Kauri Kids Nathan Homestead - 28/03/2018

1 Evaluation of Kauri Kids Nathan Homestead

How well placed is Kauri Kids Nathan Homestead 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.


Kauri Kids Nathan Homestead is a well-established centre in the historic Nathan Homestead in Manurewa. It is licensed for 20 children, including five children aged under two years. The premises are used after 3:30pm for after-school programmes.

The 2014 ERO report commented on the positive relationships children have with teachers and their peers. The report noted the need to add complexity to children's play, establish and monitor goals for improving children's learning and strengthen leadership and governance. ERO's report also identified health and safety concerns relating to the condition of the premises, excursions and police vetting of staff. These concerns have largely been addressed. Programme planning processes are currently being reviewed.

The philosophy of all Kauri Kids centres has been reviewed. It outlines the organisation's commitment to providing a service that is underpinned by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. The Kauri Kids philosophy values quality learning experiences and opportunities for exploration, the inclusion of all children and their families, and the bicultural nature of Aotearoa New Zealand.

The centre is part of the Auckland Council and is managed by an ECE Governance Group, which provides a governance and management framework, and support personnel to assist the centre. The recent restructure of the leadership roles has resulted in the further reallocation of responsibilities and a plan for improving practices. There continues to be a period of transition for all staff as they adapt to new systems and responsibilities.

An ECE operations manager is responsible for the overall operations of the 11 Kauri Kids services. A new head teacher has been appointed at Nathan Homestead since ERO's 2014 review.

This review was part of a cluster of three Education and Care Service reviews in the Auckland City Kauri Kids organisation.

The Review Findings

Relationships between children and teachers are warm and respectful. Children freely access play equipment and have opportunities to make choices about their play. They settle quickly, play well alongside each other and enthusiastically join in activities with teachers.

Teachers are attentive and responsive to the immediate needs and preferences of children up to two years of age. These children benefit from respectful nurturing care from teachers and opportunities to interact with older children.

Teachers make very good use of limited indoor space and of other areas in the Homestead complex, to extend children's play. An extensive outdoor area is a key feature of the centre. It currently requires maintenance and redevelopment to maximise its potential as a learning area. This could better support children's interests and learning outcomes.

Teachers' programme planning is currently being reviewed. This curriculum work should help teachers to present and use resources in ways that respond to children’s interests, and extend the complexity of their play.

Parents are informed of their children's participation in the programme through regular learning stories in individual portfolios. Teachers could further develop these documents to include parents' aspirations, and to recognise and celebrate children's cultural identities. Bilingual teachers support children, parents and grandparents whose first language is not English.

A recent review of bicultural practice has helped teachers to increase their use of te reo Maori. Teachers' and children's learning has been enhanced by a visit to a local marae.

Managers are aware that internal evaluation could be more evaluative, collaborative and child focused. They are aware of the benefits of developing a centre-specific strategic plan that aligns with an annual action plan. External professional development would assist the centre to develop robust internal evaluation to guide improvements to teaching practices and the educational programme.

The Kauri Kids governance group is strongly focused on improving the quality of the service, providing a safe, nurturing environment for children, and supporting families. Managers have a strong commitment to providing programmes that include bicultural practices and celebrate children's cultural identities and languages. To support these aims, the organisation provides regular opportunities for teachers to engage in professional development, and gain support from the operations manager and the governance group.

Key Next Steps

Managers agree that next steps include continuing to:

  • strengthen programme planning and the consistency of teaching practices
  • making children's portfolios a more meaningful record of their learning and development
  • provide professional learning and guidance for teachers to develop and embed the recently introduced teacher appraisal process
  • develop plans for the improvement of the outdoor learning area.

Appraisal processes are currently being reviewed to better reflect the requirements of the Education Council of NZ. Appraisal could be better aligned with the philosophy and strategic plan, and be more individualised to teachers' roles and responsibilities. Managers are also reviewing policies and procedures, including those relating to personnel, to ensure that they respond to recent changes in legal requirements.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kauri Kids Nathan Homestead 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.

To improve provision for children's health and safety, the governance group should:

  • implement lockdown policy and procedures for all centres
  • develop and implement effective systems to ensure outdoor areas are regularly inspected and well maintained.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Kauri Kids Nathan Homestead will be in three years.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

28 March 2018

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


Manurewa, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

20, including up to 5 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 9 Boys 9

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2018

Date of this report

28 March 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2014

Education Review

March 2011

Supplementary Review

April 2008

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.