Pikopiko Learning - 14/09/2016

1 Evaluation of Pikopiko Learning

How well placed is Pikopiko Learning 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.


Pikopiko Learning Centre is located southeast of Auckland servicing rural Whitford and nearby townships. Formerly known as Lillyput Montessori the centre's ownership changed in February 2016. Recently, centre leaders introduced the Reggio Emilia approach, a child-centred learning focus, to complement Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. This blended curriculum is better meeting the needs of the local community and an increasing number of children and families are returning to the centre.

The centre is licensed for 50 children with a maximum of 20, up to two years of age. Many significant changes have been implemented by the new owners. This has included the appointment of a number of new staff who are able to progress and uphold the centre's values and philosophy.

The Review Findings

Children, and their families are warmly welcomed into the centre. Children are valued and respected for their individuality. As a result, they have a sense of contributing to the programme and are keen inquirers and enjoy the many play opportunities that they have to stretch and test their capabilities. Children talk meaningfully with each other and with adults and often play co-operatively in small groups.

Infants and toddlers benefit from a caring and nurturing environment. Teachers respond to the needs of each individual child with sensitivity. Teachers work alongside children to guide and support their next steps in learning. Respect is evident in teachers' interactions with children. Listening deeply to children and parents is a significant feature of all the interactions within the centre.

Children have opportunities to lead and revisit their learning. There is good evidence of children's interests leading curriculum planning and learning. Teachers continue to develop and refine assessments and planning. Their aim is to make the best possible use of their knowledge of individual children and their interests and to ensure that the voices and aspirations of all parents and whānau are included.

Children learn and play in stimulating and attractive environments. The resources used support children's play and are appropriate for different groups and ages. Prompts and resources reflect children's interests and are designed to encourage them to investigate further. This approach means that children have a good variety of opportunities to learn and they play for sustained periods of times.

The owner and centre manager have consulted carefully with staff and parents about changes at the centre. This has ensured that all parties have had their voices heard in relation to changes to management practices and policies, as well as everyday issues. Parent input is sought at every level. Parents report that this is enriching their sense of belonging at the centre.

Teachers' bicultural awareness is in the initial stages of development. Leaders and teachers are committed to acknowledging the distinct place of Māori as tangata whenua. Te reo and tikanga Māori is valued and encouraged through the provision of professional development for teachers. Parents are very affirming of this positive approach to biculturalism and the way that it is now evident at all levels of the centre.

The owner and manager are committed to ongoing professional learning to build the capability of individual teachers and the collective capacity of staff. Teachers work collaboratively with mentors to set professional goals and these are regularly reviewed and reset to promote professional growth. Teachers' appraisals are aligned to the requirements of the Education Council. These professional processes are new to the centre.

Centre systems are well aligned; including strategic planning, self-review, professional learning and development and policies and procedures. Leaders and teachers have a useful process for internal evaluation well underway. This should provide them with insight into the next steps for centre development.

Centre leaders have a shared vision for the centre and are collaborative in the way that they are leading the centre forward. This has promoted a sense of belonging and community ownership at the centre as it moves into a new era as Pikopiko.

Key Next Steps

The owner and centre manager agree that the key next steps for the centre include:

  • clarifying the philosophical beliefs that underpin teaching practices

  • continuing to lead change and development in the centre guided by information gleaned from robust internal consultation and evaluation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Pikopiko Learning 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 Pikopiko Learning will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

14 September 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


Whitford, Auckland

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 20 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 21 Boys 16

Ethnic composition





South African








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

July 2016

Date of this report

14 September 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports, as Pikopiko Learning

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.