Central Kids Kindergartens - Balmoral - 17/07/2013

1 Evaluation of Central Kids Kindergartens - Balmoral

How well placed is Central Kids Kindergartens - Balmoral to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


Central Kids Kindergartens - Balmoral, located in Tokoroa, in the iwi of Raukawa, provides education and care for children from two years to school age in a kindergarten full day programme. It operates under the organisation of Central North Island Kindergarten Trust (known as Central Kids). At the time of this ERO review the kindergarten roll was 35, of whom 18 identified as Māori. Most of these children whakapapa to iwi other than Raukawa.

In 2011 the kindergarten was relicensed by the Ministry of Education under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008. The kindergarten has a positive ERO reporting history. Since the previous ERO review in 2010, the teaching team has not changed, providing continuity for children and their families. The team has responded positively to the recommendations in the 2010 ERO report. These related to strengthening assessment practices and developing a more responsive programme for boy’s learning.

Teachers’ participation in the Ministry of Education programme 'The Incredible Years' self review and educational leadership research has positively influenced the programme and teaching practices in the kindergarten. It has had a successful focus on developing close and respectful relationships with children, parents and whānau.

The kindergarten’s philosophy aims to develop children’s resourcefulness, responsibility, resilience, relationships and reflection.

This review was part of a cluster of 13 reviews in the Central Kids umbrella organisation.

The Review Findings

Central Kids Kindergartens - Balmoral is very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children. Children and their families enjoy an early childhood experience where they are valued, celebrated and affirmed for who they are and what they bring to their learning. Teachers have established a close, respectful and strong partnership with children and their families. These relationships have been strengthened through key teacher practices and strategies from the ‘Incredible Years’ programme that the whole teaching team have participated in.

ERO observed consistently high-quality teaching practices where teachers were responsive, supportive and enhanced children’s interests and learning. Teachers effectively engage children in cooperative, purposeful, sustained play. Children are developing their abilities to form close relationships, care, and support one another through ako, leadership and the tuakana/teina role they play. Children benefit from skilled teachers who are developing a culture that promotes success for all.

The Central Kids Kindergartens – Balmoral curriculum and rich, well-resourced and organised learning environment are effectively designed to promote positive outcomes for children. The programme places a strong emphasis on:

  • developing relationships that foster a sense of belonging and wellbeing

  • including and making visible a Māori perspective

  • meaningful integration of literacy and mathematics learning in children’s play

  • environmental conservation and sustainability.

The kindergarten’s curriculum enables teachers to provide each child with the opportunity to be a unique learner and develop as capable and confident children.

The head teacher provides experienced professional leadership for the kindergarten and is committed to the Trust’s vision and philosophy. She works effectively and collaboratively to build teacher’s confidence, knowledge and practice. Through regular and meaningful self review teachers have developed comprehensive assessment processes that clearly identify children’s learning and development.

Teachers have established a professional working relationship with their Central Kids’ professional leader. Together they review and reflect on aspects of the kindergarten programme and teaching practice. Teachers receive regular feedback, appraisal and guidance for ongoing development from the professional leader. In addition, teachers have utilised the expertise of the pou āwhina from Central Kids Kindergartens - Balmoral to develop and implement a bicultural component in the programme. Comprehensive policy guidelines assist staff to meet regulatory requirements and maintain high standards and expectations that the Trust has for this kindergarten.

As part of this review ERO evaluated the effectiveness of the kindergarten’s responsibilities for the employment and management of staff. Central Kids Kindergartens - Balmoral have developed and implemented highly effective processes to appoint and support staff.

Key Next Steps

The teaching team are strategic and reflective in their approach to kindergarten development. This is clearly linked to research, current theories and teaching practices in early childhood education.

ERO is confident that kindergarten leaders and the teaching team have the capacity to strengthen, promote and sustain positive outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

17 July 2013

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

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 18

Girls 17

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā

Cook Island Māori




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

May 2013

Date of this report

17 July 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2010


Education Review

March 2007


Review Type

Click here to enter a date.

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.