Central Kids Kindergartens - Fordlands - 20/12/2016

1 Evaluation of Central Kids Kindergartens - Fordlands

How well placed is Central Kids Kindergartens - Fordlands 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 – Fordlands operates under the umbrella of Central North Island Kindergarten Trust (CNIKT). The kindergarten is licensed for 40 children from two years to school age. The significant majority of children enrolled are tangata whenua. Restructuring of kindergarten hours in May 2016 has extended opening hours from 8.00 am to 3.30 pm, five days a week, throughout the year.

The kindergarten's draft philosophy outlines culturally responsive practices that foster children's wellbeing and identity as active learners. Central to this philosophy are the introduction of the kaiawhina role, manaakitanga and the richly resourced environment.

Since ERO's 2013 review teachers have undertaken professional learning and development in self review, assessment, teaching as inquiry and appraisal. Significant development has been achieved in areas of relationship building to embed practices that have enriched the curriculum, reflecting children's language, culture, identity, and honouring mana whenua.

Kindergarten operations are well-supported by CNIKT. The trust’s strategic direction sets out the service’s vision, expected educational outcomes, and values. It also defines the strategies for delivering the principles and strands of the early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki, and for respecting Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Compliance and regulatory requirements are well monitored by professional leaders. Policies and procedures support the kindergarten to meet regulation requirements and management expectations. The professional leaders work alongside head teachers to support their leadership roles and provide guidance, and mentor teachers as part of the appraisal process. Kindergarten teachers have opportunities to attend professional development designed to grow their teaching and leadership skills.

Personnel matters are well managed. The trust has undertaken a long-term review of teacher appraisal in consultation with teachers. This is enabling them to respond to the expectations of the Education Council and increase the depth of teachers’ reflections about their practice. The trust has also responded effectively to the Vulnerable Children’s Act, and is well placed to complete required changes to policies and practices for the protection of children.

This review was part of a cluster of six reviews in Central North Island Kindergarten Trust.

The Review Findings

The Central Kids Kindergartens - Fordlands curriculum clearly responds to the language culture and identity of all children. There is an understanding of who children are, where they are from, and what influences their learning. Strong relationships have been built with kindergarten whānau and the Fordlands community. The kindergarten benefits from contributions and guidance from key people in the community. Through the kindergarten pepeha, children are able to make meaningful connections with Atua, the maunga, awa and local pūrakau. Values of manaakitanga, wairuatanga, whakawhanaungatanga and kaitiakitanga clearly underpin the curriculum. Children are strong in their identity, and their knowledge is affirmed as valued and relevant learning.

Teachers have created a welcoming, homely and resource rich environment. Within this environment children are able to learn through play. Teachers allow time and space for children to pursue interests, set their own challenges and problem solve. They encourage children to develop skills in literacy, mathematics and natural science. The environment strongly reflects culturally relevant symbols, signs and texts, which form the basis of children's literacy learning. Children also benefit from the many opportunities to learn from and nurture Papatūānuku within the kindergarten and local community.

Interactions between teachers, children and whānau are warm, positive and reciprocal. The introduction of the kaiawhina role is pivotal in developing deep and genuine relationships, and supporting positive transitions from home to kindergarten. Consistent teaching approaches to positive guidance are contributing to the calm, settled environment, and children's developing social skills and confidence. Tuakana/teina relationships are integral to the positive learning culture in the kindergarten. Children confidently engage with one another and adults, and demonstrate a strong sense of belonging.

Focused professional learning and development is strengthening teachers' practice. The robust appraisal process and ongoing constructive critique from the professional leader is supporting teachers to reflect on and refine their practice. An important development since ERO's 2013 review is the introduction of a more culturally responsive assessment framework and practice. Teachers have also given priority to learning te reo Māori and are committed to furthering this learning. They are well supported by kindergarten whānau to increasingly use and understand te reo and tikanga Māori, and develop culturally responsive teaching strategies.

Key Next Steps

Teachers have developed a draft philosophy statement for Central Kids Kindergartens - Fordlands. It is now important for them to consider ways to make the philosophy visible, and include whānau views and aspirations for their children as part of the consultation process.

Sustained learning and development has assisted teachers to implement self review. Further development of self-review processes should enable teachers to better understand the implications for their practice and outcomes for children.

The kindergarten leader needs to deliberately use the annual planning framework to develop a more strategic approach to the annual plan, ensuring a systematic and sustainable approach to kindergarten improvement. This was also identified as an area for improvement in ERO's 2013 report.

A significant priority for CNIKT is to build the capacity of kindergarten leadership to develop professional practice within the team. This development should enable teachers' to more effectively extend their teaching strategies, and to add further complexity to children's learning.


ERO recommends that CNIKT, in consultation with the Central Kids Kindergartens - Fordlands teaching team, develops an action plan to fully address the key next steps identified in this report.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

20 December 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 



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 22 Boys 12

Ethnic composition




Cook Island





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

November 2016

Date of this report

20 December 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Supplementary Review

February 2013

Education Review

October 2012

Education Review

December 2009

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.