Fairlie Area Kindergarten - 28/06/2018

1 Evaluation of Fairlie Area Kindergarten

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


Fairlie Area Kindergarten is one of 12 kindergartens governed and managed by the South Canterbury Free Kindergarten (SCK) Association in Timaru. It provides education and care for up to 40 children.

Since the 2014 ERO review, there have been some changes in staffing, including the appointment of a new head teacher in 2018. All teachers are qualified and certificated early childhood teachers. A senior teacher provides professional coaching and mentoring for teachers.

The centre continues to make steady progress in addressing the areas for improvement identified in the 2014 ERO review report. This includes:

  • reviewing the philosophy
  • refining aspects of assessment, planning and evaluation
  • improving self-review practices
  • increasing the use of te reo and tikanga Māori practices in the programme.

This review was part of a cluster of seven kindergartens in the South Canterbury Free Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

The kindergarten's moemoeā/vision states: "Our children will be resilient, confident with great coping strategies, with a keenness for new knowledge and skills". The moemoeā is supported by the curriculum priorities of:

  • rangatiratanga - creating leaders
  • whānau tangata - family and community
  • inquiry learning - children co-constructing in authentic ways
  • arts, literacy and numeracy
  • building cultural identity.

These priorities guide the daily programme and practices. The centre's curriculum supports children's wellbeing and belonging needs. Teachers know children well and use this knowledge to plan activities and routines to support children's learning and development. Children's progress and learning is well documented in individual planning.

The programme responds to children's interests through a wide range of experiences. Mathematics and early literacy are strongly visible in the programme. Teachers provide a place-based curriculum that enables children to develop strong learning connections within their local community. Teachers have been responsive in adapting the programme to better meet the needs of children under three years of age. Children feel a sense of ownership, confidence and security in their learning environment.

There are appropriate levels of support for diverse learners and children with additional learning needs. Developing children's cultural identity is a curriculum priority and highly evident within the programme. Teachers help children to develop responsive and reciprocal relationships with each other and themselves. Strong friendships are sustained and nurtured in their play.

Teachers effectively use internal evaluation to improve learning outcomes and curriculum provision for all children. There has been considerable growth and strengthening of bicultural practices. There are strengthened culturally responsive practices within the programme.

Leaders and teachers have developed genuine partnerships for learning with parents and whānau. Strong relationships and connections to the community are evident in the programme and planning. The kindergarten learning environment is well resourced. Children's learning benefits from the ongoing community contributions to enrich the indoor and outdoor environments.

The head teacher has effectively established a refreshed culture of teaching with opportunities for teachers to develop leadership capability. Teachers are making good use of professional learning opportunities to support and grow their teaching practice.

The SCK philosophy, vision, goals and systems are effectively promoting positive outcomes for children. The board, managers and leaders have proactively addressed the recommendations for the association in the October 2014 ERO report.

There is strong alignment from the SCK strategic priorities to the kindergarten priorities and plans. The board is well informed about how well each kindergarten is progressing and contributing to the strategic direction of the SCK. However, the board could know more about how well the kindergartens are improving outcomes for children and how well children are achieving in relation to the association’s valued outcomes (purpose). The board is focussed on improving outcomes for all children, including taking deliberate action to support Māori and Pacific children and children with diverse learning needs in the kindergartens. SCK leaders have developed strong networked relationships with community organisations to support children and their whānau. The next step for the board is to consider culturally responsive practice as governors and consult with Māori whānau about their views.

There are effective systems and processes for ensuring that regulatory requirements are met within the kindergartens. Relevant professional learning, improved appraisal processes and effective ongoing coaching and mentoring by the senior teachers are building teacher capability within the kindergartens.

Key Next Steps

The key next steps for the teachers, with the support of the senior teacher are to:

  • continue to strengthen assessment, planning and evaluation, with a focus on the learning for the child/children
  • complete the review of the moemoeā to ensure that all children can show progress against the valued learning outcomes
  • report to the association on the progress that all children are making against the valued learning outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Fairlie Area 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Fairlie Area Kindergarten will be in three years.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

28 June 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



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 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys: 20

Girls: 20

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

May 2018

Date of this report

28 June 2018

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

October 2014

Education Review

June 2011

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.