Central Kids Kindergartens - Te Akoranga - 28/06/2016

1 Evaluation of Central Kids Kindergartens - Te Akoranga

How well placed is Central Kids Kindergartens - Te Akoranga 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 - Te Akoranga operates under the umbrella of Central North Island Kindergarten Trust (CNIKT). The kindergarten is located in Kawarau, and is licensed to cater for 40 children from two years to school age. At the time of this ERO review, a high percentage of children identified as Māori were attending who whakapapa back to the local iwi Tūwharetoa, and other iwi. The kindergarten is open from 8.30 am to 2.30 pm for five days a week.

Since the 2013 ERO review the head teacher and teachers have remained constant. They have responded positively and addressed all the areas for development identified in the 2013 ERO report about assessment and self-review practices.

The kindergarten is well supported by the Central North Island Kindergarten Trust. 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 all families.

Professional leaders monitor the kindergarten’s compliance with policies and procedures to ensure it meets regulation requirements and management expectations. They work alongside head teachers to support and provide guidance, and to 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.

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 four kindergarten reviews in the Central North Island Kindergarten Trust umbrella organisation.

The Review Findings

A strength of the kindergarten is the high priority teachers place on establishing positive relationships at all levels. Children and their whānau experience responsive, reciprocal and respectful relationships with teachers. There is an established kindergarten culture that promotes kaupapa Māori concepts such as manaakitanga, wairuatanga, whanaungatanga and kaitiakitanga. These values contribute to children and whānau having a sense of belonging and where teachers care about their overall wellbeing.

Children experience equitable opportunities to fully participate in the programme. Teachers liaise and advocate for children and their whānau with other professional community organisations to promote the best possible outcomes for children. Teachers view children holistically and are proud to be part of the of Kawerau community. Children's transition into the kindergarten and to school is thoughtfully supported.

Teachers acknowledge children's whakapapa as integral to the development of a sense of self, belonging and connectedness. Māori language culture and identity is embraced and affirmed. Tikanga and te reo Māori is implemented into the programme daily. Teachers acknowledge that te reo Māori is an ongoing learning journey and they are committed to increasing their knowledge and skills in this area.

Teachers have a sound knowledge of Te Whāriki (the early childhood curriculum). There are extensive opportunities for children to explore and investigate the high quality environment, which provides familiarity with home experiences and supports them to develop new interests. The environment is spacious and offers extensive choice for children to pursue areas of interest, including investigating natural materials and areas of play.

Whānau feel welcome at the kindergarten and appreciate the open communication they have with teachers. Individual child assessment profile books builds on children's identity as a successful learner and acknowledges the social and cultural ways children learn.

Children's strengths and interests are developed through play and having many opportunities to learn concepts about literacy, mathematics, science and the arts. Rich curriculum experiences support children to develop strategies for problem solving, thinking critically, and use their imagination and creativity.

Children enjoy positive social interactions with teachers and their peers. They have established close friendships and tuakana-teina relationships. Children confidently support the learning and wellbeing of others. Teachers are skilled at modelling and supporting children's social and communication skills. As a result children are learning how to negotiate with others, take others ideas and points of view, and learn in a cooperative whānau-like atmosphere.

Teachers trust children as capable learners, and their efforts and persistence are acknowledged and celebrated. They respect children and talk to them about decisions that affect them. Effective social interactions as well as intentional teaching practices successfully extend and support children's learning and development.

The head teacher provides strong professional leadership. Her collaborative approach encourages the leadership strengths of the teaching team. The experienced professional leader provides the kindergarten with highly effective support and guidance. Teachers are reflective practitioners that have children at the forefront of decision making. Self-review practice leads to ongoing improvements and are based on the principles of advocacy, equity and social justice.

Key Next Steps

The professional practice leader and teachers have identified a useful next step for ongoing development. They intend to further strengthen the evaluation practices to better reflect children's learning and progress over time.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

28 June 2016

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, including 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 22 Boys 19

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

April 2016

Date of this report

28 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

February 2013

Education Review

February 2010

Education Review

February 2007

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.