Te Whare Whai Hua - 11/01/2019

1 Evaluation of Te Whare Whai Hua

How well placed is Te Whare Whai Hua 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 Whare Whai Hua early learning service operates as part of the Teen Parent Unit on the grounds of Lytton High School, Gisborne. The centre is governed and managed by Te Aka Ora Charitable Trust. Many parents of children enrolled in the service have returned to school to continue their education. Places are also available for children from the wider community.

The centre is licensed for 50 children, including 20 up to two years of age. There are two teaching and learning spaces, Te Rito and Te Puawai, that cater for the needs of infants and toddlers and young children. A shared outdoor area is used by all children.

Head teachers have responsibility for the daily programme. A part-time curriculum leader is responsible for programme development. Seven registered teachers (kaiako) and five support workers make up the teaching team. There has been significant turnover of staff in the past two years, including the centre manager. New staff include a head teacher in Te Puawai and a curriculum leader.

A registered social worker is employed to advocate for whānau and their tamariki, to support access to Hauroa Health and social services. Free transport is provided to support tamariki regular attendance.

Concerns about the quality of operation were identified in the 2013, 2014 and 2016 ERO reports. These included ongoing improvement required in: strategic planning; effective implementation of policies in practice; the appraisal process; leadership; assessment; planning for learning; and internal evaluation.

Leaders and kaiako have been engaged in a range of professional learning and development (PLD), through a Ministry of Education Strengthening Early Learning Opportunities (SELO) contract and other sources. The centre regained its full licence in 2017. Ongoing PLD has been put in place for staff.

A new philosophy has been developed to support teaching and learning. This emphasises the importance of promoting a strong sense of belonging for children and whānau. The kaupapa is grounded in Wairuatanga, Whakapapa and Whakapono. Christian values are highly promoted.

The Review Findings

Good progress continues to be made in relation to improving centre operation in leadership, governance, teaching and learning.

The learning environments are well resourced to support children's interests. They are encouraged to freely investigate the range of materials available, work with others and make choices to support their interests. The physical environment promotes challenge and exploration. Opportunities for children to participate in learning about literacy and mathematics are well integrated into the programme. Displays and documentation celebrate children's work.

Kaiako are respectful and responsive in their interactions with children. Steps have been taken in building learning partnerships with parents through regular whānau evenings. The new team is strongly supported by the service manager, whose focus is on sustainability of the team and further building teacher capability.

Provision for children aged under two years is carefully considered. Consistency of staffing and primary caregiving suitably supports children's attachment and wellbeing. Routines are flexible and based on individual's needs. Relationships with kaiako are close and trusting. These young children have their own dedicated play space and resources and the programme also supports their interaction with the older age group. Tuakana teina (where older supports younger) is promoted.

Tamariki with additional learning needs are welcomed and appropriate steps taken to support their participation. Leaders acknowledge the need to strengthen provision for children from Pacific ethnic groups and their families. Up-to-date Ministry of Education resources have been accessed to support this development.

Mātauranga Māori is highly important and strongly reflected in practice. Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are woven throughout the learning experiences enjoyed by tamariki. Leaders agree that the next step is to better respond to Māori children through a focus on Te Ao Māori within the local context.

Planning focuses on noticing, recognising and responding to individual children's emerging interests and whānau aspirations. Priorities for kaiako are to strengthen the focus on:

  • identifying individual children's significant learning and how it is deliberately planned for and progressed over time

  • how whānau aspirations are visible in learning documentation

  • how well evaluation is promoting the valued learning outcomes in the philosophy.

Transitions into the service and between rooms is well considered by kaiako. Their approach includes ongoing consultation with parents and support for individual children. Further work is planned to strengthen children's transition to kura. This should include building more purposeful relationships with local schools to assist with the sharing of information about individual children and support continuity of their learning.

The new teaching team demonstrates a sense of purpose and commitment to improvement. Collaborative relationships are evident and the team work well together to continue to improve the quality of teaching, learning and centre operation. Regular meetings support the sharing of ideas and a team approach to programme development.

Review is valued as a tool to improve outcomes for teaching and learning. An internal evaluation framework is in place. Leaders and kaiako now need to strengthen their understanding and use of this framework to better support effective decision-making about change, to ensure improvements are sustained.

A revised appraisal process implemented in 2018 incorporates the Education Council's Code of Professional Responsibility and Standards for the Teaching Profession. Practices for endorsing kaiako practising certificates are appropriate.

Clear governance and management practices are in place. Improved reporting on key aspects of operation, including health and safety, is undertaken. The board is well informed of centre operation through service manager reports. The strategic direction is strongly focused on improving team culture, relationships with whānau and the quality of practice and systems to ensure better outcomes for children. Progress is monitored and evident. Further defining strategic goals and monitoring outcomes to strengthen sustainability of operation is a key next step.

Key Next Steps

Priorities for development are to continue to strengthen:

  • teachers' understanding and use of internal evaluation

  • the support for tamariki transitioning to school

  • assessment for learning practices

  • the sustainability of operation through improved goal setting, deliberate actions and monitoring.


The service will provide ERO with an action plan to show how the key next steps outlined in this report will be addressed. ERO will request progress updates.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Te Whare Whai Hua 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 Whare Whai Hua will be in three years.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

11 January 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

50 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 17, Girls 16

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

October 2018

Date of this report

11 January 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2016

Supplementary Review

March 2014

Education Review

February 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.