Japanese Kindergarten - 12/02/2014

1 Evaluation of Japanese Kindergarten

How well placed is Japanese Kindergarten 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.


The Japanese Kindergarten is a small centre that caters for up to eight children aged from two to five years each day. Children experience learning at the kindergarten fully immersed in the Japanese language and culture. All children who attend the centre have a Japanese cultural background.

Most children attend all day, mainly once per week. All children attend another mainstream early childhood education centre. The owner is supported in her teaching role by a Japanese-qualified ECE teacher.

The kindergarten’s philosophy centres on children learning through teacher-led activities and children's interests.

Since the 2011 ERO report the centre’s playground has been upgraded with new equipment and the decking area has been enlarged to allow children to access the outdoor areas during wet weather.

The owner has responded positively to previous ERO suggestions to explore ways to allow children greater opportunities to respond to teacher questions and to further encourage children to think creatively. However, the owner is still in the process of becoming a fully registered ECE teacher.

The Review Findings

A focus of the kindergarten is to nurture children within a Japanese setting and the programme offered encompasses Japanese language and cultural celebrations. Children are developing a strong sense of their cultural background. When they arrive, children settle easily to self-chosen, table-top activities. They are warmly welcomed and have good relationships with adults. Children use varying levels of Japanese language and they confidently engage in conversation with teachers. Respectful, responsive interactions between children and teachers are evident.

Children have high levels of engagement with a good balance of self-selected and teacher-led activities. They have access to a good variety of traditional Japanese and typical New Zealand early childhood resources. Teacher-led activities focus on developing skills with traditional Japanese crafts, dance and story-telling.

The inclusive learning programme is founded on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and aligned to Japanese early childhood teaching and learning practices. The owner assesses and reports regularly to parents about their children's learning. She is a reflective practitioner and evaluates the effectiveness of the activities that children participate in. The owner continues to seek ways to relate Japanese language to te reo Māori and includes some written forms of te reo Māori in the environment.

There is a clear purpose and philosophy for the kindergarten and this is mostly evident in practice. As children attend only once per week the owner believes that they are well supported to transition to school within their mainstream early childhood programme. She supplements these programmes by emphasising children’s developing learning features and assessing children's readiness for school through their skills with communication in the Japanese language.

Key Next Steps

The owner seeks ongoing improvement to her practice. It would be useful for her to establish processes that could support her with management of the kindergarten such as developing strategic and annual planning. She supports other teachers in professional learning through the Japanese university and it would be useful for her to participate in personal professional learning relating to current research in early childhood teaching and management systems.

The centre has a variety of policies and procedures and these could be more helpful to teachers through the development of a consistent structure for all policies and better organisation of documents.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Japanese 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Japanese Kindergarten will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

12 February 2014

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


Glendowie, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

8 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 27

Girls 20

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā









Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2013

Date of this report

12 February 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2011


Education Review

December 2007


Education Review

August 2004

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.