'Api Fakakoloa Pukekohe

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

16 Parkstone Place, Mangere Central, Auckland

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1 Evaluation of 'Api Fakakoloa Pukekohe

How well placed is 'Api Fakakoloa Pukekohe 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 Pukekohe is one of eight homebased early childhood education and care networks established by 'Api Fakakoloa Educational Services Limited since 2011. In total, the 'Api Fakakoloa networks are licensed to provide for nearly 500 children. The organisation has a clear vision and purpose that support the philosophy and underpin all operations.

The Pukekohe network is licensed for up to 45 children. Most of the children enrolled in this network come from Tongan families living across South, East and West Auckland suburbs. This is the first ERO report for this network since its establishment in 2016.

The service's philosophy promotes the Tongan language, beliefs and cultural practices, and is built on Tongan Loto, values of love, relationships, respect, sharing, support and obedience. The philosophy values the importance of the Api (home), to treasure children as koloa, and enrich their knowledge of the Tongan language and cultural practices.

A team of eight coordinators, who are qualified teachers, works collaboratively to develop the learning programme in this and the other seven networks. One member of this team oversees the delivery of the curriculum to the educators who provide for up to four children at a time, in their homes.

The organisation's directors work closely with office based managers to meet the increasing demand for homebased education and care in the Tongan community. The leaders and managers are focused on embedding the organisation's vision and strategic direction.

This review is part of a cluster of six reviews of networks that have been set up since 2014 by 'Api Fakakoloa Educational Services Limited. The initial two 'Api Fakakoloa networks were reviewed by ERO in 2016.

The Review Findings

Most of the children in the 'Api Fakakoloa networks are cared for in the homes of relatives, such as grandparents and other extended family members. Parents feel assured that their children will have positive interactions with the educators in these family homes, be well cared for and have opportunities to develop skills, attitudes and values that reflect and align with their own.

The directors, managers and qualified teaching staff share a deep commitment to children learning in an environment that nurtures their language, culture and identity. The teaching team works as a cluster, regularly visiting educators in their homes, monitoring children's wellbeing, and supporting programmes that focus on the use of the Tongan language and cultural practices.

Strong professional leadership guides the curriculum. Educators are encouraged to draw on their own cultural understandings and where possible, document children's learning activities in Tongan. The homebased programme is supported by well selected Tongan rhymes and poems published specifically for use by educators in Pacific and Māori contexts.

Coordinators' home visits, and information about children's learning and wellbeing, are very well documented. Educators keep a daily diary for every child and are encouraged to share information, including stories and photos, with parents through children's individual portfolios. Some educators take children for outings after seeking approval from the network coordinators.

The principles and strands of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, are well integrated into the programme. The network's professional leader is strengthening the use of learning dispositions, and Loto, that reflect valued outcomes for children. Coordinators agree that recognising and responding to children's learning dispositions is a key next step for educators to develop their roles and responsibilities.

The coordinators have a key role in supporting educators and sharing expectations through talatalanoa 'a e Pupunga Mataliki & Talatalanoa-Poupou Fakaako Fakakulupu iiki about early childhood education. They model ways of planning that are relevant and authentic in the homebased context. Leaders agree that educators need ongoing support to show how they have built on children's interests over time.

Managers are developing good internal evaluation systems. They are focused on enriching services for children, seeking appropriate professional learning for the staff and making ongoing improvements. All required documentation, including children's enrolments, educator and personnel information is systematically filed and monitored. Professional leaders are updating teacher appraisal systems to better reflect the Education Council requirements.

Key Next Steps

'Api Fakakoloa leaders agree that key next steps include:

  • continuing to strengthen understanding of child-led learning and the use of culturally-based and high quality educational resources

  • ensuring that internal evaluation relates purposefully and explicitly to making a positive difference for children

  • refining appraisal processes to help teachers focus more clearly on improving practice in relation to each of the Standards for the Teaching Profession.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of 'Api Fakakoloa Pukekohe 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 Pukekohe will be in three years.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

17 May 2018

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

45 children, including up to 45 aged under 2

Service roll


Standard or Quality Funded


Gender composition

Girls 20 Boys 18

Ethnic composition



Number of qualified coordinators in the network


Required ratios of staff educators to children

Under 2


Over 2


Review team on site

March 2018

Date of this report

17 May 2018

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.