Casa Nova Kindergarten - 24/05/2018

1 Evaluation of Casa Nova Kindergarten

How well placed is Casa Nova 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.


Casa Nova Kindergarten is one of five kindergartens that form the Oamaru Kindergarten Association (OKA). It provides education and care for children up to 30 children from two years old and has a roll of 49 children. Casa Nova Kindergarten operates five days a week and is located next to Pembroke School. All teachers are fully certified and early childhood trained teachers.

The head teacher and teachers share the leadership and teaching roles in the kindergarten. An external Education Services Manager (ESM) supports professional practice in the team. The OKA oversees the governance and management of the kindergarten.

The kindergarten's philosophy sets out learning priorities which are based on Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles of partnership, protection (kaitiaki) and participation. Casa Nova Kindergarten serves a diverse community. It provides high quality education and care for all children including those children with a range of high needs. Leaders and teachers are 'focussed on being equitable, enthusiastic and responsive to the changing world learners and their whānau are living in'.

Since the last ERO review in 2014 the kindergarten has made very good progress in refining self-review processes, including widening the scope of reviews.

This review was part of a cluster of five reviews in the OKA.

The Review Findings

Casa Nova Kindergarten continues to be a high performing kindergarten.

Records of learning show that children make good progress against their set goals and the kindergarten's curriculum priorities.

Teachers have strong, responsive and reciprocal, and respectful relationships with each whānau, supporting children's and parents' genuine sense of belonging. They are highly respected and seen as an important part of children's experiences and learning. Children's development and learning are not separated from their whānau. The aspirations of parents and whānau are known and responded to. The different values, cultures and beliefs are acknowledged.

Children's learning and wellbeing are very well supported by teachers who are highly committed to providing equitable opportunities for all children. Learning is based on children's interests and strengths. Children have strong ownership of and choice in their learning. For example, they confidently share their ideas and views about their learning, including in assessment records.

Leaders and teachers have a strong commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles of participation, protection and partnership. This provides the foundation for Casa Nova's practice and programme. Their next step is to strengthen te ao and te reo Māori in children's day-to-day learning.

Casa Nova Kindergarten provides an environment where Pacific cultures are valued and differences are embraced and respected. Teachers work closely with Pacific families and use their knowledge and expertise to enrich children's learning.

Leaders and teachers remain highly responsive to the diverse and high learning needs of many of their children, while remaining focused on and providing equity for all children.

The teaching team at Casa Nova Kindergarten has a useful framework to guide evaluation for improvement and is very improvement focused. Teachers regularly reflect on the impact of their teaching strategies and adapt what they do.

Teachers and leaders work collaboratively to support all children to have success. When new systems are developed, practices are put in place to ensure they are sustained. Leadership within the team is encouraged, valued and supported.

Casa Nova Kindergarten receives targeted and well-planned professional learning and development. The team is well supported by the ESM to identify what is working well and areas for further development to improve outcomes for children.

The OKA effectively supports the kindergarten. It provides a useful strategic and operational framework for the kindergarten's management. There is strong alignment from the OKA strategic priorities to the kindergarten's priorities and plans. The OKA is committed to equity for all children, providing targeted resources to enable participation and inclusion of all children and their whānau. The OKA board is well informed about how well each kindergarten is progressing and contributing to the strategic direction.

The OKA strongly supports ongoing improvement across its kindergartens. It has effective evaluation and assurance practices that inform change and development. The OKA also supports its kindergartens to have constructive partnerships with other agencies and providers. Teacher capability across the OKA is being strengthened through an improved appraisal system.

Key Next Steps

ERO recommends that the head teacher and teachers continue to work on the areas that they and their ESM have identified. This includes, continuing to strengthen te ao and te reo Māori by being confident and courageous in sharing what they already know.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Casa Nova 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 Casa Nova Kindergarten will be in four years.

Dr Lesley Patterson
Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

24 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 



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children from 2 years of age

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys:  17

Girls:   32

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%

Based on funding rates



Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

April 2018

Date of this report

24 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2014

Education Review

May 2010

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.