Pukapuka Preschool - 24/06/2016

1 Evaluation of Pukapuka Preschool

How well placed is Pukapuka Preschool to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

The Pukapuka Preschool's 2013 ERO report noted the need for significant improvements. Although some progress has been made in improving the programme and learning environment for children, governance and management matters have yet to be fully addressed. External advisory support would help the manager and trustees to make the required improvements.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


Pukapuka Preschool is a well established, total immersion centre in Mangere. The centre's aim is to promote the Pukapuka language, culture and traditions, along with Christian beliefs. Staff are of Pukapuka heritage and are fluent speakers of the language, as well as being qualified early childhood teachers. The centre is governed and managed by the Wale Taute Charitable Trust, which leads several other initiatives to progress the interests of the Auckland Pukapuka community.

The centre is licensed for 30 children over the age of two years.

Since the 2013 ERO report, the centre has had some major changes. A new manager has been appointed and has improved management and administrative systems. The centre has received funding to support future expansion to an increased roll of 70 children, including children under two years of age.

The 2013 ERO report noted improvements in the programme, staff involvement in professional learning and an environment that supported children's learning and engagement in the programme. These positive aspects are still evident.

The 2013 ERO report also suggested that teachers provide more challenging and meaningful learning experiences for children and extend their fluency in Pukapuka language. The report recommended that self review and management planning should be improved.

The Review Findings

The centre supervisor and teachers have made some improvements to the centre’s learning programme and management systems. However, these changes are not well enough established to sustain the continuous improvements in the quality of education and care.

Teachers have established a strong foundation for further development. Warm relationships and interactions underpin the programme and contribute to centre’s welcoming tone. Children are happy and settle quickly when they arrive. Connections among children and families are strong. Children are confident, play cooperatively and are independent. They make choices about their play and participate in sustained play for long periods, either independently or with teachers.

The curriculum is flexible and is culturally appropriate. It is embedded in Pukapuka language, values and beliefs, which are skilfully modelled by teachers. Children confidently respond to teachers in Pukapuka language. Teachers also successfully promote the use of te reo, waiata and tikanga Māori in the programme.

The supervisor and teachers work well together and plan collaboratively. Good systems are now in place to support teachers to improve self review and enhance their professional practice. Teachers could now consider using current early childhood research to reflect on and guide their practice, and challenge their thinking. They could meet more regularly to develop curriculum planning that promotes a more complex, child-initiated programme, and assessment practices that identify learning opportunities.

Parents who spoke to ERO appreciate the support teachers give them and their children. Teachers’ knowledge of children’s diverse cultures, backgrounds and language contributes to children settling well. Families and teachers share information about children's learning in the centre and at home in a variety of appropriate ways.

Through regular contact with members of the Pukapuka community who visit the complex, children continue to be surrounded by Pukapuka language and culture.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders and teachers agree that to improve outcomes for children, teachers will need support to:

  • improve their understanding of current early childhood education theories and practices

  • develop a systematic approach to assessing children’s progress, planning and learning over time

  • plan and implement a more deliberate programme for children about physical activity and food nutrition.

The centre leaders recognise that they and the trustees must act with urgency to:

  • develop and implement robust appraisal processes for teachers

  • review the centre’s strategic plan to reflect the philosophy, and work with teachers and parents to develop an annual action plan and formally document key actions to meet the centre’s goals

  • review policies and procedures so that they are aligned to current legal requirements.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Pukapuka Preschool 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

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance. To meet requirements the centre manager must:

  • ensure that required human resource management practices are implemented, including teacher appraisal that aligns with the Practicing Teacher Criteria

  • ensure that parent permission slips for excursions show minimum adult-to-child ratios and that risk analysis and management procedures are implemented

  • undertake regular police vetting of all non-registered staff who have contact with children

  • report to the preschool community about the expenditure of Equity Funding

  • establish curriculum practices that demonstrate a knowledge of relevant theories and practices in early childhood education

  • establish strategic planning and specific annual action plans to guide the service’s operations.

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, C2,4, HS17, GMA7, 8, Early Childhood Funding Handbook, Ch10.

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service consult with the Ministry of Education and plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Pukapuka Preschool will be within two years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

24 June 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


Mangere, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 18 Girls 12

Ethnic composition







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

April 2016

Date of this report

24 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

May 2013

Supplementary Review

February 2011

Supplementary Review

December 2009

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.