Port Ahuriri Children's Centre - 16/02/2018

1 Evaluation of Port Ahuriri Children's Centre

How well placed is Port Ahuriri Children's 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.


Port Ahuriri Children's Centre is a community-based, not-for-profit service. It is one of services governed by the Napier Community Childcare Trust Incorporated. The Trust philosophy states that teachers will "let the uniqueness of the child guide their journey".

The centre offers education and care for children from birth to five years of age. It is licensed for 50 children, including 12 aged up to two years. A quarter of the children currently attending the service identify as Māori. For much of the day children are separated into three age-defined groups.

A board of trustees sets strategic direction and the managing supervisor oversees the day-to-day management of both centres. Together with the assistant supervisor, she is responsible for curriculum, teacher development and compliance. An acting assistant supervisor has been in place for 2017.

As a result of the recent review of City Children's Centre, the managing supervisor is due to undertake SELO (strengthening early learning opportunities for children, whānau, families and communities) funded professional learning in the areas of assessment, planning, evaluation, culturally responsive curriculum, and leadership. It is expected that this learning will be used within Port Children's Centre.

The ERO October 2014 report identified key next steps around assessment, planning, evaluation, self review and appraisal. Progress has been made in all these areas.

The Review Findings

The play-based curriculum strongly reflects children's interests. Children make choices about their play and teachers follow their lead. Social competence is fostered by teaching strategies that encourage children to self-manage and problem solve. Children demonstrate confidence and a sense of belonging.

Teachers effectively promote development of children's oral language. Children engage in in-depth and sustained conversations. Literacy and numeracy are integrated throughout the programme.

Curriculum that promotes children's connection to their individual culture, language and identity requires further development. Staff should:

  • strengthen their understanding of educational success for Māori as Māori

  • consider how the other cultures in the centre are represented within the programme.

Some teachers weave te reo Māori into conversation and aspects of tikanga are integrated into practice. Teachers recognise the need to continue to build bicultural practices.

Teachers have warm, responsive and respectful relationships with children. Infants are free to explore in a nurturing environment that is well suited to their needs. Toddlers have increasing opportunities to use open-ended resources. Regular information sharing between rooms helps to maintain children's sense of belonging during transitions.

Staff proactively seek external support for children with additional learning needs. They collaborate to ensure the full participation of these children in centre life.

Recent changes to planning and assessment have improved identification of individual children's interests and learning. Parents regularly share children's interests from home. This increasingly leads teachers to build a programme that extends and challenges children. Teachers should further strengthen assessment, planning and evaluation to:

  • identify and extend children's ways of learning

  • show how learning is progressing over time

  • gather and respond to parents' aspirations for their children's learning

  • evaluate how planning and intentional teaching is contributing to children's learning outcomes.

Increased opportunities for leadership occur. Recent changes to the leadership structure have resulted in improved communication and collaboration. Teachers are encouraged to take on leadership in areas of interest. A next step is to continue to grow professional leadership to effectively share good practice that improves the quality of teaching and learning across the centre.

Recent changes to the appraisal process have provided clearer job descriptions and more opportunities for teachers to be involved in discussions. The managing supervisor should now create and implement a documented appraisal procedure that meets the Education Council guidelines.

Review of policies and procedures is not of sufficient quality to effectively manage health and safety in the service. A priority is to create a systematic and timely approach to review that successfully responds to changes in regulations and legislation.

Teachers have progressed their understanding and use of self review to expand learning opportunities for children. Further developing shared understanding of internal evaluation processes and practice should contribute to deeper knowledge about the impact of actions on children's outcomes.

Clearer guidelines and expectations are required to strengthen governance of the centre. A recently completed strategic plan provides aspirational objectives. Additional work is required to improve the plan's focus on children's outcomes. Monitoring of progress towards these should be aided by:

  • creating relevant, achievable actions and indicators to achieve strategic objectives

  • reporting from the centre supervisor that focuses on the quality of teaching and outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

ERO has identified that key next steps are for leaders and teachers to further develop:

  • a programme that promotes children's connection to their individual culture, language and identity

  • assessment, planning and evaluation

  • leadership that supports professional practice and promotes quality education and care

  • understanding and use of internal evaluation

and for managers and governors to:

  • strengthen responsiveness to changing regulations and legislation

  • identify and monitor strategic goals that are focused on outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Port Ahuriri Children's 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.

ERO identified areas of non-compliance. The service provider must ensure that:

  • a written child protection policy and safety checking procedure are created that meet the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014
    [Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, HS31, GMA7A]

  • daily hazard checking covers all aspects required by licensing criteria to minimise risk to children.
    [Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, HS12]

To improve current practice, the early childhood service management should:

  • ensure parental acknowledgement of accidents, illnesses and administration of medication is obtained

  • document and implement a regular appraisal system that meets Education Council guidelines.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Port Ahuriri Children's Centre will be in three years.

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

16 February 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



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 12 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 32, Girls 28

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

December 2017

Date of this report

16 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2014

Education Review

September 2011

Education Review

May 2008

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.