationalities identify with their language and culture in the environment. Children's emotional and learning needs are well supported by caring teachers.

Teachers skilfully settle and work alongside children, following their play ideas. Children would benefit from teachers focusing more on their oral language acquisition. This could be accomplished by teachers more frequently modelling thoughtful language, and asking open ended-questions in conversations with children.

Teachers are beginning to work more effectively as a team and take a more child-centred approach to their teaching. It would be useful for teachers to revisit the centre's philosophy and develop indicators to guide teaching practices. These indicators could be shared with the community to clarify the centre’s purpose, expectations and approach to teaching and partnering with whānau in children's learning.

Good levels of self review are shifting the way leaders and teachers view the centre's strategic direction. An example of this change is the tailored professional development for the centre which has focused on children's literacy development. This model of shared leadership and capacity building for teachers should remain a focus for the centre. Developing a more evaluative focus could help to lift quality in all aspects of the centre operations. Teachers are now in a good position to share leadership roles in the centre.

The team leader is well supported in her leadership role by the centre manager. It would now be timely for managers to tailor an appraisal system to meet the requirements of the New Zealand Educational Council. This system should incorporate teacher reflection, observation, evaluation and collaboration to improve the quality of teaching and learning across the centre.

Key Next Steps

The team leader and centre manager agree the priorities for centre development should include:

  • focusing on oral language acquisition to support children's literacy development
  • improving the quality of teaching through ongoing professional learning and development, and effective appraisal processes
  • providing professional development to support leadership capability and sustainability.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Papakura 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 Papakura Early Learning Centre will be in three years. 

Graham Randell
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

18 May 2016 

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 


Papakura, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

35 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls       18 
Boys      13

Ethnic composition

Cook Island Māori/Niue
Cook Island Māori/Samoan


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

18 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

February 2013

Education Review

December 2009

Education Review

October 2006

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.