Paeroa Early Learning Centre

Education institution number:
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Not Applicable
Total roll:

9 Nowra Crescent, Paeroa

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Pukekos Educare - 23/06/2014

1 Evaluation of Pukekos Educare

How well placed is Pukekos Educare 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.


Pukekos Educare is situated at Paeroa. The centre provides all-day education and care for children up to five years old from Paeroa and surrounding districts, in a mixed-age setting. Of the 45 children on the roll, two are under years old and 12 are identified as Māori. The centre is owned by the managing director who also owns and manages Pukekos Educare centres in the nearby towns of Thames and Ngatea. She is assisted in overseeing all three centres by the recently appointed principal. The teaching team includes four qualified early childhood teachers and one in training.

The centre has a positive reporting history with ERO. The previous 2011 ERO report identified high-quality professional and collaborative leadership, a reflective culture and robust self review. It found that teachers effectively extended children’s thinking and knowledge. A feature was the establishment of strong partnerships with families. Since 2011, the managing director and her team have continued to enhance all aspects of service performance, including the quality of the learning environment. The managing director has also strengthened the collaborative leadership and management of the three Pukekos Educare centres.

The philosophy of Pukekos Educare Centres is to provide a place where children, teachers and families can be themselves. Respect, communication, relationships and working together are highly valued. These beliefs and attitudes are reflected in practices throughout the centre. A calm, family-like environment is provided for infants, toddlers and young children.

The Review Findings

Children are capable and confident learners and communicators. A feature of the programme is the high level of sustained, cooperative and imaginative play, and meaningful conversations between children. Friendships and gentle and caring interactions are evident amongst children of all ages. Many children demonstrate well-developed problem solving and negotiation skills.

Adult relationships and interactions with children are positive, respectful and caring. Teachers know the children well and are very responsive to their questions and emerging interests. They skilfully foster the development of social, language and thinking skills, and support children to explore their own ideas and to express themselves creatively. Learning about literacy, mathematics, science, computer technology and caring for the environment is integrated throughout the programme. Teachers are in the process of reviewing how effectively they encourage children’s thinking and critical reflection.

In preparation for transition to school, four-year-old children participate in the ‘Whā Club’. This provides opportunities for them to learn about literacy, numeracy and their community by exploring topics of interest. At the ‘Wha Club’ children also learn about aspects of te reo and tikanga Māori, local Māori history, and concepts such as whakapapa and whanaungatanga. Teachers are increasingly using te reo Māori in daily routines and informal conversations. Children confidently sing, say karakia, and mihi in Māori.

High-quality, attractive e-portfolios document individual children’s learning and demonstrate their progress over time. Portfolio entries are shared digitally with parents and children at the centre, and families discuss these at home. Parents have opportunities to participate in twice-yearly parent interviews. This enhances the home-centre partnership by giving parents a voice in programme assessment and planning. Wall displays celebrate children’s achievements and make their learning visible to parents and teachers. Well-illustrated books of previous programme planning encourage children to revisit and further explore their learning and interests.

High-quality, stimulating and attractively presented learning environments make the centre very welcoming for children and parents. Children of all ages can independently access a wide variety of equipment, resources and natural materials. The outdoor area maximises opportunities for gardening, social play and exploration.

Teachers’ interactions with infants and toddlers are respectful warm and nurturing. A full-time teaching team provides consistent care that supports very young children to form trusting relationships with a variety of adults, and fosters early language development. Teachers work closely with parents and whānau to identify and respond to children’s individual needs and routines. Infants and toddlers have many opportunities to become confident communicators and explorers in a mixed age setting. Parents have daily opportunities to discuss any matters relating to their children.

The managing director is an experienced, knowledgeable and enthusiastic professional leader with strong networks. She has a clear vision for continuing strategic development and has made good use of current theory and recognised best practice in early childhood education, to develop 'The Pukekos Way'. This approach is based on high-quality cooperative leadership. Carefully planned professional development, and inclusive self review, ensures consistent implementation of the Pukekos philosophy by long-serving and newly appointed teachers. Shared staff leadership encourages teachers to take responsibility for centre tasks and decision making. Strong management systems, including a robust staff appraisal process, reflect the shared understandings and high expectations of managers and teachers. Extensive self review has resulted in continual improvements for children and families.

Key Next Steps

The managing director and centre representatives agree that priorities for future development are to:

  • more frequently monitor and evaluate self-review outcomes, such as those relating to the recent review of te Ao Māori
  • continue to review routines practices to ensure that opportunities for child-led activities and experiences are maximised
  • continue to develop centre resources and enhance partnerships and practices to support transition to school.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Pukekos Educare 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 Pukekos Educare will be in four years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

23 June 2014

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

33 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 25

Boys 20

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā





Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements


Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

April 2014

Date of this report

23 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2011


Education Review

August 2008


Education Review

October 2005

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.

Pukekos Educare - 02/08/2011

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Pukeko Educare is a well established privately owned education and care service located in the township of Paeroa. It is licensed to cater for 33 children under 6 years of age, including up to 8 under the age of two.

The centre has a good ERO review history and it continues to provide its community with a family-orientated quality early childhood facility.

Trusting and mutually respectful relationships characterise the centre culture. Children and families have a strong sense of belonging to the centre and children’s well-being is successfully nurtured in a safe and secure climate.

Teachers are skilled in using a wide variety of positive conversations that encourage children’s social development, as well as implementing effective strategies that support children’s learning and extend their thinking and knowledge.

The centre’s philosophy is strongly evident in practice. There are many opportunities for children to engage in an interesting and stimulating programme and learning environment, where they can develop as capable and confident learners.

A notable feature of the centre is the strong partnership established with centre families. Teachers know children and their families well and make strong links with their lives outside the centre in relevant and meaningful ways.

The centre director continues to provide high quality professional and collaborative leadership with the support of her leadership team. Management and teachers have a reflective culture and use robust and reliable self-review practices focused on ongoing improvement and providing quality education and care.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

2 Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Pukekos Educare was invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO. ERO also used documentation provided by the centre to contribute to the scope of the review.

The detailed priorities for review were then determined following a discussion between the ERO review team and the management and staff. This discussion focused on existing information held by the centre (including self-review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to positive outcomes for children atPukekos Educare.

All ERO education reviews in early childhood focus on the quality of education. For ERO this includes the quality of:

  • the programme provided for children;
  • the learning environment; and
  • the interactions between children and adults.

ERO’s findings in these areas are set out below.

The Quality of Education


Since the last ERO review, Pukekos Educare has taken part in professional development to further develop teaching interactions that engage children in higher order thinking. The centre has a philosophy that values staff teamwork, fosters respectful relationships with all stakeholders, and supports children to develop their self esteem and social skills. This is achieved through developing positive partnerships with families and providing a stimulating environment that empowers children to learn.

Areas of strength

Learning relationships and interactions: Trusting and mutually respectful relationships characterise the centre culture. Children confidently seek teacher support and comfort when required. Teachers acknowledge children’s feelings and positively respond to their unique personalities and temperaments. Children demonstrate respect for one another and older children take increased responsibility for younger children’s well-being. Teachers use a wide variety of social conversations and strategies to extend children’s thinking and learning. They are highly responsive to children’s interests and respond to teachable moments during children’s play. Teachers encourage children to reflect, predict and consider others ideas and points of view. Positive guidance strategies support children to develop their social competencies and positive conflict resolution skills. A strong sense of belonging and well-being is successfully fostered.

Programme: Children experience stimulating and interesting learning opportunities in a caring family friendly atmosphere. Features of the programme include:

  • meaningful experiences and routines that cater for children’s diverse care needs, interests, ages and abilities;

  • use of the natural environment, resources and materials to support learning;

  • the successful integration of experiences that support the development of oral language, literacy and mathematical concepts and learning;

  • teachers encouraging children’s self-care and independent learning attributes;

  • extensive opportunities for children to develop their imagination and creative expression;

  • community links and family consultation;

  • experiences that engage children in sustained cooperative play;

  • use of the local community and contact with local schools;

  • the inclusion of te reo and tikanga Māori practices throughout the learning programme; and

  • e-portfolios shared with children and families and an integral aspect of teaching and learning.

The centre’s philosophy is strongly evident in practice, and children are developing as capable and confident learners.

Partnership with families: A notable feature of the centre is the strong partnership established with centre families. Staff place value on making families welcome and getting to know them and their child. Families are consulted and their views are sought in relation to children’s education and centre operations. Regular social events provide opportunities for families to network with staff and one another. Teachers know children and their families well and make strong links with their lives outside of the centre in respectful and reciprocal ways.

Collaborative leadership and team work: The licensee continues to provide high quality professional and collaborative leadership. She is well supported by an experienced curriculum leader and team leader. Teachers are actively involved in decision making and contribute to the shared vision and future developments of the quality of education and care. Teachers have access to relevant and current professional development in early childhood education and have established a culture of ongoing reflective practice focused on positive outcomes for children and their families.

Self review: Self review underpins all aspects of centre life. Management and teachers have a reflective culture and use robust and reliable self-review practices focused on providing quality education and care. Planned and spontaneous reviews consider the perspectives of families, teachers and children. Management uses valid self-review information to evaluate the effectiveness of centre operations and to improve service performance.

Area for development and review

Learning environment: Through its robust self-review processes the centre has identified its own area for future development. ERO and centre management agree that the next step is to implement the centre’s strategic plan to further develop the learning environment.

3 National Evaluation Topic


ERO provides information about the education system as a whole through its national reports. This information will be used as the basis for long term and systemic educational improvement.

Partnerships with whānau of Māori children in early childhood services

As part of this review ERO evaluated the extent to which:

  • this service understands and values the identity, language and culture of Māori children and their whānau, particularly when the child and whānau transition to the service;
  • managers and educators have built relationships with whānau of Māori children; and
  • this service works in partnership with whānau of Māori children.

Currently there are 8 children enrolled at the centre who identify as being Māori


The centre’s philosophy embraces the values of respect and acceptance of one another, where families experience an environment in which their contributions are valued and partnership is fostered.

Area of strength

Management and teachers value and understand the importance of having positive relationships with families to support children’s holistic development. Whānau are actively encouraged to share their values and aspirations for their child’s care and education. There are many formal and informal social situations in which teachers interact with families and discuss children’s progress and development. Tikanga and te reo Māori are integrated into centre routines, programmes and resources. Together families and teachers have created an inclusive family atmosphere where they work in partnership to provide the best outcomes for children to succeed in learning.

4 Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Pukekos Educare completed an ERO CentreAssurance Statement andSelf-Audit Checklist. In these documents they have attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • administration;
  • health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management; and
  • financial and property management.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records of recent use of procedures. ERO also checked elements of the following areas that have a potentially high impact on outcomes for children:

  • emotional safety (including behaviour management, prevention of bullying and abuse);
  • physical safety (including behaviour management, sleeping and supervision practices; accidents and medication; hygiene and routines; travel and excursion policies and procedures);
  • staff qualifications and organisation; and
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

5 Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

About the Centre


Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

33 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Roll number

46 children, including 2 aged under 2

Gender composition

Boys 24

Girls 22

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā 36

New Zealand Māori 8

Australian 1

Tongan 1

Review team on site

June 2011

Date of this report

2 August 2011

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review August 2008

Education Review October 2005

Accountability Review June 2002