Potiki Early Childhood Centre - 30/10/2015

1. Evaluation of Potiki Early Childhood Centre

How well placed is Potiki Early Childhood 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.


Potiki Early Childhood Centre is situated in Clendon Park, Manurewa. It is in the same complex as the Taonga Teen Parent Unit and borders Waimahia Intermediate School. The centre serves many of the parents who are continuing their education at the teen parent unit, as well as children and other parents from the local community.

Potiki Early Childhood Centre and two other local early childhood services are governed by the Taonga Education Trust. The complex has an extensive social services team that supports young parents, their children and whānau.

The centre currently has a role of 33, with most under two years of age. Children experience a mixed-age environment and spacious, attractive and well resourced indoor and outdoor areas. A large space divided in the main indoor area allows infants and toddlers to move, play and explore safely while still maintaining connections with and access to older children.

The centre has a stable teaching team, including an experienced and long-serving centre supervisor. A new experienced head teacher joined the centre in 2014. The chief executive of the Taonga Education Trust continues to provide governance and management support for the centre supervisor, and maintains a strong interest in promoting positive outcomes for children and whānau.

The centre philosophy highlights a vision for a whānau-centred service. It also promotes children reaching their full potential with the Taonga acronym, ‘Totally Acknowledging Our Next Generation’s Abilities.’

The 2012 ERO report identified many areas of good practice including children’s strong sense of belonging, good levels of care, commitment to improvement, and the supervisor's effective leadership. The report recommended that the centre strengthen the learning programmes to extend the complexity of children’s play and improve the quality of self review.

The Review Findings

The centre continues to provide good quality early childhood education and care for children. Children are settled and content at the centre, and are comfortable with their teachers and other adults. They enjoy sharing the start of each day with parents and teachers from the teen parent unit and participate in karakia and waiata. Teachers interact positively with parents and encourage their participation in the centre. Many parents come and go during the day, especially to feed babies and celebrate their children’s learning. This strong connection provides good opportunities for teachers and parents to discuss children’s learning and care needs. It also promotes children’s wellbeing and sense of belonging in the centre.

Teachers are skilled at managing the centre’s commitment to a mixed-age group and the physical safety of children. They capably manage younger children’s play, care and sleep routines while supporting older children’s play. This mixed-age approach also provides very good opportunities for tuakana teina relationships between younger and older children to flourish.

Teachers have benefited from professional learning over the last 18 months to strengthen the way they interact with infants and toddlers. They treat the younger children with care and respect and are responsive to their care and play needs. Teachers promote children’s early language development through singing and social interactions. They also use children’s home languages where possible, and often in response to parents’ requests. The value that teachers place on promoting children’s language, culture and identity is a significant feature of the centre.

The teaching team works collaboratively to plan learning programmes that are based on children’s interests and are presented as broad ideas or themes. Older children are free to select activities that adults prepare for them and have independent access to different areas of play and the outdoors. Planning and assessment documents now include an improved focus on children’s dispositions for learning.

The supervisor provides capable leadership for staff. Her good understanding and use of self review helps staff to identify and strategically prioritise areas for improvement. She is well supported by the chief executive. Together they have a strong commitment to enacting the vision for the service. The strategic plan, policy framework and good self-review practices support this vision. The supervisor's monthly reports have recently been reviewed and improved to align with the centre’s strategic goals.

Key Next Steps

The supervisor and Taonga trust CEO recognise that key next steps for centre development include:

  • strengthening the role of the teacher in extending and challenging older children’s thinking and learning, and noticing, recognising and responding to children’s emerging interests
  • continuing to improve programme planning so that it includes more opportunities for science and mathematics learning, and children’s independent use of digital technologies
  • continuing to review teacher appraisal procedures so they are well understood by the staff, and developing greater rigour and consistency to better facilitate improvements to teaching
  • rationalising the supervisor's workload, including documentation expectations.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

30 October 2015

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


Clendon, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

39 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 17 Girls 14

Ethnic composition




Cook Island Māori









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 2015

Date of this report

30 October 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

These are available at www.ero.govt.nz

Education Review

June 2012


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.