Hill Park Kindergarten - 08/09/2014

1 Evaluation of Hill Park Kindergarten

How well placed is Hill Park 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.


Hill Park Kindergarten in Manurewa is a well established centre that operates on a site adjacent to the local primary school. It is licensed to provide education and care for up to 40 children over two years of aged at each session. It serves a community that includes Māori, Pacific and Indian families.

The kindergarten operates a ‘kindergarten day model’, which allows children to attend sessions that match school hours. Programmes are implemented by four registered teachers. The kindergarten’s philosophy promotes respect and a sense of belonging.

ERO’s 2011 report noted that teachers could strengthen aspects of self review to more clearly focus on making continuous improvements to the programme and to play areas. Since that time there have been positive changes to the indoor environment and improvements made to the outdoors area. Organised excursions happen every term and a mobile library bus visits fortnightly.

This review was part of a cluster of seven kindergarten reviews in the Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association.

The Association’s values, strategic goals and mission statement provide clear guidance for kindergarten operations. A sound governance framework, management systems and professional personnel support kindergarten operations. A professional practice manager (PPM) provides management and curriculum support for teachers, and the Association provides regular professional development opportunities.

The Review Findings

Children enjoy a warm and welcoming environment. They are respectful and show a strong sense of belonging. Children take responsibility for their learning and freely access a wide variety of resources to explore and follow their own interests. They make good use of the extensive outdoor area for physical, imaginative and social play. They capably engage in individual and group play.

Teachers encourage a child-initiated programme that responds to children’s interests, strengths and learning. Children’s ideas and their choices in play are respected. Children are well supported to become competent and independent learners through these teaching practices. Planning reflects teachers’ contributions to elaborating children’s ideas. Ways to extend children’s ideas further is something teachers could now consider.

Children enjoy a fun, supportive and challenging learning programme with their teachers support. They make their own decisions, explore, take on challenges, question and solve problems. Teachers foster and affirm the reciprocal and responsive relationships evident in children’s friendships with each other.

Teachers have made a concerted effort to establish links with the local marae. Programme planning and children’s learning stories demonstrate teachers' proactive response to professional development. Centre displays, resources and children’s art reflect learning about tikanga and te reo Māori. Children sing waiata with actions at mat time. Teachers could now work to further extend te reo use throughout the programme.

Teachers’ commitment to developing strong reciprocal relationships with children and their families is very evident. Parents’ aspirations are valued and teachers seek to develop shared understandings about children’s education with parents.

Association systems for strategic planning and self review are well established and effective. Teachers and whānau have opportunities to contribute to these processes. The PPM knows the kindergarten very well. She provides responsive and professional support for teachers and continually promotes high quality teaching and learning. The PPM regularly reports to the general manager about the kindergarten’s progress. The Association’s performance appraisal processes are well established and have recently been adapted to enhance support for the ongoing growth and development of staff.

The Association has supported the teaching team to strengthen their understanding and increase the rigour of their self review. Teachers are:

  • beginning to use their annual planning process more purposefully to monitor their own progress

  • working towards better documentation of their self review and more in-depth thinking about the effectiveness of their practice in promoting positive outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

ERO and managers agree that key next steps for teachers are to continue to:

  • develop a systematic self-review process and regularly reflect on teacher practices

  • promote the cultural identities of all children

  • strengthen planning for extending children’s play.

To enhance its management practices, the Association could consider making more deliberate connections between kindergarten’s and Association’s self review and long-term planning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

8 September 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


Manurewa, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 33

Girls 31

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā


South East Asian


Cook Island Māori


other European









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

June 2014

Date of this report

8 September 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 2011


Education Review

June 2008


Education Review

May 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.