Beachcomber Kindergarten - 09/05/2018

1 Evaluation of Beachcomber Kindergarten

How well placed is Beachcomber 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.


Beachcomber Kindergarten is a well established early childhood education and care service in Bucklands Beach. It has strong links within the local community and intergenerational associations with many families. Families in the centre are from a variety of cultural groups.

The centre operates during school terms. It offers sessional and full-day programmes for children aged over two years. The centre is very well staffed with an on-site owner/manager, experienced registered teachers, and good ratios of adults to children. 

The centre's philosophy focuses strongly on supporting children's independence, fun and creativity. It promotes learning in a home-like environment where children are encouraged to make decisions and actively participate in the centre. Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, underpins teaching approaches.

Since the 2014 ERO review the teachers have strengthened internal evaluation and management practices. They have introduced a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM) and documenting how these are included naturally in the programme. The centre has continued effective management practices and strong partnerships with parents/whānau.

The Review Findings

Children learn in an attractive well resourced learning environment that supports their sustained engagement in play. Children have very good opportunities to explore and be physically active in the carefully organised outdoor area. They engage in complex imaginative play and are able to be creative through an extensive variety of art, dance, and music activities.  They are capable, confident learners.

Children show a strong sense of belonging in the centre. They display independence and freely access a wide range of resources. Children make choices about their play. They settle quickly, play well alongside each other and enthusiastically join in group learning experiences.

Teachers' play-based philosophy underpins the responsive, child-led programme. Documentation shows how children’s interests and strengths, and parent aspirations guide the programme. Children’s portfolios/growing books are highly valued and include children’s input and parent contributions.

Teachers affirm and build on children’s ideas in ways that promote investigation, exploration and discovery. They integrate literacy, mathematics, science and technology into planned activities and spontaneous opportunities throughout the day. Teachers foster the successful inclusion of children with additional needs. They have a genuine commitment in developing a more bicultural curriculum.

Respectful relationships and children’s wellbeing continue to be nurtured by skilful teachers who plan and develop programmes that respond to children's physical emotional and learning needs. Teachers encourage children to self-manage, initiate play with others, build friendships and be resilient. Development of these skills should assist children when they transition to school.

Teachers collaborate well, communicating with each other and responding quickly to children’s learning needs. They make good use of open-ended questioning that encourages children’s thinking and exploration. Children’s language skills are extended in meaningful contexts and sustained conversations with their teachers.

Shared leadership and areas of responsibility enable the long-serving staff to work well as a collaborative team. Teachers have a deep understanding of and strong commitment to the centre's philosophy of teaching and learning. Their high quality curriculum practices encourage children to become capable and confident, lifelong learners.

The centre is very well led and managed. Rigorous performance management and strong professional leadership enable the managers to maintain the focus on providing high quality early childhood education and care. Positive working relationships, mentoring and collaboration between management and staff help create a culture of trust and respect.

There is effective recordkeeping, a comprehensive framework of policies and procedures, and regular self review. Establishing the practice of deeper evaluative inquiry would help managers and teachers to continue building on existing good practices in a purposeful and evidence-based approach.

Key Next Steps

The centre leaders agree that next steps include developing:

  • more culturally responsive practices that better reflect the growing community diversity
  • internal evaluation that involves deeper analysis, and focuses on the effectiveness and impact of teacher practice on outcomes for children
  • a long-term strategic plan to guide centre direction. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Julie Foley
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

9 May 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 


Howick, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, over 2 years of age

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys      28
Girls       27

Ethnic composition

other European


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

March 2018

Date of this report

9 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

December 2014

Education Review

August 2011

Education Review

August 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.