Cloverlea Kindergarten - 21/10/2019

1 Evaluation of Cloverlea Kindergarten

How well placed is Cloverlea Kindergarten to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Cloverlea Kindergarten is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Cloverlea Kindergarten is located in Palmerston North. Opening hours are Monday to Friday from 8.30am until 2.30pm. Full day places are available to children from two to six years old. At the time of this review, there are 47 children enrolled and 14 identify as Māori.

The kindergarten philosophy is underpinned by manaakitanga and whanaungatanga. There is an emphasis on working in partnership with whānau to provide nurturing and respectful relationships to support children's holistic development and connections to Papatūānuku.

The kindergarten is administered by the Ruahine Kindergarten Association (the association). The governing board is responsible for setting the overall strategic direction for the organisation. The day-to-day running of the association is the role of the chief executive officer who is responsible to the board. An operations manager supports the service’s compliance and policy development. Two senior teachers provide educational leadership across the teaching teams.

The June 2016 ERO report identified that the service needed to strengthen practice in assessment and planning, understanding and use of internal evaluation and the bicultural curriculum. Some progress has been made to strengthen these areas.

This review was part of a cluster of twelve kindergartens and one early learning service in the Ruahine Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

A welcoming environment promotes a sense of belonging for children, parents and whānau. The value of manaakitanga underpins the kindergarten's philosophy and is highly evident in practice. Strong relationships enable teachers to work in partnership with families to promote a sense of belonging to the service and within the wider community.

Children benefit from a wide range of activities and resources to promote their exploration across the breadth of the curriculum. They engage in uninterrupted, self-directed play for long periods of time and make good use of the indoor and outdoor spaces to extend on their interests. Teachers facilitate and encourage the development of independence and self-management skills. Older children demonstrate their confidence and competence in leading their own learning and interact positively with their younger peers.

A well-considered process supports the emotional and social wellbeing of children as they transition into the service. A key-teacher system enables new children and families to build trusting relationships with a familiar adult. The teaching team continues to strengthen the curriculum in response to the interests, learning and care needs of their youngest learners. ERO's evaluation affirms this direction.

Māori children are well supported to develop a positive sense of identity. Aspects of te ao Māori are visible within the environment and resourcing. Children confidently lead waiata, mihimihi and pānui during morning hui. Teachers should continue to extend their use of te reo Māori within their daily interactions with children, guided by Māori and Cook Island Māori whānau.

Children are well supported to develop social and emotional skills. Teachers work collaboratively with relevant professionals and agencies to support children's participation and engagement in learning.

The assessment, planning and evaluation system has been strengthened. Children's portfolios show their participation in everyday activities, interests and learning. Consistent links between experiences at home and at the kindergarten foster reciprocal learning-centred partnerships with whānau. Leaders and teachers should continue to strengthen the assessment process to respond to children's cultural contexts and parent aspirations to inform planning.

Senior teachers work collaboratively to build teacher and leadership capability. There is a strong commitment to growing staff knowledge and skills through ongoing professional learning, research opportunities and the sharing of good practice.

The service has engaged in professional learning to grow their knowledge and understanding of internal evaluation. Leaders and teachers have identified that aspects of the process still require strengthening to support ongoing evaluation for improvement.

Association leaders have a well-considered approach to progressing strategic objectives. Robust systems and processes are in place for reporting and evaluating the quality of operations. Information is used to inform decision making and to improve the quality of teaching and learning.

Key Next Steps

At kindergarten level, priorities are to continue to strengthen:

  • curriculum responsiveness to the interests and care needs of younger learners

  • their response to children's cultural contexts and parent aspirations to inform the planning process

  • understanding of te ao Māori and extending the use of te reo Māori.

At the governance level, the Ruahine Kindergarten Association have identified that their priorities are to continue to:

  • strengthen and build their knowledge and understanding of tikanga Māori and seek engagement with local iwi, with kaumatua support

  • support Cloverlea Kindergarten to embed internal evaluation for improvement.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Cloverlea 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.

To improve compliance practice:

  • parents give written authority to administer medication at the beginning of each day the medicine is to be administered or in accordance with the requirement for the category of medicine

  • the association agree that is timely to revise and strengthen procedures in relation to the supervision of children’s eating

  • the provision of sleeping spaces and furniture for over two year olds.

Since the onsite phase of ERO's evaluation, the association has revised and strengthened procedures in relation to:

  • medication forms

  • excursions to unlicensed areas

  • the police vetting of volunteers as per the association policy.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

21 October 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


Palmerston North

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

Male 27, Female 20

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2019

Date of this report

21 October 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2016

Education Review

October 2012

Education Review

May 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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.