Doubtless Bay Kindergarten - 05/12/2016

1 Evaluation of Doubtless Bay Kindergarten

How well placed is Doubtless Bay Kindergarten 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.


Doubtless Bay Kindergarten is licensed for up to 30 children between two and six years of age. It provides sessions for children that are similar to school hours. It serves families in the rural and coastal communities of Taipa. The kindergarten’s philosophy values community and positive relationships with families to encourage children’s wellbeing, curiosity and learning.

The kindergarten is one of three in the Far North governed by the Kaitaia and District Kindergarten Association. A manager oversees kindergarten operations and reports regularly to a board that is responsible for the strategic direction of the association. A senior teacher was appointed in 2015 to support professional learning and the ongoing improvement of teaching practices. An experienced head teacher leads a team that includes qualified teachers and a part-time administrator.

Positive features identified in ERO’s 2009 and 2013 reports have been sustained. These include positive and supportive relationships, innovative use of digital technologies and open communication with parents and the community. Teachers continually review the environment to support high quality outcomes for children.

This review was part of a cluster of three kindergarten reviews in the Kaitaia and District Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

The kindergarten’s philosophy is highly evident in practice. Children enjoy friendships with their peers and confidently choose between playing independently or in groups. They use many strategies to initiate purposeful play. Children experience respectful, positive relationships in an inclusive and stimulating environment.

Children make good choices about their play in the well resourced indoor and outdoor environments. They are enthusiastic about sharing their ideas and theories, play well with each other and are skilled at initiating play. Children have very good opportunities to explore and be physically active in the outdoor area and the nearby beach environment. Children engage in creative and imaginative play and have many opportunities to experience art and dance and to care for animals.

Teachers provide a high quality, child-led programme underpinned by the principles of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Teachers have a deep commitment to being inclusive of all learners. They are increasingly including aspects of te ao Māori in the programme. Print is used in meaningful ways and children are learning to make connections to literacy in their activities. Children have good opportunities to develop their oral language. Older children are very well supported as they move on to school.

Teachers' respectful relationships and knowledge about individual families and the community help them to affirm and build on children’s strengths and interests. Individual records of learning are highly valued, by teachers, children and families. These records show the development of children’s interests over time. Teachers value and use parent information, ideas and support to help children become confident, capable learners. Teachers are keen to build on these practices as part of improving teaching and learning.

The head teacher provides strong professional leadership and has developed positive relationships with parents, whānau and the community. Regular professional learning and development helps teachers to extend their skills and knowledge. The appraisal system is well used by teachers to help them reflect on progress towards their individual goals.

Internal evaluation is well established and informs ongoing improvement. Many reviews are used to bring about improvement. Strategic goals, which align with the kindergarten’s vision statement and philosophy, are clearly outlined in annual plans. Teachers value the support provided by the senior teacher to improve programmes and practices.

Management policies and processes are well established. The association’s strategic plan focuses on making decisions to improve learning outcomes for children, which include investing in upgrading property and environments. The board is using the New Zealand School Trustees Association tool, Hautū: Māori Cultural Responsiveness Self Review tool for Boards of Trustees, to review how well the association is meeting its commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Key Next Steps

To enhance existing high quality practices teachers agree they could:

  • continue to develop teaching approaches to better reflect the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand

  • improve the evaluation of programme and strategic goals to clearly identify positive outcomes for children.

The board and manager agree to:

  • improve the policy and procedures for managing staff competency and performance
  • develop and implement an action plan to progress the association’s commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi
  • evaluate progress towards meeting the association's strategic goals.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Doubtless Bay 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.

ERO identified an area of non-compliance. The board and manager should ensure the practices and procedures for police vetting meet the requirements of the Vulnerable Children's Act.

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA7A.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Doubtless Bay Kindergarten will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

5 December 2016

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


Taipa, Far North

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, over 2 years of age

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 30 Girls 21

Ethnic composition



other European




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

October 2016

Date of this report

5 December 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2013

Education Review

February 2010

Education Review

October 2006

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.