Central Kids Kindergartens - Owhata - 10/10/2016

1 Evaluation of Central Kids Kindergartens - Owhata

How well placed is Central Kids Kindergartens - Owhata 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 - Owhata is located in eastern Rotorua and operates under the umbrella of the Central North Island Kindergarten Trust (CNIKT). The Kindergarten caters for children from two years to school age in a mixed-age setting. At the time of this ERO review 32 children were enrolled and 24 are Māori children.

Since the 2013 review the teaching team has made significant progress in increasing their individual and collective knowledge and use of te reo and tikanga Māori within the programme. Child and parent voice is included in portfolios. Recent changes to kindergarten session times has resulted in extended hours and provision during school holidays.

The kindergarten philosophy gives priority to children learning through play alongside their peers and teachers in a well-resourced and responsive curriculum and environment. The philosophy also commits to te reo and tikanga Māori and to building strong relationships and connections with parents, whānau and the wider community.

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 defines the strategies for delivering the early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki, and Te Tiriti o Waitangi. The trust works positively alongside the kindergarten to provide equitable opportunities for all children and their families.

The Review Findings

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

Respectful, trusting and reciprocal relationships are a feature of Central Kids Kindergartens - Owhata. These relationships are underpinned by Māori concepts that value whakawhanaungatanga, manaakitanga, kaitiakitanga and wairuatanga. A welcoming, home-like and safe environment has been created. It is responsive to the rhythms and preferences of children and whānau aspirations and needs. This contributes to the strong sense of belonging demonstrated by children, whānau and teachers.

The experienced and knowledgeable head teacher is a highly effective leader. She is well supported by the professional leader and together they model a strong commitment to on-going professional learning and development. The capability of each teacher is developed through collaborative and shared leadership. This approach promotes in-depth reflection about best practice in early childhood settings and contributes to equitable outcomes for all children and their whānau.

The experienced teaching team skilfully design and implement a rich, broad and inclusive curriculum to engage children in meaningful learning. Strengths of the curriculum include:

  • support for all children to lead their own learning alongside highly attuned and responsive kaiako

  • an environment that is thoughtfully planned in response to children's needs and interests

  • planning that is influenced by teacher professional development and learning

  • bicultural practices that naturally integrate local pakiwaitara, te reo and tikanga Māori, and the knowledge and aspirations of whānau into the programme.

The kindergarten is working with its community to grow stronger partnerships in learning with Māori whānau, hapū and iwi. In addition, the teaching team are working to identify better ways to acknowledge the diverse interests and needs of all children in learning programmes.

Assessment and planning processes are inclusive of children and families. Multiple voices and perspectives, including whānau voice are represented in each child's learning portfolio. An online programme enables whānau to contribute to their child's learning journey. Assessment records demonstrate the confidence and capability of children to set their own goals and initiate their own learning. In addition, teachers have recently developed a record of dispositions and learning that each child has acquired to support their positive transition to school. This effective approach to assessment and planning is contributing to positive learning outcomes for children.

Teaching practices observed are highly effective in fostering the wellbeing and social competence of all children. Teachers provide continuity and nurture supportive relationships with children and their whānau. Teachers celebrate and respond well to the uniqueness of each child and clearly understand their learning needs, strengths and preferences. All children engage in authentic learning opportunities for exploration and creativity.

The outcomes of self review are effective and contribute to high quality teacher reflection and practice. The kindergarten is on a clear pathway of continuing improvement. High expectations are set and self-review processes are well established. Frameworks are used and link to the strategic goals and intentions of the kindergarten. Sound decision-making processes promote equitable outcomes for all children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

10 October 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

Boys 19 Girls 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

10 October 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2013

Education Review

December 2009

Education Review

December 2006

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 whanāungatanga – 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.