Tui Early Learners Young Investigators - 15/12/2015

1 Evaluation of Tui Early Learners Young Investigators

How well placed is Tui Early Learners Young Investigators 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.


Tui Early Learners Young Investigators is situated in central Palmerston North. The centre provides all day care and education for up to 30 children over two years of age, and two are Māori. Children experience a well-designed curriculum linked to individual strengthens and interests valuing their active involvement in learning.

The centre is managed by the Tui Early Learners management group and is one of five centres in this organisation. A new head teacher was appointed in 2015. Areas of strength identified in the February 2013 ERO report have been sustained and areas for development addressed.

The Review Findings

The centre philosophy is well enacted in practice. Children are competent learners initiating involvement in their interests during the day. Leaders and teachers respond to the emerging fascinations and wonderings of children through a wide range of responsive educational experiences. Respectful and nurturing interactions encourage children in their work and play.

Flexible routines suit individual needs, promoting independence and choice. Numeracy and literacy concepts are suitably included in learning contexts.

Staff provide responsive care to promote each child’s wellbeing and support their developing social and emotional competencies. A feature of the centre is the Nature Explorers programme. Regular farm visits encourage individuals to build valuable skills, knowledge and confidence in a rural context. 

The physical environment maximises children’s engagement in learning. Areas of play are well resourced and motivate children to extend their thinking and exploration. Regular reflection by teachers ensures changes to the environment are responsive to children’s emerging interests. 

Assessment of children’s learning effectively shows developing skills, knowledge and dispositions. Staff are highly collaborative. Increasingly, they are developing their collective capability to provide useful evaluation of each child’s involvement in the curriculum. 

Centre leaders show a comprehensive knowledge about current teaching practices and ongoing areas to develop. Mentoring, linked to individual goals and indicators of desired teaching practice, encourages ongoing reflection about the impact of strategies used to influence a child’s learning.

Teachers demonstrate positive relationships with families and whānau based on listening and respect. Visual displays, learning narratives and emerging planning ensures parents are well informed about curriculum experiences. The use of electronic portfolios increasingly encourages closer links between experiences at home and in the daily lives of children.

Children requiring support for special and complex needs are fully included. Curriculum responsiveness ensures each individual’s strengths, needs and interests are addressed. External agencies are accessed when required to ensure all children can achieve success.

Māori learners’ culture, language and identity are suitably reflected in culturally responsive contexts for learning. Centre staff demonstrate a strong commitment to building sustainable bicultural practice. Relevant professional learning and development and thorough internal review have contributed to clear curriculum direction. Further development of the relationship with the local Iwi and this service, to support development of tangata whenuatanga, is a well-considered next step.

Organisational leadership is well defined and effectively promotes the centre's strategic direction. Curriculum change is appropriately informed by research and indicators of best practice. The management team and head teacher work collaboratively with staff, providing an emphasis on educational learning outcomes for children. Effective guidance, review and evaluation promote sustainable practice and ensure decision making results in improved outcomes for children.

Processes for self review are robust and clearly linked to the centre’s philosophy. Internal review is well established. The Tui evaluative appraisal process is highly effective in guiding staff to inquire into, and review, the impact of their practice on learning outcomes for children. Quality assurance processes are highly reflective and responsive to identified curriculum priorities. 

Key Next Steps

Service leaders and ERO agree the next step for the centre is to further develop teachers' collective capability to undertake internal review to promote rigorous inquiry into practice. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Tui Early Learners Young Investigators 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 Tui Early Learners Young Investigators will be in four years. 

Joyce Gebbie
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

15 December 2015 

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


Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Male 19, Female 18

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2015

Date of this report

15 December 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

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.