Pukekohe Central Kindergarten - 09/02/2018

1 Evaluation of Pukekohe Central Kindergarten

How well placed is Pukekohe Central 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.


Pukekohe Central Kindergarten is a well-established kindergarten. It is licensed for 40 children over two years of age. Parents can choose three-hour sessions or a six-hour day that is similar to school hours. Most children are over three years of age and attend for the longer hours. There is an increase in the number of two year olds attending the centre. The community is culturally diverse, with many Māori, Pacific and Indian families. The teaching team includes four registered teachers, an administrator and a teacher aide.

Changes since the 2014 ERO review have included new teachers and an administrator, as well as an acting head teacher who was appointed in October 2017. Teachers have worked hard to develop cohesive team practices and sustain the good practices noted by ERO in 2014. Parents and whānau continue to be supportive through the Kindergarten Support Group, contributions to the programme, and attendance at centre events. In-depth professional development has helped teachers to improve the programme for children.

Since 2014 the kindergarten has joined the Enviroschool programme and the playground has been redeveloped to support learning in a more natural environment. Teachers have adapted resources and teaching practices in response to the needs and preferences of children and their whānau.

Developing children's engagement in independent learning and fostering respect for cultural diversity are key elements in the kindergarten’s philosophy. Teacher practices are guided by the principles of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and the Enviroschool programme.

Pukekohe Central Kindergarten is part of the Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association and operates within the policies and management framework of this organisation. An education manager (EM) visits and provides leadership and curriculum support for teachers.

This review was part of a cluster of six kindergartens reviewed in Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children are confident, enthusiastic learners. They have a strong sense of belonging, show consideration for others and engage in cooperative play. Their cultural identity is affirmed and they are developing an understanding of others. Children have fun and have good opportunities to explore, problem solve and make discoveries.

Children learn in an interesting, well-resourced environment that supports their sustained engagement in play. It reflects the cultural backgrounds of children attending, and enables children to make choices and use resources in flexible ways. The outside environment is well used by children to be physically active, join in group play and engage with the natural world. Creativity and imagination are nurtured and children engage in a wide variety of art, dance, and music activities.

Teachers are responsive to children’s ideas and actively support their engagement in play and learning. They capitalise on real life experiences that build on children's knowledge of environmental sustainability and te ao Māori. They also build on children’s knowledge of literacy, mathematics, science and technologies in meaningful ways.

Respectful and supportive relationships underpin the kindergarten’s welcoming and inclusive culture. Teachers engage whānau and children in sustained conversations, often using their home languages. Displays show how planning responds to children’s dispositions, strengths and interests and provides useful information for parents. Regular community visits are a valued part of the kindergarten programme and help children to establish and maintain community connections.

Teachers have a strong commitment to developing a shared vision and philosophy to guide the kindergarten's strategic direction. The acting head teacher has supported teachers to work as a cohesive teaching team, and maintained good relationships with the parents/whānau and community. Teachers have complementary skills and their professional capabilities are fostered through robust appraisal and ongoing professional development.

The association continues to provide very good support for the kindergarten. Its systems and support personnel, ongoing review and monitoring contribute to efficient management. Long-term goals enable teachers to align their annual plan with the association's strategic direction.

The association is responsive to changing community needs. It supports teachers to meet the needs of younger children and to provide variable and often longer hours of operation. It is expected that teachers will use evidence based, reflective practices. Teachers appreciate the professional support and guidance of association personnel. Leaders continue to adapt personnel systems to meet new legal requirements, including those of the Education Council.

The association has a strong commitment to equity, bicultural practices, partnerships with whānau and community, and continuous improvement in educational outcomes for children. There is a focus on strategies to promote success for Pacific learners. Personnel and resources such as whānau workers and a Play Truck are targeted to meet the specific needs of children and communities.

Key Next Steps

The teaching team agrees that next steps for improvement include:

  • continuing to build on bicultural practices
  • more consistently documenting how children’s interests and dispositions are developed to a deeper level, and how progress is evaluated over time
  • teachers reflecting more deeply on teaching practices and their impact on children, and on ways to maximise opportunities for children to be critical thinkers
  • strengthening the documentation of internal evaluation to more clearly show teachers' evaluative thinking and outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Pukekohe Central 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 Pukekohe Central Kindergarten will be in three years.

Julie Foley
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

9 February 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 


Pukekohe, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children over the age of 2 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls       30
Boys      26

Ethnic composition

Cook Island Māori
other Pacific Peoples


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2017

Date of this report

9 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2014

Education Review

July 2010

Education Review

March 2007

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.