Central Kids Kindergartens - Huntly West - 15/08/2016

1 Evaluation of Central Kids Kindergartens - Huntly West

How well placed is Central Kids Kindergartens - Huntly West 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 - Huntly West operates under the umbrella of Central North Island Kindergarten Trust (CNIKT). The kindergarten is located in Huntly, and is licensed to cater for 40 children from two years to school age. A high percentage of children enrolled are Māori. The kindergarten is open from 8.30 am to 2.30 pm, five days a week.

The kindergarten philosophy statement places priority on respectful relationships/whānaungatanga to set the foundation for building a learning community. 'He taonga whakahirahira nga mokopuna o tenei whare' (young children are the most precious gift in this house).

Since the 2013 ERO review there have been significant staff changes. A long serving teacher at the kindergarten has been appointed to the head teacher role, providing continuity for children and whānau. Two more teachers were appointed with identified strengths to benefit the kindergarten's curriculum. Over the last three years, teachers have participated in professional development in te reo and tikanga Māori practices and assessment.

The kindergarten is well supported by the 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. The trust works positively to provide equitable opportunities for families by extending its hours of opening.

Compliance and regulatory requirements are well monitored by professional leaders. Policies and procedures ensure the kindergarten meets 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 generous opportunities to attend professional development opportunities 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 three reviews in the Central North Island Kindergarten Trust.

The Review Findings

A strength of the kindergarten is the responsive, trusting and respectful relationships children and their whānau experience with teachers. The newly appointed head teacher has ensured positive relationships have been maintained during staff changes. The kindergarten culture promotes Māori children's identity and ensures equitable opportunities for all children to participate. Manaakitanga and whanaungatanga underpin the wairua of the kindergarten. These values contribute to children's and whānau members' strong sense of belonging.

Parents and extended whānau feel comfortable to remain at the kindergarten if they choose to, and engage in the learning programme. This provides rich opportunities for children's learning, and, also for whānau to get to know each other and the children. Individual child portfolios are accessed and enjoyed by parents and children. These effectively show and celebrate children's successes and participation.

Children are confident to initiate learning through play. The environment is purposefully prepared to provide children with a variety of choices that cater for their diverse interests. Literacy, mathematics, science and the arts are naturally integrated into daily experiences.

Children are capable learners. Teachers carefully consider when it is appropriate to stand back and empower children to be independent learners and when to teach intentionally. Children engage in sustained play and learning and have time to process information and revisit prior learning. They develop strategies for problem solving, negotiation and investigation.

Children enjoy close friendships with their peers and their learning is further supported through the encouragement of tuakana teina relationships. Social competencies are effectively developed because teachers respond appropriately to children's communication cues. Teachers consistently affirm children's efforts and contributions. Oral Language is supported through meaningful interactions and conversations.

The philosophy is being upheld and enacted by the head teacher. She is working closely with the experienced CNIKT professional leader to build collaboration within the new teaching team and prioritise future areas for development. This team has developed reflective practices and undertaken relevant self-review that is focused on continued improvement.

Key Next Steps

The key next step for the kindergarten is for teachers to undertake a review of the kindergarten's philosophy in collaboration with management, teachers, parents/whānau and children. This should further support the development of a shared understanding about, an agreed vision, goals and outcomes for providing consistent quality education and care. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Lynda Pura-Watson
Deputy Chief Review Officer

15 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 



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 20
Boys 13

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

June 2016

Date of this report

15 August 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

May 2013

Education Review

January 2010

Education Review

February 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.