Eden Christian Kindergarten - 07/12/2017

1 Evaluation of Eden Christian Kindergarten

How well placed is Eden Christian 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.


Eden Christian Kindergarten is a community-based early learning service in Feilding. It is licensed for 47 children, including five aged up to two years. All 66 children enrolled at the time of this ERO review are aged over two years and 15 identify as Māori. Many families have long associations with the service.

A board of trustees made up of parents, representatives from the kindergarten and local churches is responsible for governance. Daily operation is overseen by a manager. The head teacher has responsibility for teaching and learning. Most teachers are qualified and registered.

Since the February 2015 ERO report, some key staff have left. There have been changes to leadership, trustees and hours of operation. Professional development has been undertaken by staff in response to ERO's findings. Progress is evident.

The philosophy emphasises the importance of Christian values in a nurturing environment to build a strong foundation for children’s lives.

The Review Findings

Practice reflects the ideals articulated in the philosophy statement. Priorities for learning, identified by the teaching team, are key drivers of the programme for children. With the changes in personnel it would be timely for teachers to revisit and reflect on these drivers to support shared understanding, consistency of practice and ongoing evaluation of the programme.

The centre presents a high quality learning environment, resourced to support a wide range of interests and play experiences. Children have free access to learning materials of their choosing throughout the day. The outdoor space provides a variety of challenging physical play opportunities and activities linked to the natural environment. Regular excursions into the community are used well to extend children's learning.

Children are cooperative and motivated, confidently making decisions about their participation. Literacy, mathematics, cultural experiences, science and the creative arts are presented in play-based ways that engage their attention for sustained periods.

Teachers are responsive, nurturing and respectful in their interactions with children. They maintain high levels of awareness of each child's participation. Learning conversations are used well to extend children's thinking and perseverance in their play.

The diversity of the community is celebrated. Teachers are inclusive in their approach and proactive in removing barriers to children's participation in the programme. Those requiring additional learning support have their needs identified and met through resourcing and external assistance.

The team's commitment to the development of a more bicultural approach is evident. Support has been sought from a local school's bilingual unit, and a hui for whānau Māori is planned. The head teacher agrees that next steps should include: the team considering practices outlined in the Ministry of Education publication Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Maori Learners; and becoming more purposeful in planning to meet the aspirations whānau have for their children's learning.

Children's transitions are carefully considered. New families are supported to settle in their own ways. Opportunities are regularly provided for older children to work together to develop skills they might need at school. Good relationships with local schools are in place. The next step for teachers should be to seek ways of using the relationships more purposefully to support information sharing about individuals, and school and early childhood programmes.

The programme is largely child led and very responsive to their emerging interests, strengths and needs. Teachers continue to develop their approach to planning for learning. Professional development has supported a process appropriately focused on individuals. Use of an on-line platform has the potential to support parents' input and participation in their children's learning. To strengthen their approach teachers should consider:

  • consistently identifying the strategies they intend to use, to facilitate children's progress

  • making children's progress over time more visible in their portfolios

  • including learning plans in children's portfolios for parents' information

  • strengthening the analysis of learning stories to show clearly what is significant for each child

  • integrating more information about children's cultures, languages and identities, and acknowledgment of te ao Māori, into portfolios

  • identifying desired outcomes for learning and/or teaching on group plans to support ongoing evaluation and identification of next learning/teaching steps.

The centre's approach to appraisal has been reviewed and has the potential to support an inquirybased development process that leads to improved teaching and learning outcomes. Leaders should ensure that implementation reflects all aspects of Education Council requirements, including a suitable induction and mentoring process to support provisionally registered teachers.

The sense of team is being re-established after a period of considerable change. Leaders should continue to work on clarifying expectations around teaching and learning, and collaborate with teachers to develop shared understanding that promotes consistent and cohesive practice.

Support for leadership and management should be strengthened. Roles need to be revisited to more clearly define leadership responsibilities linked to practice and operation.

Teachers are reflective and improvement focused. A suitable framework has recently been adopted to support internal evaluation. Leaders should now work on developing the team's understanding and use of the framework to strengthen decision making linked to teaching, learning and operation.

Aspects of governance are well developed. A vision and strategic priorities have been identified. To support the sustainability of, and ongoing improvement to, operation, trustees should consider: defining desired outcomes, actions and timelines linked to strategic priorities to measure progress and identify next steps; ways to support a more timely response to key tasks and the review of policies and procedures; and reviewing and better defining governance guidelines for trustees.

Key Next Steps

ERO and leaders agree that in order to support sustainability of, and ongoing improvement to, practice and operation, priorities should be:

  • continuing to strengthen planning for learning

  • the promotion of cohesive team work

  • implementation of the appraisal process to meet Education Council expectations

  • developing shared understanding of internal evaluation to support decision making

  • support for leadership and management roles

  • further definition and better implementation of aspects of governance.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Eden Christian 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 in relation to health and safety.

The service provider must ensure that:

  • furniture or equipment that could topple and cause injury or damage is secured
    [Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, HS6]

In order to improve practice the service provider should ensure that:

the training undertaken to meet the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, is fully implemented into operation.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Eden Christian Kindergarten will be in three years.

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

7 December 2017

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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

47 children, including up to five aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 43, Boys 23

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


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

November 2017

Date of this report

7 December 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2015

Education Review

March 2012

Education Review

September 2007

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.