Favona Kindergarten - 21/06/2018

1 Evaluation of Favona Kindergarten

How well placed is Favona 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.


Favona Kindergarten is a well-established service adjacent to Favona School in Mangere. It offers six-hour days and is licensed for 40 children over the age of two years. The majority of children enrolled are Māori or Pacific. There has been an increase in the number of two-year-old children enrolled in the kindergarten.

Teachers reflect the diverse community they support, are long serving and well experienced. All teachers are qualified and registered. The head teacher oversees the daily programme and the operation of the kindergarten. Two support staff assist with the programme and administration.

The service's philosophy is based on whanaungatanga, fostering trusting relationships with children and their whānau through respect, and a valuing of the learning community. The curriculum is guided by the newly revised Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and children’s learning and play interests. The partnership principle of Te Tiriti o Waitangi is a key aspect of the kindergarten's philosophy.

The positive features identified in the 2014 ERO report have been maintained. These features include children's strong sense of belonging, a child-led programme and a good quality and range of learning experiences for children. Teachers have made some progress in responding to ERO's recommendations about improving documentation of self review and curriculum documentation.

The kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA). The AKA has a range of specialist personnel who assist teachers with curriculum, management and property matters. There continues to be a period of change for staff as they adapt to changes in AKA’s operational practices, leadership and management.

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

The Review Findings

Children and their whānau are welcomed into the kindergarten. They know they have a place to be able to participate with confidence. As a result, children settle quickly and are able to build trusting relationships with teachers and other adults in the centre.

Children are confident and socially competent, and engage in their chosen play for sustained periods. They play well together and know they are valued contributors in the learning programme. Teachers encourage tuakana/teina relationships, where older children model for and guide younger children. Children's cultural identities and languages are an important part of the daily programme, and are used to build on children's leadership.

A key feature of the programme is that tamariki Māori are given opportunities to celebrate, share and participate in their unique cultural heritage. They can tap into their innate potential and strengths, participate and feel successful 'as Māori'. Some key elements that surround the tamaiti in this success is the inclusion in the programme of te reo and tikanga Māori, and aspects of te ao Māori.

Children of Pacific heritage have a strong sense of belonging. They experience a programme that promotes their languages and cultural values. They have their cultural identities affirmed and know that their ideas will be heard and respected. Children from other diverse cultures and children with additional needs are well supported to experience rich learning opportunities.

Some teachers are able to communicate with children in their home languages. They have built on their cultural competence with learning from their community and deliberate professional development. These experiences have enabled them to strengthen their own professional practice and add value to programmes for children. Teachers are involved in innovative research projects, events and internal evaluations that improve programmes for children and their professional practices.

Parents who spoke to ERO speak very highly of the staff. They experience respectful and positive relationships with supportive teachers. Parents are well informed of their children's learning and development. They are encouraged to take leadership roles and find that staff interactions with them are respectful and culturally responsive.

The AKA has useful processes for supporting teachers' ongoing professional development and supporting teachers' interests. AKA has specific processes for ensuring that children with additional needs receive appropriate learning support. They have good systems in place to support children and whānau with health and wellbeing needs.

Kindergarten operations are guided by a comprehensive kindergarten plan and a shared vision that are linked to AKA strategic goals. A Quality Improvement Process (QIP) also aligns with AKA and kindergarten strategic plans. The AKA continues to review its management and leadership structure and to improve consistency and coherence across internal evaluation, quality assurance and improvement systems, and strategic planning.

Key Next Steps

Next steps for teachers should include:

  • evaluating the effectiveness of programme provision for younger children

  • strengthening the evaluative reasoning aspect of internal evaluation

  • improving the documentation of the assessment, planning and evaluation that supports children's learning and enables children to revisit and set goals.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

21 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


Mangere, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children over the age of 2 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 27 Girls 19

Ethnic composition

Cook Islands Māori


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

21 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2014

Education Review

February 2011

Education Review

November 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.