Central Kids Kindergartens - Balmoral - 25/10/2017

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

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


Central Kids Kindergartens - Balmoral is located in a residential area of Tokoroa. It is licenced for 30 children from two years to school age and operates under the umbrella of Central North Island Kindergarten Trust (CNIKT). At the time of this review 34 children are enrolled and 19 identify as Māori.

Central Kids Kindergartens' philosophy aligns with the principles and strands of the early childhood education curriculum, Te Whāriki. Managerial and administrative support is provided by the head office team and includes aspects such as human resources, policy development, finance and cultural support. A professional leader provides ongoing support and guidance for the head teacher and teaching team. CNIKT provides significant professional learning and development for the early childhood education sector on a national basis.

Since the 2013 ERO review, the kindergarten has appointed one new teacher and the long-serving head teacher has remained in her position. Teachers have engaged in a range of professional development and continued to use robust internal evaluation practices to further improve practices.

Teachers have shared values for high-quality education and care and aim to provide a kindergarten that is an extension of home where children experience an inclusive environment that supports them to develop as confident and competent lifelong learners.

This review is part of a cluster of seven kindergartens reviewed in the Central North Island Kindergarten Trust.

The Review Findings

Children and their families are warmly welcomed into an inclusive high-quality learning environment. Relationships among teachers and children are respectful, close and trusting. Teachers work in partnership with parents/whānau and involve them in decision making. They are very responsive to whānau aspirations for children's learning. The concepts of manaakitanga, whanaungatanga, kaitiakitanga are embedded in practice contributing to children and whānau having a strong sense of belonging to the kindergarten.

The curriculum responds very effectively to the interests, strengths and needs of children. Principles, goals and strands of Te Whāriki are clearly enacted in interactions and assessment, planning and evaluation practices. Children have an extensive variety of literacy and mathematical learning experiences, while having fun through their play. Other curriculum areas are also naturally interwoven through children's interests and strengths. Children are able to revisit and build on their learning.

Individual children's portfolios and on-line assessment provide a rich record of children's learning and progress overtime. Children, teachers, parents and extended whānau are involved in this process. Children's holistic development is strongly supported. Teachers have developed a useful assessment tool for children and their families which supports children's learning pathways during their transition to school.

Teachers are highly skilled in noticing and responding to learning opportunities as they emerge during children's play. Children are supported to take responsibility, be self managing and confidently initiate their own learning. They have access to high-quality resources and equipment. Children engage in sustained and complex learning experiences independently and alongside others.

Teachers use highly-effective intentional teaching strategies to build on and extend children's knowledge, learning dispositions and social competencies. Children's language, communication, social and emotional learning is reinforced through their social interactions with people and the environment. Children competently use effective social strategies in their interactions with others.

Children's language, culture and identity are celebrated. Teachers seek ways to maintain children’s connections to their cultural identity. Partnerships with whānau lead to reciprocal information sharing about culture, needs, interests and home experiences, which are interwoven into learning experiences. Children are proud to share their culture and often contribute to the learning of their peers through the sharing of waiata and cultural practices. All children benefit from these experiences and Māori children are well supported to experience success as Māori.

Highly-effective internal evaluation practice result in improvement to the quality of education and promote positive outcomes for children. The head teacher and the teaching team have sustained high-quality practice and continued to develop and improve the kindergartens systems through their research and inquiry systems. They are currently inquiring into ways to grow their practice in supporting Māori and Pacific learners. Teachers are working in collaboration with parents to learn about history and stories within the community. Robust evaluation practices enable teachers to monitor and report on the effectiveness of their practice and positive outcomes for children's wellbeing and learning.

CNIKT provides effective governance. The kindergarten is effectively supported by the professional leader. She provides regular and detailed reporting and feedback to the head teacher and teaching teams. This supports the centre to meet legislative requirements, and to ensure that this practise aligns with the CNIKT philosophy. The organisation has created comprehensive systems and processes that effectively promote positive outcomes for all children. The trust has a strong commitment to empowering emerging leaders and also provides generous professional development for teachers.

Key Next Steps

ERO has confidence that kindergarten leaders and teaching teams have the systems and capability to identify, progress and sustain high-quality practices and programmes. Robust and evidence-based internal evaluation, ensures the teaching team have a strategic and reflective approach to kindergarten development. This is clearly linked to community aspirations, research, current theories and teaching practice in early childhood education.

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.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

25 October 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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, aged over 2 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 19 Boys 15

Ethnic composition



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

September 2017

Date of this report

25 October 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

July 2013

Education Review

October 2010

Education Review

March 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.