Te Waenganui Childcare Centre - 28/10/2016

1 Evaluation of Te Waenganui Childcare Centre

How well placed is Te Waenganui Childcare 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 Waenganui Childcare Centre opened in 2015 and is licensed to provide education and care for up to 27 children, including eight under two years of age. The centre is privately owned and operates in a newly renovated house, between Paihia and Opua, in the Bay of Islands. Staff include four qualified teachers, a teacher in training and four permanent relieving teachers.

The centre is spacious, with a sectioned off area for children under two years and a separate art room. Infants, toddlers, and older children share the rest of the indoor space and the outside environment.

The centre’s philosophy is aligned to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. It highlights bicultural practices and promotes cultural diversity in the programme. The philosophy prioritises a nurturing environment, connectedness with whānau and community, and the benefits for children of long periods of uninterrupted play.

The Review Findings

Teachers welcome children and their whānau, and support new families as they transition into the centre. Children are well cared for. They enjoy each other's company, showing respect for one another and their teachers. Children benefit from mixed aged play opportunities and engage in tuakana/teina roles with their siblings and others. These roles foster children’s confidence, together with their social and communication skills.

Teachers have responsive and positive relationships with children. They are developing conversations with children that extend their thinking. Children spend much of their time at the centre engaging in activities of their own choice. Teachers encourage children to choose their meal times so as not to interrupt their play and learning.

Infants and toddlers enjoy responsive attention from staff and opportunities to explore the environment alongside other older children. Programmes and routines are flexible to cater for their interests, developmental stages and parents’ preferences.

The environment is resourced and adapted in response to children’s preferences and interests. Children enjoy opportunities to explore, investigate and make sense of the natural environment outdoors. The centre manager/owner has a strong interest in the forest kindergarten movement. She plans to further develop areas for children to interact with the native bush.

Teachers work collaboratively to support better outcomes for children. This is evident in curriculum planning, assessment, and evaluation and in the way teachers implement the programme. Children have frequent opportunities to develop early literacy knowledge and skills, and to explore other curriculum areas, in the context of their play.

The centre’s commitment to bicultural practices is evident in teachers' increasing integration of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori in the programme. Children and teachers sing waiata spontaneously, and children can lead waiata and karakia at the centre and in their homes. This helps to foster Māori children’s identity as Māori, while enabling all children to experience and learn about the bicultural setting of Aotearoa New Zealand.

The manager/owner has developed partnerships with tangata whenua and whānau. Teachers learn about whānau aspirations for their children's education in a variety of ways. This knowledge guides teachers' planning for the general programme, as well as learning plans for each child. Portfolios provide valued records of individual children's dispositions and learning experiences. These portfolios include parents' and children’s contributions and perspectives.

The centre is well led. The manager/owner provides professional and knowledgeable leadership support for staff. She has helped staff to improve the quality of internal evaluation. Relevant policies, processes and systems guide the operation of the centre. The manager/owner has employed an external adviser to guide the centre in developing suitable processes for teacher appraisals.

Key Next Steps

The manager/owner and teachers have identified relevant priorities for development that include:

  • building up resources to better support the development of children's literacy and mathematics understandings and learning

further supporting teachers' use of te reo Māori and understanding of the Ministry of Education's resource Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners, to promote cultural competencies

  • continuing to build partnerships with parents/whānau that focus on supporting children's learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Te Waenganui Childcare 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 Waenganui Childcare Centre will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

28 October 2016

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


Opua, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

27 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 25 Girls 21

Ethnic composition

Māori Pākehā other

18 26 2

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 2016

Date of this report

28 October 2016

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.