Hanan Free Kindergarten - 14/10/2014

1 Evaluation of Hanan Free Kindergarten

How well placed is Hanan Free 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.


Hanan Free Kindergarten is located in Timaru and is part of the South Canterbury Free Kindergarten Association. The kindergarten provides education and care for up to 42 children aged from two years to school age. Older children can attend five morning sessions a week, and younger children three afternoons. The kindergarten serves a culturally and socially diverse community.

Hanan Free Kindergarten is part of the Teaching and Learning Research Initiative study through the University of Otago. The study is investigating children’s storytelling and literacy learning. The project began in early 2014 and will run for three years.

Since the 2011 ERO report teachers have made positive progress in developing aspects of self review, planning and assessment, and partnerships with Māori whānau.

Hanan Free Kindergarten is part of a group of kindergartens and schools who meet to support children’s successful transition to school. This review was part of a cluster of eleven kindergarten reviews in the South Canterbury Free Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from caring relationships with their teachers. Teachers know the children well and help them develop strong friendships with each other. Children are settled and confident as they play and learn together.

A feature of this kindergarten is the clearly stated philosophy. The philosophy describes for parents, children and teachers what learning is important in this kindergarten. It has a focus on helping children understand how they go about learning and solving problems.

Teachers are purposeful in the way they support children’s learning. For example, the teachers:

  • use language that helps children be aware of the strategies they are using

  • encourage children to accept challenges and risks

  • use specific teaching to help children learn new things

  • assist children to be teachers for others

  • communicate their high expectations for children’s learning and behaviour.

Children and teachers together celebrate their successes.

Children play and learn in well-resourced indoor and outdoor environments that are inviting and inspiring. Children are encouraged to make their own decisions and can access resources independently. They have frequent opportunities to use technology. Literacy learning is woven throughout the programme.

As part of the review ERO investigated how well the programme supported children to develop early mathematics concepts. Children enjoy learning about mathematics throughout the day. Teachers have a deep understanding of mathematics learning and use specific mathematics language to help children understand mathematics concepts.

Children have a strong sense of belonging in the kindergarten. Teachers value the cultures of all families and celebrate these in the kindergarten. They are advocates for children and their families in seeking additional support from other agencies.

Māori perspectives are supported within the kindergarten through:

  • promotion of the concept of manaakitanga (caring and hospitality) amongst children

  • seeing children as both teachers and learners (ako)

  • teachers regularly using te reo Māori

  • children learning waiata and the kindergarten mihi.

The head teacher leads a team who work effectively together. Leadership is shared amongst the team. They are dedicated to ongoing improvement and professional learning.


The South Canterbury Free Kindergarten Association is governed by a board and managed by a newly appointed general manager. The board:

  • has a strong commitment to teaching and learning

  • seeks parents’ views about important matters in the association

  • has made changes to the roll size and opening hours of the kindergartens to be more responsive to community needs and maintain the financial viability of the association

  • is very responsive to important government initiatives such as ensuring educational success for all children.

Next steps for the board are to:

  • know more about its roles and responsibilities as the governing body

  • develop strategic planning

  • ensure that reports review how well the association’s goals are met, are more evaluative and are better used for future planning

  • refine appraisal systems to ensure that staff and teachers more formally receive critical feedback about their work.

The senior teachers provide useful ongoing professional development and maintain a strong focus on teaching and learning to the kindergartens within the association. They have shared with the teachers at Hanan Free Kindergarten the expectations they have for teaching and learning and how well they think the team is meeting those expectations.

Key Next Steps

Teachers have identified and ERO agrees that key next steps are to:

  • strengthen self review by including evaluative questions and indicators
  • further develop group and individual planning and analysis of learning to make learning more visible.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

14 October 2014

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

42 children from 2 to 5 years of age

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls: 35 Boys: 22

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā









Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

Not Applicable


Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2014

Date of this report

14 October 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

June 2011


Education Review

November 2008


Education Review

August 2005

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.