Community Kindy The Mount - 28/03/2018

1 Evaluation of Community Kindy The Mount

How well placed is Community Kindy The Mount 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.


Community Kindy The Mount is located in Mount Maunganui and is licensed to provide all-day education and care for 40 children. The centre caters for children aged two to five years, offering sessional and full time education and care. At the time of this ERO review 65 children were enrolled, including 12 children of Māori descent. The teaching team is small and stable.

The centre philosophy is focused on providing an environment which is safe, happy, fun and stimulating. Children can explore their environment through a balance of teacher directed and self-initiated discovery. The service values and acknowledges the input from the local community and is committed to working in partnership with parents and whānau.

The service is operated by BestStart, an organisation owned by the Wright Family Foundation, a charitable trust. BestStart provides policy guidelines, strategic direction, financial and business management. Professional guidance and development for staff is provided through appraisal which includes teacher inquiry, and internal reviews.

Since the 2014 ERO review, management and teachers have reviewed assessment practices and documentation of children's cultural identity. Teachers have undertaken professional development to further their knowledge of mathematics in the early childhood setting. They are currently reviewing the visual presentation of their philosophy and developing individual plans.

The Review Findings

Teachers are highly reflective and provide a stimulating, purposeful environment that fosters children’s self-initiated discovery. Nurturing relationships and positive interactions encourages confidence and risk taking. Problem solving and exploration is effectively promoted through the centre. Large free flowing areas are well-presented, culturally responsive and equipped with natural resources and activities. Effective transition processes into, through and out of the centre support children's sense of belonging. Children are empowered to take increased responsibility for the wellbeing of themselves, others and the group. Teachers need to continue to strengthen planning and assessment to better reflect parent aspirations and children’s individual progress over time.

Learners with additional needs are well supported through a collaborative and inclusive approach. Strong relationships between external agencies, parents and whānau inform teaching and learning priorities. Children with additional needs participate in all aspects of the programme alongside their peers.

The services curriculum is highly effective in stimulating children’s curiosity, and providing appropriate challenge. Assessment, planning and evaluation are responsive to children’s interests. Literacy and mathematics are well integrated into all areas of the curriculum. Teachers use in-depth conversations and questioning to extend children’s thinking.

Respectful practice and understanding of te reo and tikanga nurtures the wairua and mana of Māori tamariki. Children's culture, language and identity is acknowledged and celebrated. Māori values are woven throughout the centre. Strengthened connections and collaboration with iwi are enriching programmes to better reflect local history and legends.

Professional leadership provides clear direction for ongoing improvement. Distributed leadership is promoted throughout the centre. There is a high level of relational trust between centre management, leaders and staff. Collaborative ways of working are fostered with teachers sharing their strengths and knowledge. Effective leadership actively builds teacher capability to promote positive learning outcomes for all children.

The service's philosophy, vision, goals and systems effectively promotes positive learning experiences for all children. The centre is well supported by the professional services and business managers. Strategic and annual planning provide clear direction for the centre. Self review is valued, effectively undertaken and leads to improved outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

The centre and ERO have identified that continuing to strengthen planning and assessment is necessary to better reflect parent aspirations and show how children are progressing in their learning and development over time.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Community Kindy The Mount 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 Community Kindy The Mount will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson
Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

28 March 2018 

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 


Mt Maunganui

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls                       33
Boys                      32

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

January 2018

Date of this report

28 March 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

December 2014

Education Review

August 2010

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.