'Api Fakakoloa Ua

Education institution number:
Service type:
Homebased Network
Tongan ECE service
Total roll:

66 Lovegrove Crescsent, Otara, Auckland

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1 Evaluation of Api Fakakoloa Ua

How well placed is Api Fakakoloa Ua 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.


Api Fakakoloa Ua is one of eight homebased education and care networks owned by Api Fakakoloa Educational Services Limited. This network is licensed for 60 children from birth to five years of age. Children enrolled in this network are from across South, West and East Auckland.

A team of six qualified coordinators oversee the delivery of the curriculum to educators who provide education and care for up to four children in each home. Most of the educators are family members such as grandparents. Most children have Tongan heritage and others are Māori or from other Pacific ethnicities.

The service's philosophy promotes the Tongan language, beliefs and cultural practices and is built on Tongan values of love, relationships, respect, sharing, support, and obedience. The philosophy values the importance of the home - Api, to enrich children as kaloa/treasures who develop knowledge of, and learn about, Tongan and English languages.

The organisation's directors have worked closely with a team of managers to develop policies and systems to manage the fast growing demand for home based education and care in the Tongan community. Additional staff support the operations and management of the service and together with leaders they embed the services' vision and strategic direction.

This is the first ERO report for this network since being established in 2012.

This review was part of a cluster of two home-based education and care network reviews, of Api Fakakoloa Educational Services Limited.

The Review Findings

Api Fakakoloa's vision reflects a strong commitment to early childhood education within a Tongan cultural context. The service is driven by a belief in the importance of belonging, wellbeing and identity based on Tongan values of love, respect and inclusion. Underpinned by strong Tongan values, the vision and philosophy are well understood and articulated clearly at all levels of the organisation and through the wider Tongan community that it serves.

Children's learning is recorded in attractive portfolios. Coordinators model how to analyse children's learning and guide educators to build a picture of children's development. Portfolios show children's involvement in a variety of experiences in the home and community. Children's confidence in their growing use of Tongan language and relationships with others are documented clearly for parents. Parents are invited to contribute to the programme for children and are increasingly providing feedback to educators.

Effective health and safety systems are monitored regularly. Monthly checks inform the property team of required maintenance areas. Strengthening initial and annual safety check systems will ensure a more robust process is undertaken.

Strategic and annual plans clearly identify priorities that contribute to the service successfully achieving its vision. Positive outcomes for children are the basis of the service's strategic goals and overall direction. These goals and plans are well monitored and documented clearly in English and Tongan languages.

Internal evaluation is well understood. A robust process is used to evaluate practice, guide improvements and inform future direction. Some significant improvements to documentation have been a result of this process.

A skilled programme manager leads a highly effective team of coordinators who take time to build respectful and trusting relationships with children, educators and fanau. Policies and procedures clearly define expectations for coordinators and educators. The appraisal process promotes staff reflection that results in improved coordinator practice.

The directors are committed to building the capacity and skills of all staff. Ongoing professional development and induction are well supported through well attended talatalanoa workshops. Outcomes from talatalanoa show how educators and coordinators are increasing their knowledge, confidence and improving practices across the service. They coach and support educators to improve their individual skills and collective understanding of effective teaching strategies.

Leaders and coordinators collaborate to build shared knowledge and high expectations across the service. Coordinators and educators work together to plan programmes that are responsive to children's interests.

Coordinator records skilfully highlight positive educator practices that include:

  • the value educators place on children's contributions and ideas

  • educators' skilful response to infant and toddler ways of learning

  • responses to children's interests and strengths

  • promotion of children's oral language and communication.

Educators have opportunities to share their professional knowledge and practices with others at talatalanoa workshops. Integrated Tongan language and culture are evident in the programme for children. Educators' use of the daily diaries show their increasing understanding of the way children learn.

Coordinators' reports support educators to plan programmes that prioritise children's learning through meaningful, culturally responsive experiences. Building educator practice and understanding of the early childhood curriculum is evident through these reports. Coordinators are working intentionally with educators to support them to appropriately integrate literacy and numeracy.

There is a genuine commitment to te Tiriti o Waitangi and the place of tangata whenua in Aotearoa. The service's curriculum aligns with Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

Key Next Steps

The directors and management team agree that to enhance current practices they could:

  • continue to grow educator knowledge and practice

  • refine operation and curriculum systems to ensure requirements are manageable and achievable.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Api Fakakoloa Ua completed an ERO Home-based Education and Care 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 Api Fakakoloa Ua will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

20 February 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 Home-based Education and Care Service 


Otara, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Institution type

Homebased Network

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

60 children, including up to 60 aged under 2

Service roll


Standard or Quality Funded


Gender composition

Girls 30 Boys 28

Ethnic composition









Number of qualified coordinators in the network


Required ratios of staff educators to children

Under 2


Over 2


Review team on site

December 2016

Date of this report

20 February 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 the draft methodology for ERO reviews in Home-based Education and Care Services: July 2014

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.