Irmgard Ritchie Kindergarten - 07/05/2018

1 Evaluation of Irmgard Ritchie Kindergarten

How well placed is Irmgard Ritchie 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.


Irmgard Ritchie Kindergarten is in Upper Hutt. Opening hours are Monday to Friday from 8:30am until 2:30pm. Full day places are available for children aged from two to five years. The philosophy statement places partnership between families and teachers at the heart of children's learning.

The teaching team has remained stable since the October 2013 ERO report.

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

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

The Review Findings

The kindergarten is consistently effective in promoting positive learning outcomes for children. High quality performance is evident.

The curriculum responds very well to the interests, strengths and abilities of all children. Teaching is highly effective in developing children's confidence and competence as lifelong learners. Children successfully lead their own learning.

Well established partnerships with parents and whānau contribute to positive outcomes for children. Teachers and parents plan experiences to respond to children's strengths and interests and to extend their learning. Respectful, collaborative practices result in an active and nurturing environment.

Children's connections to their cultural identities are successfully extended. With their families, they lead cultural celebrations and share language knowledge. A bicultural curriculum and practice is highly evident. Te reo Māori is woven naturally throughout the programme. Māori children and whānau lead tikanga Māori.

The kindergarten is highly inclusive. The wellbeing and learning of all children is actively promoted. Teachers work collaboratively with families and external agencies to meet children's individual learning goals.

New children and families are warmly welcomed into the kindergarten community. There is an appropriate focus on strengthening the skills and dispositions that will support older children as they prepare for their move to school.

Leadership is highly effective in building the quality of learning and teaching. Teachers and leaders share high expectations for the delivery of a high quality curriculum. On-going research and
well-developed internal evaluation underpins teaching practice and leads to improved outcomes for children.

The association is focused on improving learning outcomes for children. A well-developed range of initiatives supports consistent curriculum implementation and ongoing improvement in teaching and learning.

Key Next Steps

Effective, efficient internal evaluation is embedded in practice and integral to the kindergarten's sustained high quality operation. Association and kindergarten practices identify contributing factors that enhance children's wellbeing and learning and priorities for development.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Irmgard Ritchie 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 Irmgard Ritchie Kindergarten will be in four years.

Patricia Davey
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

7 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 


Upper Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

42 children, aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 28, Boys 18

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children



Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

7 May 2018

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.