Central Kids Kindergartens - Apanui - 11/08/2016

1 Evaluation of Central Kids Kindergartens - Apanui

How well placed is Central Kids Kindergartens - Apanui 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.


Central Kids Kindergartens - Apanui operates under the umbrella of Central North Island Kindergarten Trust (CNIK). It is located in central Whakatane and provides education and care for children from two years up to school age. The kindergarten has introduced some flexibility of hours to allow half-day, full day and part-time attendance.  The kindergarten is licensed for 40 children over the age of two, and caters for 40 children in the morning and 30 children in the afternoon. The roll includes 55 children, of whom 11 are Māori.

Since the 2013 ERO review, the kindergarten has retained the experienced and long-serving head teacher and staff. This team continues to design and implement the education and care programme and takes responsibility for the day-to-day management of the centre's operation. The trust retains overall responsibility for governance matters. A new professional leader has been appointed by the trust to provide continuing support and guidance for the centre, and to undertake the head teacher's appraisal. 

The kindergarten philosophy was developed after extensive consultation with the community. It reflects a commitment to child-initiated active learning in a social context. The vision and values are expressed in the kindergarten's philosophy 'Here at Apanui we believe that developing strong, positive ngā hononga relationships with children and whānau is central'.

Our programme is based on:

  • kotahitanga - the holistic way children learn and grow
  • getting to know our children really well
  • working in partnership with whānau.

The kindergarten has a very positive reporting history with ERO. In response to recommendations in the 2013 ERO report, staff have undertaken effective and sustained professional development to strengthen te ao Māori in the programme, and to make children's learning more visible to parents and whānau.

This review was part of a cluster of three kindergarten reviews in the Central North Island Kindergarten Trust.

The Review Findings

Central Kids Kindergartens - Apanui is very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

The team of teachers work very effectively together to establish a culture where children are first and foremost valued, affirmed and celebrated for who they are and what they bring to their learning. Children enjoy sensitive, respectful and responsive relationships with adults. Their social skills and a sense of belonging are purposefully fostered and developed to enable a cooperative culture where children learn with and through each other. In this mixed-age setting, older children take responsibility for younger children and form tuakana-teina relationships. Familiar and flexible routines support children's sense of security and free them to explore and learn for long periods of uninterrupted play. Children enjoy learning through play in a safe and supportive atmosphere.

Children have many varied and challenging learning opportunities and experiences. The indoor and outdoor environments are thoughtfully designed to invite children's exploration and engagement. High quality equipment and resources are visible and made readily available to children to support their self-initiated learning through play. Children enjoy imaginative and creative play, physical challenge, construction and interactions with the natural world. Visits and excursions provide additional experiences that extend children's understanding of the local community. 

The bicultural heritage of New Zealand is increasingly evident in the environment and programme experienced by children. Wall displays and resources support a culture of respect for te ao Māori.  Children enjoy waiata and listen intently to Māori myths and legends. A recent marae trip extended the interest of children and their parents in Ngāti Awatanga. Teachers foster an inclusive culture that affirms and respects the language, culture and identities of others. Children develop an awareness and appreciation of the dual cultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand, and of the richness of diversity. 

High quality teaching practices are consistently evident. Teachers know children and their families really well, and this knowledge is respectfully shared among the team. Together, they plan intentional teaching strategies to respond to individual children's strengths and interests. Teachers engage in learning conversations that encourage children to develop dispositions of curiosity and wonder, and problem-solving skills. These conversations also contribute strongly to children's oral language and communication skills. Early mathematical language and concepts are well integrated into the programme. Children experience high quality learning opportunities.

Teacher assessment builds on strengths and effectively reflects and records children's dispositional learning. Teachers use wall displays, individual learning books and on-line approaches for sharing each child's learning and development with parents/whānau. Parent input to assessment is encouraged and this successfully supports the close partnership between the kindergarten and home.

The experienced head teacher provides well-informed professional leadership for the kindergarten community. She has been pivotal in maintaining the strong culture of mutual respect and support within the teaching team. Teachers share good practice and responsibilities in support of the efficient and effective operation of the kindergarten. The revised appraisal system for teachers builds on the identified priorities in the current centre self review and annual plan. It includes expectations for teachers' critical inquiry into their practice and a focus on improving outcomes for children.

Parents express high levels of trust and confidence in the education and care provided by the centre. The teaching team works consistently to build parent/whānau understanding and appreciation of the early childhood approach to learning through play. Parents appreciate the generous amounts of time taken to welcome and inform them. Effective networks with local schools support children and their families as they successfully transition from the kindergarten.

The head teacher and teachers demonstrate a strong commitment to evidence-based self review. This self review has a focus on continuous improvement in outcomes for children and supports the kindergarten to sustain its high quality performance. The professional leader provides regular structured feedback to the head teacher to support ongoing self review.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders and ERO agree that the next steps are to continue to successfully implement current initiatives focused on ongoing improvements to educational outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Central Kids Kindergartens - Apanui 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 Central Kids Kindergartens - Apanui will be in four years. 

Lynda Pura-Watson
Deputy Chief Review Officer Waikato/Bay of Plenty

11 August 2016 

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 


Whakatane, Bay of Plenty

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys      30

Girls       25

Ethnic composition

Cook Island
South East Asian


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2016

Date of this report

11 August 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

May 2013

Education Review

May 2010

Education Review

April 2007

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.