Avon Kindergarten - 15/11/2018

1 Evaluation of Avon Kindergarten

How well placed is Avon 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.


Avon Kindergarten is licensed to provide all day education and care for up to 39 children, aged over two years. Of the 37 children enrolled, 13 identify as Māori.

The kindergarten's philosophy emphasises the importance of children, teachers and whānau learning together within a nature-rich environment.

A parent committee supports the kindergarten with fundraising, finances and community events. The kindergarten is a new participant in the Enviroschools programme, and member of the Central Taranaki Kāhui Ako.

Since the May 2015 ERO report, there have been significant changes in staffing including a new head teacher appointed in mid-2016. All teachers at Avon Kindergarten are fully qualified.

Avon Kindergarten is one of 24 kindergartens governed and managed by Kindergarten Taranaki-Te Putahi Kura Pūhou o Taranaki (the organisation). Day-to-day management of the organisation is the responsibility of the chief executive. A governing board sets the overall strategic direction. A professional manager and two professional leaders provide regular support and a range of learning and development opportunities for teachers. An operations manager supports kindergartens' policy development and compliance.

In 2017, the board developed a strategic plan with the intention for individual kindergartens to align their strategic plans to the organisation's goals and measures. A Quality Evaluation Tool was introduced in late 2017. The purpose of this document is for teachers to self-assess teaching and learning practices to inform internal evaluation and improve outcomes for children.

The previous ERO report identified that increasing children's role in assessing their own learning and strengthening the bicultural curriculum were key next steps. Some progress has been made.

ERO also identified areas for the organisation to strengthen. These included:

  • developing the annual plan

  • strengthening systems and processes for performance management

  • consistent implementation of appraisal

  • reviewing and clarifying the role of the professional leaders in building teachers’ capability.

Progress in these areas is evident.

This review was part of a cluster of three in the Kindergarten Taranaki-Te Putahi Kura Pūhou o Taranaki.

The Review Findings

Children are engaged in a curriculum that is responsive to their interests. Exploration and creativity are promoted through well-resourced spaces. The natural environment is used to create meaningful learning opportunities. Children lead their own learning, are independent and curious.

Teachers work responsively alongside children. They support and extend children's thinking to allow them to meet their own goals. Teachers view children as capable and confident learners. Opportunities to participate in projects within the centre promote their sense of belonging and ownership.

The service philosophy is evident in practice. Teachers are beginning to unpack Māori concepts in the philosophy to strengthen the bicultural curriculum. Continuing to build teachers use of meaningful te reo Māori is a key next step.

Children with additional learning needs are well supported. Teachers are proactive in growing their knowledge and design relevant strategies to support children and their families. They access external agencies when needed and work with local schools to promote successful transitions for these children.

Teachers are increasingly responsive to the culture, language and identity of Māori children. This is supported by the organisation's environmental focus, consideration of local bicultural values, teacher development goals and professional learning opportunities. A number of new initiatives and systems have been developed by the organisation that should further develop these aspects of practice.

Leaders and teachers have identified that exploring and implementing strategies for Pacific children's educational success is a key next step.

A range of initiatives have been recently introduced to gather parent aspirations for their children. These have the potential to create learning-centred partnerships between teachers and families, where parents are actively involved in setting learning goals and contribute to curriculum decision-making.

Assessment, planning and evaluation of children's learning has been developed. Individual planning identifies learning goals and teaching strategies to achieve these. Further strengthening is required to ensure teachers consistently:

  • identify the learning taking place for each child within an observation

  • capture the depth and breadth of learning within each assessment period

  • demonstrate links between individual plans and assessment to give a picture of learning progress over time.

Kindergarten leaders have established a collaborative team culture. Teachers take shared responsibility for ongoing improvement and have opportunities to lead. They are reflective and work within a common understanding of purpose and vision.

The organisation generally provides useful governance and management support for this kindergarten. This includes:

  • purposeful support from the professional leaders to build teacher capability

  • effective and targeted teacher and leadership development through an appraisal process

  • a range of professional learning opportunities.

Organisation leaders are purposefully building teachers’ understanding of internal evaluation through ongoing mentoring. Teachers should continue to clearly measure the impact of practices on children’s learning.

Key Next Steps

ERO, the professional leader and teachers agree the following key next steps for Avon Kindergarten are to further develop:

  • the bicultural curriculum, including meaningful use of te reo Māori

  • strategies that promote educational success for Māori and for Pacific children

  • assessment, planning and evaluation

  • understanding and use of internal evaluation for improved outcomes.

ERO and Kindergarten Taranaki agree that the organisation should further develop:

  • quality assurance processes and guidelines linked to compliance with regulations and association expectations

  • a policy framework to support kindergartens.

Managers and leaders should consolidate newly introduced plans and processes and evaluate the effectiveness of practices and operation across all levels of the organisation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

15 November 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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

39 children aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 20, Girls 17

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2018

Date of this report

15 November 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2015

Education Review

July 2012

Education Review

October 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.