Arohanui Kindergarten - 05/06/2015

1. Evaluation of Arohanui Kindergarten

How well placed is Arohanui 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.


Arohanui Kindergarten is a newly-built facility that opened in 2014. It operates in school hours and is licensed for 30 tamariki, including 20 aged up to two years. The centre is part of He Whare Manaakitanga, which is sited at Waiopehu College, Levin, and encompasses the student facility, Poipoia. This service provides education for teen parents and adult students.

All kaiako are qualified and registered. The role of head teacher is shared between two kaiako who have links to the local community and mana whenua of the area. This is the first ERO review for the kindergarten.

Arohanui is one of 85 kindergartens and three home-based education and care networks governed and managed by He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Free Kindergarten Association Incorporated (the association). This is a new kindergarten association created in 2014 from the joining of the Rimutaka and Wellington Kindergarten Associations. The transition to the new association is expected to be a three-year process.

The board and managers provide governance for the organisation. Senior teachers have delegated kindergartens. Their role is to provide regular support and a range of professional learning and development opportunities for teachers.

This review was part of a cluster of 12 reviews in He Whānau Manaaki kindergartens.

The Review Findings

Children's learning and interests are fostered and extended in the purposefully planned and wellresourced environment. Teachers respond to the rhythms of children within a flexible programme designed to meet the needs of individuals.

A sense of belonging is promoted through responsive and respectful relationships between children, whānau and teachers. Children’s cultural heritages and identities are recognised and celebrated. Teachers continue to develop a range of strategies to better meet the needs of Māori and Pacific children and whānau.

The philosophy of Arohanui Kindergarten is highly evident in practice. The wellbeing of children and whānau aspirations are at the heart of decision making and planning. There is a sense of ako where children, whānau and teachers work collaboratively as a community of learners.

All children, including those with additional needs, are well supported by teachers. The calm and inclusive environment has safe spaces for those who are not yet mobile.

In 2012, the association developed a framework to guide the implementation of its curriculum, Te Manawa. This document outlines criteria for curriculum delivery including expectations for assessment and planning for children’s learning. Teachers have a shared understanding of this document that guides their practice. These criteria are well used in assessment, planning and evaluation of children's learning.

Children’s learning is well recorded in learning stories. Whānau contributions are valued. A next step agreed by teachers, the senior teacher and ERO is to continue to strengthen planning, assessment and evaluation of children’s learning. Self review is well established and has contributed to decision making and positive change.

Teachers recognise, and ERO's evaluation affirms, that strengthening the self-review process to include an evaluative aspect, is an important next step to promote ongoing improvement.

Teachers encourage whānau to contribute to the curriculum. Transitions into the kindergarten and on to school are responsive to individual needs.

The association’s recently revised appraisal model has the potential to better support staff development and should be considered alongside the process already used to effect by Arohanui Kindergarten.

The senior teacher provides termly written reports that outline development priorities and progress in relation to the quality of teaching and learning. The association recently implemented new reports that should more deliberately focus on outcomes for children, teacher and leader performance. ERO’s evaluation affirms this development.

Key Next Steps

The senior teacher, head teacher, staff and ERO agree that the key next step for this kindergarten is to further enhance assessment, planning and evaluation processes.

The senior management team of He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua should continue to further improve processes for developing the practice of teachers, head teachers and the senior teacher. This should include:

improvements to the quality and monitoring of processes to support individual kindergartens and regular implementation of a robust appraisal system.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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


Joyce Gebbie Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

5 June 2015

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, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 10

Ethnic composition

Māori Samoan

8 2

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 2015

Date of this report

5 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

These are available at

No previous ERO reports


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.