Te Puna O Te Aroha Puna Reo - 28/03/2019

1 Evaluation of Te Puna O Te Aroha Puna Reo

How well placed is Te Puna O Te Aroha Puna Reo to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Te Puna O Te Aroha Puna Reo is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Te Puna O Te Aroha Puna Reo is an all-day education and care service licenced for 22 children from birth to school age. It is situated on the grounds of Meremere Primary School, located in the small town of Meremere. The current roll of 26 children includes two children under the age of two years and 19 who identify as Māori. The centre is a community based Puna Reo, governed by Te Nuinga Education Trust, which is not for profit. It is one of two centres governed by the trust in the greater Auckland region. The centre has been in operation for two years and currently employs four teachers with three of these being qualified and registered.

The centres philosophy aims to support and engage the local community and whānau in and around Meremere to access early childhood education that is based on tikanga Māori kaupapa.

This is the centres first ERO review.

The Review Findings

Partnerships with whānau are positive and affirming. Parents are supported to feel a sense of wellbeing and belonging in the centre. Children are celebrated for the skills and knowledge that they bring to learning. Teachers have a strong contextual knowledge of teaching and learning that meets the needs of the community. Children and their whānau experience reciprocal and respectful relationships that promote positive learning outcomes for children.

The well-resourced environment fosters sustained play and learning. Children lead their own learning and confidently make choices and decisions about that learning. Teachers integrate literacy and numeracy experiences that are meaningfully promoted throughout the programme. Assessment and planning has been developed to identify learning outcomes. Children's progress and continuity of interests and individual goals are recorded in their portfolios. They experience risk taking and problem solving through a challenging and culturally authentic environment.

The curriculum promotes learning for children that aligns to whānau aspirations. Teachers engage positively with children's learning and encourage rich oral language through waiata, rhyme, and reciprocal conversations. Shifts in teacher practice and improvement to the learning environment has been a focus. The mixed-age centre supports an inclusive approach to learning and teaching. Transition into the centre is positive and responsive to each child and their whānau. Children experience a curriculum that fosters their confidence and competence.

Te ao Māori is effectively promoted through kaupapa Māori contexts. Te reo and tikanga Māori are a strong feature of the programme. Teachers strongly promote children’s knowledge of the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand. Primary care for children under the age of two years is responsive and respectful. Teachers follow young children’s rhythms and cues effectively. The mixed-age environment supports children to learn with their siblings and cousins through caring and respectful pepi/teina/tuakana relationships.

Leadership is effective. The centre manager is responsible for the daily operations of the centre has established a strong organisational culture that positively promotes rich learning and teaching experiences. Policies, procedures and the philosophy are reviewed regularly in consultation with whānau. There is a framework in place for internal evaluation to guide effective change and improvement. An online teacher appraisal system is in place, however this process needs to be fully and consistently implemented in order to further support teacher growth and capability. Leadership promotes an authentic and contextual learning experience for children.

Governance provides useful systems and policies to support the management of the service. A strategic plan and vision is in place to guide operations over three years. It states an aim to promote participation for children and their whānau into early childhood education. Currently, the trust has limited involvement in the governance of the service. This is impacting on the services ability to effectively promote its vision.

Key Next Steps

Te Nuinga Education Trust needs to engage more purposefully and consistently with the centre to further support the centre manager in her role.

Leaders agree that the appraisal process needs to be fully implemented. This should include teacher’s goals and inquiry, targeted observations, and feedback and feedforward. The centre manager’s appraisal process needs to be implemented and completed annually by an independent appraiser to ensure her teacher's certification is maintained.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Te Puna O Te Aroha Puna Reo 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.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

28 March 2019

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

22 children, including up to 4 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 15 Boys 11

Ethnic composition



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

February 2019

Date of this report

28 March 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.