Heretaunga Kindergarten - 29/05/2017

1 Evaluation of Heretaunga Kindergarten

How well placed is Heretaunga 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.


Heretaunga Kindergarten opens Monday to Friday from 8:30am until 2:30pm and is licensed for 39 children. Daily sessional places are available for children aged two to five years.

The kindergarten philosophy stresses the importance of whanaungatanga, manaaki whenua and manaakitanga.

Heretaunga Kindergarten is one of 85 kindergartens and three home-based education and care networks governed and managed by He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Free Kindergarten Association Incorporated (the association). This is a new kindergarten association created from joining the Rimutaka and Wellington Kindergarten Associations in 2014. This is the first review for this kindergarten since the merger.

The board and managers provide governance for the organisation. Senior teachers have delegated kindergartens. Their role is to provide regular support and a range of professional learning and development opportunities for teachers.

In 2012, the Wellington association developed a framework to guide the implementation of its curriculum, Te Manawa. This document outlines criteria for curriculum delivery including expectations for assessment and planning for children’s learning. Its introduction within this and other ex-Rimutaka Kindergartens occurred during 2015 with each kindergarten adapting it to respond to their community.

The October 2013 ERO report for Heretaunga Kindergarten identified a number of areas for review and development in relation to: self review; assessment for children's learning; and success for Māori and Pacific children.

This review was part of a cluster of nine reviews in the He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Free Kindergarten Association Incorporated. 

The Review Findings

Children and whānau are warmly welcomed into the kindergarten in a calm, unhurried manner. The kindergarten’s focus on developing children's social competencies is highly evident. Teachers model supportive relationships and positive interactions. They encourage children to explore, challenge themselves and take on leadership roles.

The teaching team in collaboration with parents, families and whānau, have worked positively to review the kindergarten philosophy to ensure it links to the agreed values. There is a commitment to the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Progress has been made in relation to areas identified for further development in the previous ERO report. Planning and assessment is informed by Te Manawa. It focuses on children's emerging interests based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and is guided by the kindergarten's priorities for children's learning. This is shared with parents and whānau. Parent aspirations are acknowledged, valued and contribute to learning.

Children are well supported to be active, enquiring learners and to develop confidence and independence. They participate enthusiastically in a programme that responds to their diverse cultural backgrounds.

Teachers sensitively manage and respond to the ages and stages of children's development to ensure their needs are met. Children with additional needs are well supported within an inclusive environment. Teachers work in partnership with parents and external agencies to support their individual learning needs.

Teachers show an ongoing commitment to supporting Māori success. Te ao Māori perspectives are integrally woven into the programme. The language, culture and identity of Māori learners is respected.

Pacific culture, language and identity is reflected in the environment. Recent professional workshops have contributed to teachers' knowledge and understanding of Pacific learners. Teachers should continue to develop a range of culturally responsive strategies to support Māori and Pacific children's success.

Transitions into the kindergarten, and to school, are based on the needs of each child and family. Teachers continue to build positive relationships with local schools and support positive transitions to school.

Increased opportunities for leadership within the kindergarten are emerging. The head teacher encourages teachers to share their strengths and to lead aspects of the programme. This contributes to strengthened collaboration and teamwork. Regular opportunities for targeted professional learning improve teaching and learning.

Teachers continue to build their knowledge and understanding of self review. They have made significant progress since the previous ERO review. Teachers recognise, and ERO's evaluation affirms, that strengthening self-review processes to enable them to further inquire into their practice, is an important next step to support ongoing improvement.

The senior teacher provides termly written feedback on agreed development priorities and the quality of teaching and learning. An annual internal evaluation supports strengthening of these termly reports. There is a deliberate focus on outcomes for children and the performance of leaders and teachers.

A strengthened appraisal model is being implemented across the kindergartens. This includes focused goals that build teacher and leader capability, and clearer links with the Practising Teacher Criteria. Leaders and teachers continue to strengthen the appraisal process.

Key Next Steps

The senior teacher, head teacher, staff and ERO agree the following key next steps for Heretaunga Kindergarten are to further refine internal evaluation practices, to strengthen:

  • assessment for children's learning

  • success for Māori and Pacific children.

The association should continue to support the development of formal critique of teaching practice and strengthening responsiveness to Māori children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

29 May 2017 

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


Upper Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

39 children aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 31, Girls 26

Ethnic composition




Other ethnic groups





Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

29 May 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

October 2013

Education Review

May 2010

Education Review

January 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.