Central Kids Kindergartens - Ngatea - 03/10/2012

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

The kindergarten is very well placed to promote positive outcomes for children because self review processes are robust and inform decision making. The head teacher’s leadership is collaborative and there is a shared vision for teaching and learning that is well understood and enacted by teachers. Children, parents and staff continue to benefit from the effective governance provided by the association and the strong professional partnership that exists between the teachers and the professional leader.


Ngatea Kindergarten is located in the Hauraki plains township of Ngatea and operates under the umbrella of the Central North Island Kindergarten Association (CNIKA). It is licensed for 45 children over two years of age and has a current roll of 60, with nine of these children being of Māori descent. The kindergarten provides four, six-hour sessions each week, with a shorter session on Wednesdays. Children from a wide rural area attend the kindergarten, many of these being from families involved in farming.

Stable staffing continues to provides valuable continuity for children and their families. Teachers know families well and are responsive to the needs and aspirations of the parent community. There is a strong focus on building relationships that are based on mutual trust and respect. This contributes to a welcoming, inclusive culture and environment for learning.

Since the 2009 Education Review, considerable development in assessment and self review has occurred. A strategic approach to professional learning is impacting positively on the programme philosophy and teaching practice. There has been significant development of the environment to improve flow between the indoor and outdoor area, accessibility and use of natural resources.

This review was conducted as part of a cluster approach to reviews in 12 early childhood education services within the Central North Island Kindergarten Association umbrella organisation.

The Review Findings

Teachers have worked together to develop a well-considered approach to teaching and learning that closely reflects current theory and research and which is strongly influenced by their professional development. As a result, they place a lot of emphasis on children’s emotional and social wellbeing, and through play, support them to form meaningful relationships with their peers and adults. Teachers closely observe the learning that is occurring in play for individual children, and write learning stories that can be shared with the child and parent. Information from these observations is also well used by teachers to plan further learning experiences for children.

The programme is designed to focus on the identified interests and needs of each child. Children are able to make choices about their learning and engage in sustained, meaningful play, with and alongside, their peers. Teachers prepare an environment for learning that has variety, incorporates natural resources and invites children to involve themselves in real-life play/work, in keeping with the kindergarten’s philosophy. They use appropriate language to assist children to play cooperatively, and join in play with other children. Teachers are continuing to strengthen the bi-cultural dimension of the programme.

Good use is made of natural features of the local environment to enrich and extend the learning opportunities for children. An example of this is the ‘Ngahere’ programme, where a group of older children experience explorative learning in a bush setting each week. This initiative provides an authentic learning context for children to learn about and consider the importance of the natural environment.

Parents interviewed by ERO value the way in which their children are able to develop their social skills. They describe a very warm, welcoming and inclusive culture for play and learning. The diverse needs of children needing additional support for their learning and development are recognised and well provided for. The kindergarten liaises closely with support agencies so that these children are able to benefit from specialist intervention.

The head teacher, with ongoing support from the professional leader, has developed a clear vision for teaching and learning which is shared and well understood by the teaching team. Together they have established a useful framework for assessment, planning and evaluation, and are continuing to refine this. They have also developed a self-review process that is closely aligned with the annual planning process. This process is helping them to make informed decisions, especially about professional development, appraisal and teaching practice.

ERO, kindergarten leaders and teachers agree that it would now be most beneficial to review assessment, planning and evaluation practice, and in particular, the intentional planning for learning component, with a view to making this more visible.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Ngatea Kindergarten 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.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services Northern Region (Acting)

3 October 2012

Information about the Early Childhood Service


Ngatea, near Thames

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

All day

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

45 children, including 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 33

Boys 32

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

NZ Māori







Review team on site

August 2012

Date of this report

3 October 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2009

February 2007

June 2003

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.