Central Kids Kindergartens - Arohanui - 15/02/2019

1 Evaluation of Central Kids Kindergartens - Arohanui

How well placed is Central Kids Kindergartens - Arohanui to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Central Kids Kindergartens - Arohanui is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Central Kids Kindergartens - Arohanui is located in the South Waikato township of Tokoroa. It is licensed for 40 children over the age of two years. The roll of 50, includes 29 Māori children.

Through the philosophy kaiako aim to provide a warm, homely environment where children experience love, care, trust and respect. They endeavour to recognise diverse cultures and welcome whānau as partners in their children’s learning. The philosophy also highlights the importance of transformative interactions, consistency, continuity, empowerment, challenge, imagination, curiosity and creativity.

The 2015 ERO report identified next steps about support for Māori learners to achieve success as Māori, opportunities for children to engage with te reo, tikanga and te ao Māori and bicultural assessment. Early in 2018 a new teacher was appointed and the kaiarataki (support manager) changed.

The kindergarten operates under the governance and management of the Central North Island Kindergarten Trust, a community not-for-profit organisation. The overarching philosophy of the organisations is to provide kindergartens where children learn through play and are supported to reach their potential.

This review was part of a cluster of 10 kindergarten reviews in the Central North Island Kindergarten Trust.

The Review Findings

Responsive and respectful relationships are formed with each family. The key teacher strategy effectively supports reciprocal sharing of information and children’s secure attachment, wellbeing and sense of belonging. Inclusive practices ensure appropriate responses for children and families with additional needs. Where necessary teachers are able to access special funding to ensure equitable opportunities for children to fully participate and learn.

The curriculum is well designed to promote positive learning outcomes for all children. Teachers and parents recognise and value the importance of children learning through play. The curriculum reflects holistic learning and development opportunities for the age range represented. Children confidently engage in rich learning opportunities in the kindergarten and wider community.

Children benefit from responsive and reciprocal teaching practices that foster their resilience. Teachers trust children as capable decision makers and learners. They are attuned to the many ways that children express and explore their own working theories. Teachers are skilled partners in children's’ play and exploration. Literacy, mathematics and science are naturally integrated to reflect children’s interests and readiness to explore these concepts. The environment is highly functional and readily adapted to include children's’ ideas and self-chosen goals and challenges. Children demonstrate the ability to persevere, and take pride in their own and others' achievements.

Assessment for learning is well developed. Individual records show children’s interests, challenges and continuity of learning over time. Teachers have given strong consideration to valuing the language, culture and identity of each child. Māori perspectives are evident in assessment for Māori children. Parent and child voice is integral to decisions about planning and learning. Children are developing their identity as capable learners.

Internal evaluation is purposeful, ongoing and contributes to continuous improvement. Teachers have made good use of the refreshed early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki. This is used effectively to identify indicators of good practice and learning outcomes for children. Internal evaluation is assisting teachers to assess the effectiveness of key aspects of the curriculum.

Leadership strongly promotes the kindergarten philosophy. There is a shared understanding of the kindergarten’s approach to learning and teaching among staff and the parent community. This understanding has been achieved by parent participation in conversations and professional learning about the curriculum with teachers. Children benefit from productive learning partnerships between their parents and teachers, supporting consistent engagement in self- directed learning.

Governance and management have comprehensive, well-established systems and practices to enable the organisation to monitor, evaluate and plan for improvement for its early learning centres. Clear guidelines and expectations for centre practice and curriculum are strongly fostered by the leadership team and trust. The vision and values support positive outcomes for children’s learning, wellbeing and that of their whānau.

Key Next Steps

Teachers are developing partnerships with whānau and iwi Māori. They agree there is a need to develop a more strategic approach to each teacher lifting the focus of te ao Māori in the curriculum and their own teaching interactions.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Central Kids Kindergartens - Arohanui 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.

In order to improve practice Central Kids Kindergartens management needs to ensure observations of teacher practice are undertaken as part of the appraisal process.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Central Kids Kindergartens - Arohanui will be in three years.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

15 February 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


Tokoroa, South Waikato

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 26 Boys 24

Ethnic composition



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

November 2018

Date of this report

15 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

January 2016

Education Review

July 2012

Education Review

July 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 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.