Tahunanui Community Centre Inc - 05/02/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

Tahunanui Community Centre is developing its capacity to promote positive learning outcomes for children.


Tahunanui Community Centre, commonly known as the preschool, provides education and care for children aged between two and five years. It operates for three days each week, offering all-day and part-time enrolments.

The preschool is one of many services operating out of a community centre which includes a playgroup, a holiday programme and other recreational activities for all ages. A committee governs services, with the management of staff and finances of the various groups delegated to a centre manager. The head teacher has the responsibility for the day-to-day running of the preschool, including the programme. Teachers are ably supported by a teacher aide.

Since the February 2010 ERO report, the centre has decided to no longer enrol children under two years of age. The current teaching team has been together since mid

Areas of strength

Warm responsive relationships are a feature of interactions between children and staff. Family members are welcomed and feel comfortable to stay. Children are independent and confidently make use of the whole environment to support their play and interests. They are settled and engaged in a wide range of activities. Teachers respond to children’s interests through the environment and provision of additional resources.

Children’s profile books provide rich records of their participation in the programme. The regular entries are well analysed to show learning and play preferences. Family members often contribute showing clear links between children’s interests and play at home and the preschool. Good systems are in place to seek parents’ aspirations for their children.

Teachers make a deliberate effort to include bicultural perspectives in the programme. This is evident in the environment and through the role modelling of one teacher. Children regularly participate in kapa haka sessions, use and respond to te reo Māori and are familiar with a variety of waiata.

Policy review is well established. Responsive review is used effectively to instigate change and improve outcomes for children.

Areas for development and review

Leadership requires strengthening so that ongoing improvements are made to the programme and teaching practice. The current appraisal system is not sufficiently robust to provide constructive feedback to staff or identify their development needs. Centre management should now prioritise appropriate professional learning and development for the preschool staff so they are better equipped to further improve outcomes for children.

Assessment and programme planning requires further development. This should include a stronger focus on learning in the programme plans and discussions, linking profile entries to show progress, and identifying strategies teachers will use to support children’s learning and interests.

Centre management agrees it is timely to better align the community centre strategic plan, the preschool's long-term and annual implementation plans, to guide intended developments. Reporting systems from the preschool to the management committee need to be considerably strengthened to better inform decision making and accountability responsibilities.

While a sound process is in place to guide planned self review, staff do not yet have a good understanding of each of the separate stages involved. There is a need to develop a shared knowledge about these and the use of robust, planned review as a tool for improvement.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Tahunanui Community Centre Inc 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.

While ratios of adults to children meets requirements, the age of the children and the space needing supervision detracts from staff being able to engage in high quality interactions with children for any length of time. Management should consider how best to address this issue.

The service is not meeting all of the Equity Funding reporting requirements.  In order to address this, the centre management must report to parents and the local community about how they have spent their Equity Funding.  Reporting must include:

  • an outline of the amount received under each Equity Funding component
  • a brief description of the purpose to which the funding was applied
  • a brief outline of the reasons for spending the funding in that way.

The report must be included in the service’s annual report for presentation at its annual general meeting.[Early Childhood Funding Handbook- Chapter 10, Equity Funding]. 

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

5 February 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children numberaged over 2 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Male 22,

Female 17,

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Other ethnic groups



Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children





Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2012

Date of this report

5 February 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Accountability Review

February 2010

March 2005

February 2001

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

  • 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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.