Papakura East Community Kindy - 06/10/2017

1 Evaluation of Papakura East Community Kindy

How well placed is Papakura East Community Kindy 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.


Papakura East Community Kindy provides full day education and care for children from the surrounding multicultural community. The centre is licensed for 39 children over two years of age and operates in a well-modified house. A high number of children on the roll have Māori or Pacific heritage.

The centre is part of the BestStart organisation, which provides a strong management framework. It also provides a range of support services and personnel, including a professional services manager (PSM) and a business manager (BM) to support the smooth operation of the centre. The centre is staffed by a centre manager, a head teacher and a small team of teachers. The teaching team is becoming more stable, with recent new appointments.

The centre's philosophy, developed by the teachers, is a clear statement about the ideals that teachers have identified as important for their centre. The document refers to the underpinning importance of Te Whatu Pokeka (kaupapa Māori learning and teaching assessment guide), and Te Tiriti o Waitangi.  

ERO's 2014 report highlighted children's sense of safety and trust in the centre and teachers' strong focus on building relationships with families and responding to family needs. Te reo me ōna tikanga Māori were well integrated. Teachers were aware of the need for consistent strategies for building children's social competence. They have continued to build on the sound foundations that were in place in 2014.

This review was part of a cluster of seven reviews in the BestStart organisation.

The Review Findings

Teachers warmly welcome children into the centre and show genuine interest in how they are feeling. Children respond with enthusiasm and settle quickly to play. The centre provides a van service to bring children to the centre. This means that the number of children slowly builds through the morning allowing quiet play to develop and many opportunities for conversation. Children continue to develop friendly relationships and to generally play peacefully.

Practices that reflect the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi are evident. Teachers have placed a strong focus on increasing their knowledge of te ao Māori, and their competence in using te reo Māori in conversations with children. They have identified that they now need to gain more knowledge of the Pacific cultures of children in the centre.

Teachers provide a curriculum that is responsive to children's needs, skills and interests. The programme is play-based and teachers skilfully integrate mathematics, literacy and science concepts into children's play. Children are able to make decisions about their play, and teachers support their engagement and enjoyment with a range of good quality resources. They prompt children's respect for these resources with consistent, clear reminders about taking care of the environment. 

Teachers have established sound, inclusive relationships with families. Many additional services for families, including free meals, have increased the consistency of children's attendance. While van transport means less immediate contact with families, the use of a digital communication portal is successful in keeping families informed about their children's progress and development over time. Many parents are quick to respond to teachers' postings and obviously enjoy learning more about their children's learning.

Assessment of children's learning is meaningful and displayed well for children and parents. The teaching team is considering ways of planning the programme based on the information they have about children's learning strengths and interests. Teachers could strengthen their focus on helping children to extend their engagement, and sustain their play over longer periods.

Children's transitions into and through the centre are sensitively managed. Teachers' consistent expectations about behaviour have had a positive impact on children's self-management and their respect for the rights of others. Teachers have formed good connections with one of the schools children will attend, and they plan to make contact with others.

Teachers have made very positive changes to the layout of playing spaces indoors and to the outdoor environment. There are now better physical challenges for children and a range of options for play. Teachers have further aspirations for improving opportunities for children to develop their own play.

The BestStart PSM team has focused on improving assessment, planning and evaluation of programmes. The team is also working with teachers to strengthen their understanding of inquiry-based learning for children.

BestStart continues to provide good support for centres through professional development opportunities, management documentation and a range of quality assurance processes. PSMs and BMs maintain positive relationships with centre personnel and have high expectations for centre performance. The challenge for PSMs is to use their current focus on teaching as inquiry and newly developed mentoring processes to help centre managers and teachers achieve the high quality practices that BestStart values. Recent work to establish goal-focused strategic plans in each centre should also help to facilitate meaningful improvements in teaching and learning.

Key Next Steps

ERO and the managers identified that the next steps include:

  • extending children's social competence by increasing opportunities to practise self-management, problem-solving and taking responsibility
  • developing more knowledge about Pacific children's cultures and languages and integrating this knowledge in the programme
  • continuing to strengthen documentation across the centre, including in programme planning and evaluation
  • building on the good start made in developing internal evaluation to help sustain high quality performance.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Papakura East Community Kindy 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 Papakura East Community Kindy will be in three years. 

Graham Randell
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

6 October 2017 

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 


Papakura, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

39 children, over 2 years of age

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls       21
Boys      14

Ethnic composition

Cook Islands Māori


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

July 2017

Date of this report

6 October 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2014

Education Review

February 2011

Education Review

February 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.