Te Aroha Noa Early Childhood Centre - 14/10/2014

1 Evaluation of Te Aroha Noa Early Childhood Centre

How well placed is Te Aroha Noa 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.


Te Aroha Noa in Palmerston North provides early childhood education and care for children from birth to school age. Of the 79 children enrolled, 52 are Māori.

The service was relicensed in 2014 bringing two buildings under one license. Te Aroha Noa is now made up of two parts: the new centre, He Ngakau Matua, a teen parent unit catering for 10 children aged up to 2 years; and, He Ngakau Whānau which caters for children from birth to five years old.

The centre is one branch of the Te Aroha Noa Community Services Trust(the Trust), an integrated community development agency committed to empowering the community to identify its own needs, resources and solutions. The centre kaupapa/philosophy is underpinned by the core values of the Trust. Managers and educators provide parents with a range of opportunities to learn alongside their children.

Since the November 2011 ERO report, the centre has had a leadership change. A new centre manager is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the service and for leading teaching and learning.

Positive aspects of practice identified in the previous 2011 ERO report continue to be evident.

The Review Findings

Children experience a bicultural curriculum that encourages learning through play.

Māori ways of knowing, doing and being are based on: whānau tangata, parents acknowledged as the first teachers; manaakitanga, ensuring the prestige of the individual remains intact; ngā hononga, respectful relationships; and kotahitanga, recognising the child as a holistic learner.

Teachers model and integrate te reo me ngā tikanga Māori across the centre. Children confidently participate in rituals and routines, contributing in karakia and responding to te reo Māori.

The child-led programme is based on the principles and strands of,Te Whāriki the early childhood curriculum. These guide relationships, interactions and children’s experiences. He Ngakau Matua implements a whānau-based approach to attachment and care, and promotes a primary caregiving model. 

Children engage enthusiastically and enjoy a calm and settled learning environment. An emphasis on literacy and mathematics is evident. The curriculum is highly responsive to learners’ culture, identity and language. Children’s strengths, interests and needs are supported.

Planning, evaluation and assessments are documented in learning journals. These celebrate children’s progressions and highlights, and include parent and whānau voice. ERO encourages the centre to continue to develop the newly introduced planning, assessment and evaluation process.

Te Aroha Noa manages and facilitates appropriate training for teaching of children with complex needs. A close working relationship with outside agencies is in place. A strong centre advocacy approach is enacted.

Governors and leaders effectively establish partnerships for learning and supporting children. Policies and procedures are comprehensive, detailed and regularly reviewed to promote children’s wellbeing, and physical and emotional safety.

Self review informs decision-making to promote quality education and care for children. This is especially apparent in supporting Māori children's success as Māori.

Leaders are effective in building capability within the service to promote positive learning outcomes for all children. This includes:

  • strengthening distributed leadership
  • centre-wide professional development to ensure consistency of practices and processes
  • increased cultural responsiveness of teachers
  • leadership strongly linked to self review, vision and strategic direction.

Leaders and ERO agree that staff induction processes require further development.

Partnerships with families, whānau, community and iwi are based on reciprocal, respectful relationships. Children experience close links between the centre and the home. There is high participation and involvement by parents and family.

A programme is specifically designed to support parents and children transition to schools, especially priority learners as they approach primary school.

Key Next Steps

Centre managers identify that the next steps are to:

  • align the appraisal process for all centre staff
  • further develop te reo me ngā tikanga Māori
  • strengthen partnerships with Pacific families
  • continue support for parent educators
  • further review the philosophy.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

14 October 2014

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service


Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

60 children, including 35 aged up to 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 43,

Boys 36

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā


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

August 2014

Date of this report

14 October 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2011


Education Review

September 2008


Education Review

May 2005

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.