Awhina Day Nursery and Kindergarten - 28/11/2017

1 Evaluation of Awhina Day Nursery and Kindergarten

How well placed is Awhina Day Nursery and Kindergarten 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.


Awhina Day Nursery and Kindergarten is a privately owned education and care service operating in Havelock North. The centre is licensed for 25 children, including 10 up to the age of two years. Of the 19 children on the roll, three are Māori.

Rudolf Steiner educational philosophy (anthroposophy) underpins the programme. The centre provides opportunities for children to care for the environment, harvest produce and prepare meals.

The teaching team is well established. Practitioners (teachers) work closely with parents to support children's learning and development.

Areas identified for development in the March 2014 ERO report included bicultural practice, support for Māori children's success as Māori, self review and evaluation, and appraisal. These have been addressed and good progress is evident.

The Review Findings

Rudolf Steiner principles, te ao Māori concepts and Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, are effectively woven through and highly visible in practice.

The warm and nurturing learning environment promotes children's sense of belonging and identity as learners. Children follow their own interests and engage in self-initiated and group play.

The use of natural, open-ended resources promotes children's exploration, creativity and imaginative play. Authentic play-based experiences enhance their literacy and numeracy skills. Each room is purposefully designed to provide multiple learning opportunities that are responsive to children's interests.

Practitioners thoughtfully implement a programme that is consistent with the Rudolf Steiner philosophy to support children's strengths, interests and holistic learning needs. Planning for learning carefully integrates the seasons, daily routines, rhythms and celebration of festivals.

Collaboration with parents enables practitioners to meet individual children's needs, particularly those requiring additional support. This approach successfully contributes to enhanced learning outcomes for these children.

Assessment and planning processes are established. Child studies are useful and valued records of children's time at the centre. They create a holistic picture of what each child knows, understands and can do, over time. Teacher observations provide a valuable record of children's participation in a wide range of learning areas, as well as their knowledge, skills, social interactions and relationships.

Parents are valued partners in their child's learning. Many have long standing relationships with the centre and practitioners. Sharing information and including parents in events are seen as priorities.

A well-considered, approach to building leadership capability and supporting succession planning is evident. Practitioners are acknowledged and valued for their contributions and skills they bring to the centre. The director's leadership effectively supports the team in realising the philosophy and vision of the service.

Caregiving practices foster secure attachments. Practitioners show a commitment to ways of teaching that model care, respect, nurturing practices and valuing of children's contributions.

A well-considered approach is in place to strengthen practitioners' focus on te reo me ngā tikanga Māori and the use of Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners. Leaders have identified this as an area requiring ongoing development. ERO's evaluation affirms this direction.

The strategic plan appropriately identifies the service's priorities. A strong focus on the sustainability of the service is evident. Identifying how progress towards strategic goals will be actioned and measured are next steps.

Regular reflection of practice supports adults to know what is and what is not working for children. A range of reviews have been used to guide and inform decisions about improvements to practice. These are developing as a means to measure the impact of processes and practices on outcomes for children. ERO and leaders agree that practitioners should continue to develop their understanding and use of inquiry and internal evaluation.

Key Next Steps

ERO and management agree that the service needs to continue to:

  • develop understanding and use of inquiry and internal evaluation for improvement

  • strengthen the monitoring and evaluating aspects of strategic planning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Awhina Day Nursery and Kindergarten 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 Awhina Day Nursery and Kindergarten will be in three years.

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

28 November 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 Early Childhood Service


Havelock North

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 11, Boys 8

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


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 2017

Date of this report

28 November 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2014

Education Review

March 2008

Education Review

December 2004

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.