Gardner Road Kindergarten - 17/05/2018

1 Evaluation of Gardner Road Kindergarten

How well placed is Gardner Road 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.


Gardner Road Kindergarten is a community-based early childhood centre behind the Epsom Presbyterian Church. It is a well established service with some children being second and third generation attendees. The centre is licensed for up to 37 children over two years of age. It operates between 9.00am and 2.30pm.

The centre's philosophy values child initiated play. It recognises that this play empowers children, builds their resilience and gives them opportunities to discover, question, co-operate, theorise, and make sense of the world around them. The philosophy promotes experiences for children that help build strong foundations for ongoing learning and skills for life. It values the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand and embraces diversity. Its curriculum is underpinned by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

The centre is governed by a parent management committee with elected portfolio holders. It includes the head teacher, who manages day-to-day operations with the support of the administrator. Since the 2015 ERO review over half of the teaching staff are new to the centre. All six teachers are fully registered.

The ERO 2015 report commented favourably about the service's good quality teaching practices. Good progress has been made in responding to the key next steps outlined in ERO's report. Centre planning and self-review processes have developed over the past three years.

The Review Findings

The service's philosophy is well implemented. Children express their feelings confidently. They have ample opportunities to engage in their own initiated play and to develop independence, social competence and friendships. Good opportunities are provided for children with additional needs to follow their interests and have their learning needs met. Inclusive practices are an integral part of the centre's culture.

The centre's curriculum promotes positive outcomes for children. It reflects the local environment, and the strong knowledge and understanding that teachers have of the children and their families. Children readily engage in a variety of interesting activities that promote curiosity, problem solving, collaboration and inquiry. They enjoy music and opportunities to be creative and imaginative. Appropriate focus is given to building children's early literacy and mathematics knowledge through play, and also in a more formal setting. Teachers are in a good position to provide more challenge and extension to children's learning.

The environment provides good indoor and outdoor flow and well-resourced areas of play. It reflects children's increasingly diverse cultural backgrounds and promotes a sense of belonging. Teachers value te reo Māori and use it as part of their interactions and signage. A next step for teachers is to continue strengthening current good practices by including a stronger focus on tikanga and the historical and Māori contexts of the centre.

Parents and whānau have good opportunities to contribute to their children's learning. Teachers readily share their professional knowledge with children and parents. Reciprocal learning is contributing to consistent practices between the service and children's homes. Teachers have started to use an online programme that is highly likely to strengthen the learning partnerships they have with parents. In addition, teachers could formally capture and work to achieve parent aspirations for individual children.

Teachers are developing new ways of planning. They start with individual children's interests and strengths, and together identify possibilities for extending learning. A next step for teachers is to document intentional teaching practices to achieve this extension, particularly in relation to children's developing dispositions for learning.

Leaders are focused on improving the quality of education and care for all children. Emergent leadership is encouraged, and collaborative ways of working are fostered with everyone involved in the service. There are strong systems for internal evaluation that are focused on improvement.

The centre is governed well. A clear strategic plan sets the centre's direction with specific goals that are improvement focused. Clear roles and responsibilities have been established for committee members, with sound systems and processes for transparent communications. Internal evaluation provides the committee with good information about the effectiveness of the service and next steps for improvement. More explicit links could now be made between the strategic and annual plan. The management committee could also explore ways they could provide more spacious workspaces for staff.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders agree that the priorities for improvement include:

  • accessing professional learning to further improve teachers' assessment, programme planning and evaluation

  • continuing to strengthen teachers' bicultural practices

  • developing appraisal processes that deepen teachers' reflective practices

  • improving strategic planning, and strengthening links between the long-term and annual plans.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

17 May 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


Epsom, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

37 children over 2 years of age

Service roll


Gender composition

28 Girls, 33 Boys

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2018

Date of this report

17 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2014

Education Review

April 2011

Education Review

February 2008

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.