Kew Kindergarten - 14/01/2014

1. Evaluation of Kew Kindergarten

How well placed is Kew Kindergarten to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Kew Kindergarten requires further development to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

The teachers need ongoing support from the Southland Kindergarten Association to develop the quality of the programme and teaching practices.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


Kew Kindergarten is located in South Invercargill and provides a mixture of full-day and part-day sessions for up to 30 children. There have been some changes to the teaching team with a relieving head teacher from May 2013 until December 2013.

Children play and learn in a spacious outdoor environment where there are natural plantings and places to explore. The indoor area is well resourced and inviting.

The teaching team has made little progress in addressing the recommendations from the October 2010 report.

This review was part of a cluster of 23 kindergarten reviews in the Southland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children and their families benefit from caring relationships with the teachers. Teachers provide opportunities for parents to be involved in the kindergarten, such as attending a weekly coffee group and sharing their skills.

Children play well together. They have fun and have good friendships with each other. Children are able to play independently for sustained periods of time. They make choices from the variety of experiences provided. These include learning about the local community, gardening and healthy living. They have regular outings to places of interest.

ERO found that the quality of teacher interactions with children was variable. Some adults have genuine conversations with children, attentively listen to them, are involved in their play, and extend their learning. Some teachers do not listen closely to children and impose their own ideas on children’s play or their conversations are limited to giving children instructions.

The kindergarten philosophy does not state what the teachers and families have identified as the important priorities for children’s learning. ERO found that the programme is not sufficiently responsive to children’s strengths, interests and capabilities. There needs to be a greater balance between teacher-directed learning and following the child’s lead.

The relieving head teacher has worked very hard to develop systems for assessment and planning and teamwork. She has initiated a system to regularly document some of the discussions teachers have about children’s learning dispositions. She and the teachers have begun to implement a useful process of self review.

The Kindergarten South governors consulted widely when developing the vision and goals that guide the long-term direction of the association. They have high expectations that the association and each kindergarten will:

  • involve the community
  • provide natural learning environments
  • do what is best for children
  • be a good employer.

The association is committed to transforming each kindergarten’s outdoor play area. Children now play and learn in attractive and natural environments.

Governors and staff have a clear understanding of the roles of governance and management in the association. They have developed a useful policy framework and guidelines that support the day-to-day and long-term operation of the kindergartens.

The advisory support teachers provide useful feedback and guidance to staff and endorse the high expectations set by the board of governors. Kew Kindergarten receives strong ongoing support from the general manager and other association staff.

Key Next Steps

ERO, teachers and managers agree that the key next steps to improve outcomes for children are to:

  • develop the kindergarten vision and philosophy to reflect current theories of learning and teaching
  • ensure that the philosophy is evident in practice and guides teachers in their work
  • continue to develop and implement self-review processes
  • further develop and strengthen bicultural practices.

The teachers need to improve the recording of planning assessment and evaluation for individual children and records need to show:

  • children’s next learning steps and the planning to support these groups
  • children’ progress over time
  • how parents’ wishes for their children’s learning are responded to.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kew 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.

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that Southland Kindergarten Association works closely with Kew Kindergarten to develop and implement an action plan to address the next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Kew Kindergarten will be within two years.


Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

14 January 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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children aged two to five years

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys: 21

Girls: 19

Ethnic composition

Māori NZ European/Pākehā



Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80% Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

Not applicable


Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2013

Date of this report

14 January 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

These are available at

Education Review

October 2010


Education Review

March 2007


Education Review

November 2003

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.