Central Kids Kindergartens - Te Kuiti - 08/02/2019

1 Evaluation of Central Kids Kindergarten - Te Kuiti

How well placed is Central Kids Kindergarten - Te Kuiti to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


Central Kids Kindergartens - Te Kuiti is situated in the rural King Country town of Te Kuiti. It is licensed for 40 children over the age of two years. The current roll of 42 includes 22 children of whom identify as Māori and a growing number of children from Samoan heritage.

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 organisation is to provide kindergartens where children learn through play and are supported to reach their potential.

The teaching team includes a head teacher and two qualified teachers, supported by teacher aides and a kaiaratake manager. Through their philosophy teachers encourage children to problem solve, be independent, make their own decisions and develop a sense of responsibility and respect. Teachers support children to develop their social and communication skills and value developing strong relationships with children and their families.

Since the last ERO review in 2015, little progress has been made in strengthening internal evaluation to build teacher capability in responding to children's language, culture and identity and deepening learning conversations with children.

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

The Review Findings

Children learn through play, supported by unhurried and flexible routines. They are empowered to make choices and lead their learning. Literacy, mathematics, arts and crafts are naturally integrated in the programme. Wide open spaces provide natural areas to explore and learn about the living world. Some elements of a bicultural curriculum are visible within the environment and resources. Further consideration should now be given to strengthening a localised curriculum and teaching strategies to reflect the aspirations, languages, culture and identities of the community, including local iwi and Pacific fono. Children are settled and confident learners.

Rich portfolios capture children's learning and home and kindergarten partnerships. There has been a significant increase in parent engagement in the assessment process. Learning stories capture interests, strengths, dispositions, holistic development and social competencies. Some examples of assessment portfolios show progression of learning over time. The new system of individual plans now needs to be fully embedded. 

Strong relationships have been established, contributing to a positive learning environment. Teachers know children and their families well. Oral language development is supported through teachers engaging in rich conversations with children. A considered use of teacher aide time allows teachers to spend more quality individual and small group time with children requiring additional support. Further planned professional development should provide additional strategies for teachers to better support children with English as a second language.

Leaders and teachers advocate for equitable participation and wellbeing of children. Transitions into kindergarten and on to school are well supported. A strengthened approach to building intentional teaching should support the newly initiated individual learning pathways. Children develop a sense of belonging, developing friendships with other children and trusted adults. 

The kaiaratake is effectively building the capacity for leaders and teachers to develop and improve internal evaluation practices. Leaders now need to continue to embed this framework for internal evaluation and support teachers to fully understand the process. A long-serving head teacher leads a stable team of experienced teachers. Leaders have built strong relationships with their kindergarten families and should now consider strengthening ties with the wider local community, including Samoan. Professional development opportunities are accessed to grow teacher capability. The team need to now embed their learnings into everyday practice.

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

The key next steps for leaders and teachers are to:

  • strengthen the localised curriculum including determining priorities and aspirations for learning in consultation with whānau
  • continue to build capability in intentional teaching
  • embed the newly initiated individual learning pathways, including the response to celebrating individual children’s language, culture and identity. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Central Kids Kindergarten - Te Kuiti 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 Kindergarten - Te Kuiti will be in three years.

Phil Cowie
Director Review and Improvement Services Central
Central Region

8 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 


Te Kuiti, King Country

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                      21
Girls                       21

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

December 2018

Date of this report

8 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

December 2015

Education Review

August 2012

Education Review

August 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.