Te Tipu Whenua Early Childhood Centre - 26/10/2017

1 Evaluation of Te Tipu Whenua Early Childhood Centre

How well placed is Te Tipu Whenua 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 Tipu Whenua Early Childhood Centre is a purpose-built early learning service attached to Te Tipu Whenua o Pa Harakeke, a teen parent unit (TPU) located in the grounds of Flaxmere College.

The centre provides term-time all day education and care for up to 30 children. Most who attend have a parent studying within the attached TPU. All children identify as Māori or Pacific. Many are less than three years of age. A growing number of enrolments are from the wider community.

A local trust board governs this centre and Colenso Early Childhood Centre, which supports a TPU in Napier. The management and teaching team underwent restructure following a trust board review to support future viability of the service. The head teacher is recently returned to the day-to-day leadership role and now leads a more stable staffing situation. She works in partnership with the head teacher at the Colenso service.

This is the first Education Review for the centre, since its opening in October 2014.

The Review Findings

The philosophy emphasises the values of whakawhanaungataunga, manaakitanga, whakakata, ako and kaitiakitanga. Staff use these well to guide their interactions with children and their parents. The development of positive relationships, a responsive curriculum and a holistic approach to children's learning are key drivers of centre practice.

Teachers form strong, respectful relationships with parents to support children's transitions into the centre and sense of security and belonging. Parents regularly participate in the programme and care of their children. Their aspirations for their children's learning are actively sought and valued. Teachers understand children in the context of their family and wider community.

The curriculum suitably reflects the philosophy. Children choose the activities and areas of play with which they wish to engage. Teachers respond well to their developing interests and learning needs. Music is used purposefully to settle children and foster a calm and secure environment. Consistent caregiving by teachers successfully supports children's attachment and wellbeing.

As a result of a review about responding to infants' and toddlers' cues, teachers have deliberately improved their practice. They know about the language development of the children they care for and the level of communication used by each child. They respectfully offer infants choices about what is to happen to them and wait for them to respond, skilfully interpreting their subtle cues and body language.

Leaders and teachers recognise that the growing number of older children in the centre presents challenge for how their development will be sufficiently extended within the environment. One response has been the purchase of more suitable outdoor equipment. Further developments to resourcing and curriculum are necessary.

Teachers build strong relationships with parents and develop knowledge of Māori children's cultural backgrounds. Māori children participate in programmes where their heritage is visible and valued. Teachers reflect on Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners, within their appraisal process. Current internal evaluation and professional development focus on developing shared knowledge about the effectiveness of centre policy and practice in supporting commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi and providing a curriculum that promotes Māori success.

Teachers use good quality assessment and evaluation practice. They regularly assess children's wellbeing through a holistic Māori framework. Children's portfolios strongly reflect their interests and holistic development. Learning stories show that teachers reflect on their practice and how well they are influencing children's learning.

Using assessment and evaluation to more intentionally contribute to curriculum and programme development is a next step. A more systematic approach to planning should support:

  • consistency of teaching practice for children

  • a stronger response to all children's language, identity and culture

  • visibility of the planning process and increased parent partnership and involvement

  • better monitoring and evaluation of programme quality.

Due to recent staffing restructure, there is a continuing need to build the teaching team, establish roles, revisit the philosophy in practice and support leadership development across the centre.

Leaders and teachers focus on improving the quality of education and care through a process of ongoing, systematic self review. The quality of the team's internal evaluation is improving. Teachers gather and analyse useful information from a range of sources to make judgements about the quality of teaching practice and learning outcomes for children.

A sound appraisal process encourages teachers to critically reflect and use evidence-based inquiry to improve their professional knowledge and practice with children.

The trust provides appropriate direction for the centre though its strategic planning. Trust members have strengthened their governance roles since the viability review. A strategic goal is to increase networking opportunities and involve the wider community in centre curriculum. Some shared curriculum opportunities with the TPU have been used to support parent and child development. How best to further strengthen representation and collaboration between the TPU and early childhood centre is a next step for the trust board to consider.

Key Next Steps

ERO has identified that key next steps are for the trust and leaders to continue to develop:

  • resources and curriculum to challenge the growing number of children aged over three years.

  • a more systematic approach to planning for children's learning

  • team work, roles, the philosophy in practice and leadership across the centre.

  • networking opportunities and involvement of the wider community in the centre's curriculum.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

26 October 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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 12, Boys 9

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

August 2017

Date of this report

26 October 2017

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 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.