Grafton Private Kindergarten - 27/02/2018

1 Evaluation of Grafton Private Kindergarten

How well placed is Grafton Private 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.


Grafton Private Kindergarten is located in Paraparaumu on the Kapiti Coast. The service has been operating for 25 years. Children and families come from a wide geographical area.

The education and care service is privately owned, operated and managed by the owner. Two team leaders have responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the centre. The service is licensed for up to 32 children aged over two years. Of the 49 children enrolled, 12 are Māori.

The centre philosophy prioritises a learning environment that acknowledges children’s uniqueness, supporting their curiosity and creativity, in partnership with whānau and families. Te ao Māori is central to the service's philosophy and practice. It emphasises whanaungatanga, ako ako, aumangea and manaakitanga.

Areas identified for development in the March 2015 ERO report included: strengthening the quality of assessment, planning, evaluation practices and self review; and further developing te reo Māori and te ao Māori across the curriculum. These have been addressed and good progress is evident.

The Review Findings

The recently reviewed philosophy provides a clear vision to guide centre practices and a strong foundation for teaching and learning. The valued learning outcomes are clearly evident in practice.

Children are viewed as competent, confident and curious learners. They are given space and time to develop and test their ideas while accessing a range of open-ended resources. Teachers’ responsive practice and programmes for learning foster children’s opportunities for creative, expressive and imaginative exploration. Social competence and respect for peers are effectively promoted.

The environment effectively promotes children's developing appreciation and care for the natural world and the importance of sustainable practices. Thoughtfully designed spaces encourage children to make choices about their learning. Teachers are attuned to children’s cues and respond meaningfully to support their wellbeing and participation. Science, mathematics and literacy are well promoted and integrated throughout the programme.

The quality of assessment, planning and evaluation has been strengthened. An effective model of assessment is providing teachers with useful information about:

  • children’s strengths, dispositions and interests

  • responsive, specific strategies for teacher practice that guide programme planning

  • learning successes and progress

  • the effectiveness of the curriculum in promoting children's learning.

A programme planning wall provides valuable information for parents in relation to their child’s learning. A planned review of curriculum is scheduled for 2018, to ensure alignment between the philosophy and Te Whāriki (2017), the early childhood curriculum.

There are deliberate strategies to build meaningful partnerships with families. This includes a considered approach to gathering their input to inform strategic direction and curriculum priorities. Deepening learning partnerships with parents is an ongoing focus.

Teachers work respectfully and sensitively with children who have diverse needs to assist them to fully participate in the programme. They liaise closely with parents and external agencies to support their ongoing progress.

Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are valued and visible throughout the guiding documents and the curriculum. Elements of te ao Māori are integrated respectfully and meaningfully in centre planning, teaching interactions and the environment. External support is accessed to enhance and extend teachers' knowledge and support Māori children and their families. The centre is considering how to increase the visibility of Pacific and other cultures in their curriculum and documents.

Leaders and the manager have developed relationships with local schools. Transition to school is supported by a specific programme. A next step is to evaluate this programme to ensure alignment with the revised philosophy and best practice evidence.

Teachers engage in purposeful internal evaluation. A systematic and useful process for review is aligned to the centre's guiding documents and priorities. Clear indicators of success and multiple sources of evidence, inform decision-making and guide improvement.

A new appraisal procedure was introduced in June 2017. It is likely to be effective in promoting the team leaders' and teachers' development and improvement. It includes the use of formal observations of teacher practice and staff input to inform development. Once fully established this should assist leaders to strengthen the process. Consideration should be given to strengthening the appraisal of the centre manager.

Teachers work as a team to build their capabilities and promote improvement. Leaders appropriately focus on building the quality of teaching and learning through review and internal evaluation, strategic planning, regular professional learning opportunities and appraisal. There is a shared vision for learner success and ongoing improvement.

Key Next Steps

Leaders and the manager agree that the key next steps are to:

  • deepen understanding to extend ways the centre responds to Pacific learners

  • evaluate the formal transition to school programme for four year olds

  • implement regular formal observations of teacher practice.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Grafton Private 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 Grafton Private Kindergarten will be in four years.

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

27 February 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

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

32 children aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 28, Girls 21

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2017

Date of this report

27 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2015

Education Review

March 2012

Education Review

December 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.