Central Kids Kindergartens - Tairua - 14/09/2015

1 Evaluation of Central Kids Kindergartens - Tairua

How well placed is Central Kids Kindergartens - Tairua 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 - Tairua is located in the seaside town of Tairua on the Coromandel Pensinsula, opening onto a park near the Tairua estuary and Paku Maunga. It operates under the umbrella of the Central North Island Kindergarten Trust, (CNIKT). The kindergarten has benefitted from significant support and mentoring to improve leadership, management and programme provision over the last two years. This has resulted in the kindergarten being returned to a three year cycle of external review by ERO.

The kindergarten is licensed to provide education and care for 30 children over the age of two years. At the time of this ERO review there were 37 children enrolled, including 10 children identified as Māori. The roll increase has meant a number of children are now on a waiting list for entry to the kindergarten.

Since the 2014 ERO review the kindergarten has increased its operating hours to six hourly sessions, five days a week and remains open during the school holidays. This has been in response to community consultation. There have been further changes to the teaching team with two experienced teachers joining the staff. The head teacher has decided to resign her position, but will remain as a valued, full-time member of the teaching team. A teacher with a good understanding of current theory and best practice in early childhood education and considerable leadership experience, has been appointed as acting head teacher until a permanent appointment is made.

Teachers have participated in ongoing professional development with a focus on:

  • building a positive team culture
  • recognising and responding to children’s learning
  • further developing children’s social competencies.

This work contributed to a calm, settled, positive and consistent environment for children, families and whānau and staff. Families and whānau are now able to access information about children’s learning through recently introduced electronic portfolios.

The recently reviewed philosophy reflects the shared values of the diverse community, includes a pepeha written in te reo Māori and English, and aims to empower children as independent thinkers and explorers.

The Review Findings

Children are benefitting from the positive, trusting and responsive relationships they experience with teachers, and their peers. Families and whānau enjoy taking time to settle and play alongside children in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Children have many opportunities to take responsibility for their own learning, as well as for one another. This is promoting their leadership as capable and confident learners. Older children are confident to express their ideas and opinions, and are encouraged to be creative and imaginative thinkers. Their artwork and constructions reflect high levels of ability gained during their time in the kindergarten. Children demonstrate a strong sense of wellbeing, belonging and enjoyment as they make choices from a wide variety of interesting and open-ended resources and equipment.

Māori children experience success as Māori and benefit from a teacher who is tangata whenua. She skillfully models ako and culturally responsive practices. This approach is building teachers’ knowledge of tikanga and te reo Māori. The mixed-age group promotes tuakana-teina relationships where older children take responsibility to care for younger children. The programme reflects the importance of papatuanuku and the natural world, and local contexts for learning and celebrations such as Matariki. Equipment and visual displays reflect the value placed on Māori culture.

Children, parents, families and whānau experience well-planned transitions as they enter the kindergarten. Teachers take time to ensure they are well informed and able to settle at their own pace. Transition to school is supported by visits to the local primary school to enable children to feel confident in a familiar environment.

Teachers have established a positive, well-qualified and collaborative professional team. They take shared responsibility for leadership in their areas of strength and knowledge. This approach has improved the programme for children by more closely reflecting the local community context, and more consistently responding to children’s interests. Teachers model rich oral language as they talk with children throughout the day. They integrate concepts of literacy and mathematics into their conversations as they work alongside children and join in play. Children are included in decisions about their learning and share in the many instances of humour and fun.

CNIKT has strengthened the quality of its ongoing support and feedback to staff about best practice for education and care. Dedicated professional leaders encourage teachers to be reflective about their practice, using agreed criteria.

There are clear and documented expectations linked to regulatory requirements that guide aspects of self review. A self-review framework is guiding and informing improvements to centre operations. The kindergarten enjoys considerable support from parents, whānau and the local community.

These developments place the kindergarten in a good position to sustain and improve its performance.

Key Next Steps

While there has been significant progress in addressing the areas for improvement identified in the 2014 ERO report, there continues to be a need to review and improve planning, assessment and evaluation of children’s learning. This review should include:

  • CNIKT developing and documenting clear and high expectations for assessment and planning that link to agreed criteria of best practice in early childhood education
  • teachers clarifying the purpose and use of assessment for children, parents and themselves
  • greater visibility and inclusion of the parent partnership in their children’s learning over time
  • finding ways to ensure the language, culture and identity of each child is visible and present in the programme and environment.

In addition, teachers should now develop and implement a manageable, and planned approach to continuing to build teacher knowledge of te reo Māori and tikanga Māori. This could include making use of Ministry of Education tools and guidelines such as Ka Hikitia.

Attention to these key next steps should enable the kindergarten to better meet the intent of its philosophy to improve te reo Māori and tikanga Māori practices, and to enrich children’s intellectual, social, emotional and cultural development.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Central Kids Kindergartens - Tairua completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist.  In these documents they attested that they select ‘have’ or ‘have not’ 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 - Tairua will be in three years. 

Graham Randell
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

14 September 2015

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service 


Tairua, Coromandel Peninsula

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 23
Girls 14

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other European
South East Asian


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

August 2015

Date of this report

14 September 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Supplementary Review

February 2014

Education Review

July 2012

Education Review

June 2010

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.

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.