Carlyle Kindergarten - 12/11/2019

1 Evaluation of Carlyle Kindergarten

How well placed is Carlyle Kindergarten to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Carlyle Kindergarten is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


Carlyle Kindergarten, in Napier, provides all-day education and care for up to 43 children aged over two years. Of the 45 children enrolled at the time of this ERO review, 11 identify as Māori. The kindergarten is a member of the Enviroschools programme.

The kindergarten’s philosophy places emphasis on building positive relationships and children forming friendships. Teachers aim to encourage confidence, curiosity and an enthusiasm for learning in children through sustained and cooperative play.

Carlyle Kindergarten is one of 16 kindergartens operating under the governance and management of the Napier Kindergarten Association (the association). The governing board is responsible for setting the overall strategic direction for the organisation. The day-to-day operation of the association is the role of the general manager. Two education managers provide teaching and learning support for teachers. The board employs a Pou Whakarewa Mātauranga (Professional Practice Advisor Māori) to work alongside all association personnel to continue to strengthen cultural responsiveness.

Since the April 2016 ERO evaluation, there have been some changes to the teaching team including the employment of a long-term reliever in February 2018.

The key next steps identified in the previous ERO report, internal evaluation and assessment, planning and evaluation, continue to be areas for the kindergarten to strengthen.

This review was part of a cluster of 16 kindergartens in the Napier Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children experience warm and welcoming relationships with teachers. Effective teaching strategies support children’s developing social and emotional competency. Thoughtful conversations between children and teachers promote rich oral language development. Collaborative relationships between children and teacher encourage problem solving and challenge children’s thinking. Teachers positively encourage and acknowledge children's efforts and successes.

Children actively participate in a curriculum that reflects the beliefs and values of the kindergarten's philosophy. They are supported to build their knowledge about New Zealand’s unique cultural heritage through the integration of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. Children have opportunities to learn about stories and landmarks of significance to local Māori. Māori children experience an environment where their language and culture are affirmed.

Children with additional learning and development needs are well supported through close cooperation with appropriate external agencies. A weekly playgroup supports children's successful transitions into the kindergarten. Relationships established with local schools is also contributing to children's successful transitions beyond the kindergarten.

Children's interests and parents' contributions inform group planning. Learning portfolios capture children’s engagement in the life of the kindergarten. A next step is to strengthen planning for individual children aligned with the learning outcomes in Te Whāriki. This should support teachers to:

  • more intentionally provide resources and experiences

  • ensure assessment over time strongly reflects each child's learning journey and their language, culture and identity

  • evaluate how well planned teaching strategies promote individual learning and value information shared by parents.

The head teacher has created an inclusive environment where whānau are encouraged to stay and participate. A collaborative team culture uses the strengths of the teaching team to support children’s learning. Strengthening the teaching team's understanding and use of evaluation and how well it contributes to high-quality practice and outcomes for children is a next step. Considerations should also be given to strengthening alignment between internal evaluation, appraisal goals and the association's strategic direction to better support positive outcomes for children. Education managers should continue to grow their own knowledge and practice of internal evaluation to better support this process.

The governing board is future focused and has developed a clear strategic direction to meet the diverse needs of its communities. Board members value diversity of viewpoints and gather community and staff voice to inform decision-making. Regular reporting by the education managers is useful in identifying how strategic teaching and learning goals are being addressed.

The board places importance on developing teachers' capabilities. Targeted and deliberate building of cultural responsiveness supports Māori children and their whānau to experience success. An association-wide appraisal process is in place to support teacher practice in promoting positive learning outcomes for children. Further strengthening of the appraisal process, including targeted observations, should assist teachers to determine how well they are progressing and actively encourage them to improve their effectiveness.

Key Next Steps

Teachers should:

  • strengthen understanding and use of effective internal evaluation for improvement to know the impact of teacher practices on children’s learning

  • strengthen alignment between internal evaluation, appraisal goals and the associations strategic direction

  • improve the quality and consistency of assessment, planning and evaluation processes.

Education managers should continue to promote sustained improvement and innovation through strengthening:

  • evaluation, inquiry and professional guidance

  • the appraisal process.


Education managers should strengthen their understanding and use of internal evaluation to systematically evaluate their practices and the impact of these on outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Carlyle 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.

To improve current practice, the early childhood service management should strengthen:

  • documentation of emergency drills and evaluations

  • assessment and management of risk for excursions including robust mitigation

  • consistent parental approval of ratio and mode of transportation for excursions

  • robust analysis and evaluation of accidents.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

12 November 2019

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

43 children aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Male 31 Female 14

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups


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

September 2019

Date of this report

12 November 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 2016

Education Review

September 2012

Education Review

June 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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.