Bream Bay Kindergarten - 09/09/2015

1 Evaluation of Bream Bay Kindergarten

How well placed is Bream Bay 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.


Bream Bay Kindergarten is situated in a rural community 30 kilometres from Whangarei. It provides six hour education and care sessions five days a week for up to 30 children over two years of age from Bream Bay and surrounding areas. Parents are able to choose the days or times their children attend. They appreciate the open door policy that encourages them to stay to settle their children. Children play together in a mixed age group, with provision of activities and experiences chosen by teachers to meet their age-related needs.

Many children attending the kindergarten identify as being of Māori or Pacific Island heritage, and some have English as an additional language. The kindergarten caters for families from a wide range of cultures and socio-economic backgrounds.

The 2012 ERO report identified many positive aspects of the programme, including the strong relationships with families and the support given to help children become capable, confident learners. The report recommended continuing to use self review to guide actions for further improving outcomes for children. Good progress has been made in this area.

The kindergarten operates as part of the Northland Kindergarten Association. The Association provides governance, leadership and policy frameworks to meet operational and management expectations. Association personnel assist teachers to maintain good standards of health and safety and to improve the quality of educational programmes. The Association’s Pūmanawatanga Plan reflects a commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and support for the development of bicultural practices across the organisation.

This review was part of a cluster of 10 kindergarten reviews in the Northland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Bream Bay Kindergarten provides high quality education and care for children. Teachers’ focus has been on improving and strengthening relationships throughout the service. A particular goal has been on supporting children’s capability as independent, powerful learners, who are confident in their identity, culture and heritage. Children are capable, engaged, decision-makers about their play.

Teachers have made good use of professional learning to establish a culture of respect and care for others. Children clearly understand teachers’ expectations and play peacefully together. They demonstrate that they are developing negotiating skills and show consideration for others. Tuakana/teina relationships are clearly visible in the care older children show for those younger than themselves.

Teachers have also strengthened their partnerships with parents, with both contributing actively to decision-making for children. Teachers provide both formal and informal opportunities for parents/whānau to discuss programme planning and to participate in centre self review. This has encouraged a sense of ownership and inclusion for families and strengthened teachers’ own learning.

Teachers successfully encourage children to learn and practice skills that indicate their understanding of Aotearoa New Zealand’s dual cultural heritage. Children confidently welcome all new children and visitors to the kindergarten with mihi whakatau greetings, karakia and waiata. Teachers and children use te reo Māori incidentally in the programme. Resources reflect the value teachers place on supporting children’s sense of identity and culture.

Older children play for long periods in cooperative and collaborative endeavours. They negotiate and plan together. Teachers support all children to choose how and where they wish to play. Children follow their own interests. They demonstrate motivation to practice existing skills and to explore new skills, and learn from their play in powerful ways. Children also demonstrate a high degree of fun and enjoyment in the company of others. Literacy, mathematical and science concepts are well integrated into the centre programme as part of children’s play.

The kindergarten environment has been recently redeveloped to provide greater space and provision for play. Teachers’ professional knowledge and research-focused approaches impact on the ways they present the environment. They place a strong emphasis on affirming and celebrating children and families through photographs of children engaged in play, and photographs of families. These displays encourage both parents and children to feel welcome and recognised in the kindergarten.

The Northland Kindergarten Association provides effective governance for kindergartens. Its longterm direction focuses on making decisions to improve learning outcomes for children. Positive strategies include:

  • good support and guidance by Association personnel to improve the quality of kindergarten programmes and teaching practice, particularly the development of bicultural practices and integration of Te Ao Māori (the Māori world) into programmes in ways meaningful for children
  • effective teacher appraisal and professional learning and development that contributes to improved teacher skills, knowledge and practice, especially in supporting children’s social competence, and strengthening the quality of assessment documentation
  • significant investment in property and environment upgrades to promote children’s exploration and investigation
  • a focus on distributed leadership practices amongst kindergarten teaching teams to utilise teachers’ individual and collective strengths.

Association leaders are considering ways to enhance teacher appraisal and self review processes. ERO recommends that the Association strengthens systems to ensure that all health and safety requirements are being implemented.

Key Next Steps

Teachers identified their key next steps and ERO supports their intention to:

  • build connections with the local Māori community to enhance the kindergarten programme
  • continue to develop a nature-based curriculum
  • enhance current high quality self review by improving the quality of evaluation practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Bream Bay 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 Bream Bay Kindergarten will be in four years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

9 September 2015

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service


Ruakaka, Whangarei

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 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 22

Girls 21

Ethnic composition




Cook Island Māori







Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2015

Date of this report

9 September 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2012


Education Review

February 2009


Education Review

February 2006

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.