Te Atawhai Early Childhood Centre - 07/11/2018

1 Evaluation of Te Atawhai Early Childhood Centre

How well placed is Te Atawhai 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 Atawhai Early Childhood Centre, previously known as Riverslea Community Preschool, is a community-based service. It is licensed for 40 children, including 15 up to the age of two years. Of the 26 children enrolled, 14 are Māori and six are of Pacific heritage.

The service is currently undergoing significant development and change. A new centre manager was appointed in mid-2017. From May 2018, a new teaching team has been established. All teachers are qualified.

The centre vision and philosophy emphasises the importance of relationships with parents and whānau and the community. It is underpinned by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the Virtues Project.

Community members are actively involved through representation on the board of trustees. The board is responsible for governance, and the centre manager and head teacher for the day-to-day running of the service.

The Review Findings

The philosophy of the centre is highly evident in practice. A sense of belonging for children, families and whānau is fostered through positive, respectful and responsive relationships.

Children learn in a nurturing and caring environment that is responsive to their strengths, interests and needs. Children enjoy being physically active. Teachers further challenge children by supporting them to take risks and problem solve, promoting their independence and social and emotional competencies.

Children lead their own learning. They confidently explore the environment, accessing a good range of open-ended resources that promotes curiosity, exploration and investigation. Children engage in play for sustained periods of time. They support each other and acknowledge and celebrate their achievements.

Teachers value the knowledge, strengths and skills children bring with them. They engage with children in their play, model language and have fun as part of the learning process. Mathematics and literacy development is meaningfully integrated into learning contexts. Excursions and visitors to the centre provide further learning opportunities.

The focus on equity for all children is very evident. Children with diverse needs are well catered for in an inclusive environment. Ongoing discussion and collaboration with families and external agencies support children to experience success. Leaders and teachers have identified the need to strengthen their knowledge and understanding of te ao Māori to further support successful outcomes for Māori learners.

Children up to the age of two years are nurtured in a calm environment where they can actively explore and investigate. Teachers are attuned to infants' non-verbal cues and respond sensitively to each child's needs and preferences.

Assessment of children's learning is based on teachers noticing, recognising, responding and revisiting children's interests, needs and areas of development. These practices support children to understand and contribute to decisions about their learning. Teachers are evaluating the effectiveness of the curriculum and teaching practices to ensure that it continues to be responsive to the needs of the children and reflects best practice. ERO's evaluation affirms this focus.

Children's profile books are a celebration of their learning and participation in the programme. They enjoy revisiting and sharing their learning with others.

The centre manager provides capable leadership to trustees and staff as they work collaboratively to develop and implement effective systems and processes to support centre operation, guide the curriculum and teaching and learning. Strategic and annual planning provides a platform for development by clearly identifying priorities and monitoring progress. High expectations and a commitment to realising the provision of high quality education and care contributes to successful outcomes for all children.

Developing a shared understanding of inquiry and internal evaluation practices should better enable trustees, leaders and teachers to evaluate the effectiveness of developments so far, and inform ongoing improvement for sustainability.

Key Next Steps

ERO, leaders and teachers agree the centres priorities are to:

  • strengthen culturally responsive practices

  • develop a shared understanding of internal evaluation to measure the impact of change and inform future developments.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

7 November 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

40 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 20, Girls 6

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

September 2018

Date of this report

7 November 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2015

Education Review

August 2012

Education Review

February 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.