Central Kids Kindergartens - Garaway - 10/10/2016

1 Evaluation of Central Kids Kindergartens - Garaway

How well placed is Central Kids Kindergartens - Garaway 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.


Central Kids Kindergartens - Garaway operates under the umbrella of the Central North Island Kindergarten Trust (CNIKT). The kindergarten is licensed to cater for 40 children from two years to school age. A high percentage of children enrolled are Māori.

Since the previous ERO review kindergarten hours have been extended and the service is now open from 8.30am-2.30pm. A long standing teacher has led the team in the absence of the head teacher who has been on extended leave. The areas identified for improvement in the 2013 ERO report have been responded to and as a result effective self-review processes are being implemented. Teachers have reviewed the kindergarten's philosophy, and introduced a key teacher role that is focused on developing partnerships with whānau, and establishing positive relationships with children. Teachers have also focused on increasing their knowledge and ability to respond to Māori children's language, culture and identity. Self-review practice has focused on developing meaningful partnerships and relationships with whānau and children.

The kindergarten philosophy places an emphasis on teachers being partners in the learning with children and their whānau. Teachers want children to have opportunities to engage in play for extended periods of time, and experience social interactions that are underpinned by respect and caring.

The kindergarten is well supported by the CNIKT which works positively to provide equitable outcomes for children and families. The trust’s strategic direction sets out the service’s vision, expected educational outcomes, and values. It also defines the strategies for delivering the early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki, and te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Compliance and regulatory requirements are well monitored by professional leaders. Policies and procedures support the kindergarten to meet regulation requirements and management expectations. The professional leaders work alongside head teachers to support their leadership roles and provide guidance, and mentor teachers as part of the appraisal process. Kindergarten teachers have generous opportunities to attend professional development opportunities to grow their teaching and leadership skills.

Personnel matters are well managed. The trust has undertaken a long-term review of teacher appraisal in consultation with teachers. This is enabling them to respond to the expectations of the Education Council and increase the depth of teachers’ reflections about their practice. The trust has also responded effectively to the Vulnerable Children’s Act, and is well placed to complete required changes to policies and practices for the protection of children.

The Review Findings

Children and their whānau experience respectful and trusting relationships with teachers. Sensitive and responsive relationships celebrate each child for who they are and what they bring to their learning. With the introduction of a key teacher, children's transitions to kindergarten and school are flexible and sensitively managed. These processes ensure the individual needs of children and their families are met. Positive relationships support children's emotional wellbeing and helps them to quickly develop a sense of belonging.

Teachers have good professional knowledge of early childhood theory and practice and outcomes for children. They recognise the importance of children learning through play and through extending their interests. Children have many opportunities to engage in sustained learning and to make sense of the social, physical and material world. They are encouraged to problem solve, use their imagination and be creative. The environment is purposely planned to provide open-ended experiences where children can revisit learning, make new discoveries and actively explore.

Children enjoy friendships with their peers. Their social competencies are strongly nurtured by teachers who skilfully provide social coaching. These interactions affirm children's contributions and acknowledge the concept of ako, where children and teachers learn together. Tuakana-teina relationships provide opportunity to support others' learning.

Children are valued in terms of their culture, language and identity. Whanaungatanga values underpin the kindergarten atmosphere. Teachers have developed their knowledge of the inclusion of te ao Māori concepts. This has extended children's learning into the wider community through annual visits to local marae. Assessment profiles highlight and celebrate children's learning over time. Teachers have increased their use of te reo Māori and identified learning dispositions that include Māori concepts and values. Through their strategic review processes they include cultural concepts and learning dispositions in children's assessment profiles.

The curriculum reflects the principles of Te Whāriki (early childhood curriculum). Leadership has been effective in ensuring ongoing improvements and developments to the programme. The kindergarten programme is very well maintained, developed and improved. Teacher's leadership has been supported and their leadership capacity grown as a result of mentoring by the relieving Head Teacher, and Trust leaders. Teachers have successfully reviewed their philosophy and have a shared understanding and vision for quality education and care. Robust self-review practices are inquiry based and are resulting in continual improvements to all kindergarten operations.

Key Next Steps

ERO, teachers and kindergarten leaders agree the key next step is to continue:

  • building on the teachers knowledge of te ao Māori and assessment strategies that highlight Māori children's culture, whānau, and iwi history.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Central Kids Kindergartens - Garaway 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 Central Kids Kindergartens - Garaway will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

10 October 2016

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

40 children, aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 16 Girls 16

Ethnic composition

Māori Pākehā Other

21 7 4

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

July 2016

Date of this report

10 October 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2013

Education Review

April 2010

Education Review

March 2007

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.

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.