Central Kids Kindergartens - Garaway - 14/05/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

Central Kids Kindergartens - Garaway is well placed to sustain and promote positive outcomes for children.


Central Kids Kindergartens - Garaway is located in Whakatane and provides education and care of children from two years of age, in a school-day programme. It operates under the umbrella organisation of the Central North Island Kindergarten Trust (known as Central Kids). At the time of this ERO review the kindergarten roll was 36, of whom 23 were identified as Māori. The majority of Māori children whakapapa to Ngati Awa and Tuhoe.

Since the previous ERO review, a new head teacher has been appointed and teaching staff have remained the same. Significant development to the kindergarten environment has been undertaken including refurbishing the deck and play areas. In 2012, the Ministry of Education relicensed the kindergarten under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008. There has been an increase in the number of two year olds attending the centre in this past year.

The kindergarten’s philosophy expresses a commitment to providing quality learning opportunities through play and a resource-based programme where children are able to initiate their own play.

The kindergarten has a positive ERO reporting history and has responded well to the areas for development identified in the 2010 ERO report.

This review was conducted as part of a cluster approach to reviews in eleven early childhood education services within the Central North Island Kindergarten Trust umbrella organisation.

Review Findings

Children enjoy and benefit from participating in a well-presented and richly-resourced environment that fosters social learning and responds to their interests. Positive relationships support children’s sense of belonging and wellbeing. The programme provides an appropriate combination of child-initiated and teacher-planned play experiences. Teachers work alongside children to promote sustained and purposeful play. They carefully integrate literacy and mathematics into play activities and model appropriate oral language for children. Most teachers use a wide range of effective teaching strategies to promote children’s thinking, problem solving and cooperative play skills. ERO observed children who were highly engaged in sustained, purposeful play with and alongside one another.

The head teacher is well organised and provides good quality professional leadership for the kindergarten. She models the use of effective teaching strategies and works to build a professional relationship with teachers and whānau. The head teacher has a reflective approach to her own professional development that is promoting a culture of self reflection in the kindergarten. A priority for the head teacher since her appointment has been the development and implementation of useful and efficient systems for kindergarten operations.

The kindergarten’s philosophy is effectively implemented through the curriculum programme. Priority is placed on:

  • implementing assessment practices that support teachers to notice and respond to children’s learning
  • literacy and mathematics through play
  • providing opportunities for children to visit in the local and wider community
  • children developing independence and self-management skills.

This curriculum is providing a wide range of rich and meaningful learning experiences.

The kindergarten receives additional equity funding that is well used to support and include children with diverse needs and provide opportunities for children to attend and participate in the programme. ERO identified the need for the kindergarten to report more fully about the use of this funding to family and whānau.

The organisation’s knowledgeable professional leader provides the head teacher and teachers with regular detailed feedback that identifies strengths and areas for development. All staff appreciate this ongoing support and guidance. Comprehensive policies provide clear guidelines for the teaching team in order to meet regulatory requirements and Central Kids’ expectations.

Key Next Step

There is a need for the teaching staff, with support from Central Kids’ management, to implement a more strategic approach to kindergarten development. Priority should be given to:

  • streamlining self-review processes
  • further developing assessment, planning and evaluation practices
  • increasing the consistent use of effective teaching strategies
  • developing a greater presence of children’s culture and identity in the programme.

Attention to these aspects of kindergarten operations is likely to strengthen the learning partnership with whānau.

2 Legal Requirements

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.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

14 May 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

All Day Educare and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 21

Girls 15

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā





Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2013

Date of this report

14 May 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

April 2010

March 2007

October 2003

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

  • 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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.