Farm Cove Kindergarten - 27/05/2016

1 Evaluation of Farm Cove Kindergarten

How well placed is Farm Cove 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.


Farm Cove Kindergarten, in Pakuranga was previously known as Whiteacres Kindergarten. It is licensed for up to 40 children over two years and it offers sessions similar to school hours. The kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA), which provides a governance and management framework to support kindergarten operations. The kindergarten is on the grounds of Wakaaranga Primary School.

The kindergarten's teaching philosophy focuses on inclusion of all children in respectful ways. It promotes bicultural and environmentally sustainable practices. Since the 2013 ERO review two new permanent teachers have been appointed. The team includes four qualified and registered teachers, an administrator, and a teacher aide.

The 2013 ERO report identified strengths in the learning programme that gave children a strong sense of belonging. Teachers continue to plan and implement a stimulating programme that is clearly influenced by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

The AKA restructure in 2015 has introduced new responsibilities and ways of working for both AKA and kindergarten personnel. A period of transition is continuing for staff as they develop their understanding and competence in relation to new roles and systems.

This review was part of a cluster of nine reviews in the Auckland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

The kindergarten draws families from the local area and retains a strong sense of history and community. The environment is presented in an interesting way that invites children to investigate and explore. Good quality resources are promoting children's independent purposeful play.

Children are settled and independent learners and they actively engage in the programme. They communicate well with each other and adults. Children play well together in pairs or in small groups. Friendships are formed, and children develop social and useful negotiation skills as they play with each other. Flexible routines provide opportunities for children to enjoy extended periods of social and imaginative play.

A whānau atmosphere and respectful, caring relationships are evident amongst children, teachers and parents. Teachers listen and respond to children’s ideas. Children who speak other languages are well supported. Teachers use mat time to promote more complex ideas that children can incorporate into their play. They could better document children's ideas and include these in their programme planning.

Teachers are committed to providing bicultural practices and they are sensitive to the aspirations of Māori whānau. Teachers' use and understanding of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori is growing and they use some kupu Māori in children's learning stories. Te reo Māori and waiata are mostly used during mat times. Parents who spoke with ERO appreciate how children share waiata with family members at home.

Teachers support learning through play that is initiated and led by children. The programme is developed on the basis of children’s interests. Literacy, numeracy, science and technology are integrated in play contexts that are meaningful to children.

Self review has been an integral aspect of improving teaching practice, and the daily learning programme, with a focus on promoting positive outcomes for children.

AKA support and guidance is responsive to each kindergarten's individual context. New AKA positions are providing more targeted support for head teachers in their leadership and management roles. A new Quality Improvement Process is aligned with AKA and kindergarten strategic plans. This process monitors quality, and promotes ongoing improvement in the kindergartens.

Key Next Steps

Teachers have identified appropriate priorities for development that include:

  • documenting assessment, planning and evaluation

  • further developing bicultural practices

  • developing children's portfolios by including parent perspectives, and children's cultural identity, interests, and learning progress

  • making teacher appraisal goals more specific and achievable within a specific timeframe.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Farm Cove 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 Farm Cove Kindergarten will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

27 May 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


Pakuranga, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 29, Girls 19

Ethnic composition






Middle Eastern


Cook Island Māori













Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2



Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

27 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

April 2013

Education Review

September 2009

Education Review

June 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.