Riverside Kindergarten and Childcare - 18/07/2017

1 Evaluation of Riverside Kindergarten and Childcare

How well placed is Riverside Kindergarten and Childcare 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.


Riverside Kindergarten and Childcare is a privately owned early learning service situated in Wainuiomata. It is licenced for up to 30 children from two to five years of age. Both sessional and all-day care and education are offered.

The current roll of 40 includes 10 Māori and five Samoan children.

The centre manager and assistant supervisor share responsibility for curriculum implementation and guiding teacher practice. The team of three qualified and registered teachers and one untrained teacher have worked together for a number of years.

Several issues identified in the March 2013 and 2016 ERO reports have yet to be sufficiently addressed. These include appraisal, self review and assessment of children’s learning to inform curriculum planning and delivery.

The centre has recently engaged in professional development focusing on curriculum through a SELO (strengthening early learning opportunities) contract, administered by the Ministry of Education.

The Review Findings

Children confidently engage in a child-led programme. They play independently or in groups of their own choosing. Respectful relationships with each other and teachers are evident. Literacy, numeracy and science are woven into the programme.

Teachers work alongside children following their interests and supporting their learning. The programme provides opportunities for children to make choices linked to their interests and promotes their increasing independence. Children with additional learning needs are identified and supported. External agencies are accessed, where appropriate, to assist individual children.

The philosophy has been recently reviewed. Leaders have identified they need to evaluate how well they are enacting the values and learning outcomes they have identified as important for children. ERO's evaluation supports this decision.

A newly developed planning process helps teachers to identify group interests. Teachers plan activities to support these. However, limited progress has been made in developing assessment, planning and evaluation. To become more responsive to children's learning, leaders and teachers should:

  • strengthen planning for individuals through identifying strategies that extend children's learning

  • assess and record children's progress over time

  • evaluate the effectiveness of the programme provided to identify next planning and teaching steps.

Recent professional development is increasing teachers' understanding of current early learning best practice. Teachers' collaborative reflection on, and implementation of, new learning should strengthen leadership of the service.

A recently developed transition to school booklet is a useful resource for parents and whānau. It includes information on local schools and prompts for them to support their children on their education journey.

Māori and Pacific resources are highly evident in the environment. Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are part of teachers' practice. Teachers have indicated that reviewing how effectively teaching and learning respond to children's cultures, languages and identities is a next step. The outcome could be used as a foundation to better understand educational success for Māori and Pacific children.

Teachers' understanding and use of internal evaluation are at an early stage. A useful framework is in place to guide this process. Support for teachers to systematically inquire into and evaluate the effectiveness of their practice is a key next step.

Appraisal continues to require significant strengthening to include:

  • identification of goals to support teachers' practice that are aligned to the centre's strategic priorities and individual teachers' development needs

  • critical feedback from the appraiser linked to teachers' goals

  • targeted observations of teacher practice

  • documentation of formal meetings between the appraiser and appraisee

  • formal recording of professional development attended.

  • support for teachers' understanding and gathering of evidence of their professional practice

  • development of a written guideline to support implementation.

Leadership for curriculum and personnel management requires improvement and is an urgent priority in order to sustain improvements to practice. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Riverside Kindergarten and Childcare 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

ERO found areas of non-compliance. To meet agreed accountabilities the service must ensure that:

  • an ongoing process of self-review helps the service maintain and improve the quality of its education and care

  • suitable human resource management practices are implemented Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008 GMA6, GMA7

Recommendation to Ministry of Education

ERO recommends that the Ministry reassess the licence of Riverside Kindergarten and Childcare. ERO will not undertake a further education review of this service until the Ministry of Education is satisfied that the service meets licensing requirements. 

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Riverside Kindergarten and Childcare will be in consultation with the Ministry of Education.

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

18 July 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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for


Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 26, Boys 14

Ethnic composition



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

June 2017

Date of this report

18 July 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

March 2016

Education Review

March 2013

Education Review

October 2009

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.