Te Mirumiru Early Childhood Education Centre - 03/03/2017

1 Evaluation of Te Mirumiru Early Childhood Education Centre

How well placed is Te Mirumiru Early Childhood Education 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 Mirumiru Early Childhood Education Centre operates under the governance and management of the Ngāti Hine Health Trust. The Trust provides a broad range of services that contribute to the holistic wellbeing of whānau, hapū and iwi.

The centre provides full-day education and care for tamariki up to five years of age in four age-related rooms. Currently all tamariki share the outdoor learning environment. Each teaching team has developed its own philosophy to guide teaching practices.

Kaupapa Māori theory underpins teaching practices. Tikanga and kaupapa Māori cultural frameworks and values that are relevant to Ngāti Hine are central to the centre operations. A combination of health and education considerations provide the foundation for strengthening the wellbeing of tamariki.

The centre's management systems support its strategic direction. The kaihautū/centre manager assesses the needs of the centre and builds the capability of kaiako through appraisal systems and targeted professional development. Together the Trust and kaihautū ensure that centre operations meet legal requirements.

Managers and kaiako have responded positively to next steps identified in the centre's first ERO report in 2013. They are continuing to refine these areas.

All kaiako are qualified, registered teachers, with the majority being provisionally registered. Four kaiako are primary school trained and are adjusting their practices to align with Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

The Review Findings

Te Mirumiru Early Childhood Education Centre is guided by the whakataukī 'He toa kei te kōkiri - hei hāpai i te oranga o te iwi' (through our combined strength and unity of purpose, the wellbeing and development of our people is assured).

Whanaungatanga is highly valued and formed mainly on whakapapa connections. Whānau are warmly welcomed into the centre and have a strong sense of belonging. Trusting relationships have been developed between whānau, kaiako and kaimahi. Whānau opinions are sought and respected, and inform improvements in teacher practices and centre development.

A kaupapa Māori foundation for learning is evident in practice. The curriculum is enriched by the acknowledgement of teachings of te ao Māori. Tamariki learn about connections to the seasons of the year and kaitiaki of nature. Kaiako with capability in speaking te reo Māori continually promote the language in the programme. Tamariki are becoming more skilled in reciting their individual pepeha and have opportunities to carry out leadership roles during karakia, hīmene and kapa haka.

The education and care of infants and toddlers is guided by Te Whāriki. As they grow and develop, tamariki are allocated primary then secondary caregivers until they are capable of engaging independently with all kaiako. Kaiako maintain a calm, slow pace in which younger tamariki have space and time to investigate and explore their learning environment.

Older tamariki engage in activities and communicate effectively with one another and with kaiako. Tamariki are independent and self-managing and frequently initiate aspects of their own learning. This helps prepare them for a positive transition to school.

Kaiako provide an inclusive environment for all tamariki, including those with specific learning needs, who are also supported by external agencies. Tamariki from other cultures are welcomed and appreciated for the richness of their cultural backgrounds.

Regular excursions to the ngāhere provide a wide range of learning opportunities through exploration, investigation, discussions and physical challenges, and in numeracy and science. Kaiako work alongside tamariki and scaffold their learning about mahi māra from seed planting through to cooking and eating vegetables. Tamariki learn about insects, frogs, hens and other living creatures.

The service's focus on kaitiakitanga and environmental sustainability is also reflected in the use of natural resources and recycled materials to support learning. Purchased equipment is selected carefully with learning outcomes in mind. Plans are in place to improve the design and use of outdoor play areas.

The kaihautū and kaiako could consider providing better access for tamariki to a greater selection of educational resources and equipment. Enriched environments would help tamariki to initiate learning experiences and follow their own interests. They would increase opportunities for exploration and help to improve the quality and complexity of child-led learning.

The kaihautū encourages head teachers to build their professional teaching skills and leadership capacity by attending relevant professional development. Strong guidance and mentoring is provided for head teachers in their leadership roles, and for kaiako progressing towards full teacher registration.

The kaihautū is focused on improving the quality of education and care through ongoing and systematic internal evaluation. Most kaiako also have a good understanding of the purpose of self review to improve practices and evaluate their own teaching strategies and approaches. They are currently reviewing the extent to which they support whanaungatanga, children's leadership skills and holistic, in-depth learning in natural bush environments. There has been a strong focus on improving the natural learning environment.

The Trust consults regularly with the kaihautū, kaiako and whānau about strategic planning. This planning is well aligned to governance and leadership, teaching and learning, and collaborative relationships. The service's vision, philosophies, policies and procedures are continually evaluated and refined. The Trust has difficulty in attracting and retaining kaiako, despite providing supportive and positive working conditions.

Key Next Steps

To improve centre practices, the Ngāti Hine Health Trust and kaihautū agree to:

  • document more continuity of learning over time in children's assessment portfolios

  • encourage more whānau input into planning.

The Trust could also:

  • access a digital on line tool to make planning more open, visible and responsive to interactions between whānau and kaiako

  • further resource indoor and outdoor learning environments to encourage more child-led exploration, play and learning

  • update and formalise the contracts of kaiako who have recently been informally appointed to leadership positions.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

3 March 2017 

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 


Kawakawa, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

100 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 46

Girls 36

Ethnic composition







South African










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

December 2016

Date of this report

3 March 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

August 2013

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.