Kahikatea Kindergarten Hurdon - 21/04/2017

1 Evaluation of Kahikatea Kindergarten Hurdon

How well placed is Kahikatea Kindergarten Hurdon 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.


Kahikatea Kindergarten Hurdon provides full day and sessional education and care for children from two years to school age. The kindergarten is open for six hours, five days a week and is licensed for up to 34 children. The teaching team is fully qualified and the programme is further assisted by support staff. It is involved in the Enviroschools programme and is situated in a natural environment adjacent to Frankley School. Resources are frequently shared.

The kindergarten is one of 24 governed by the newly established Kindergarten Taranaki (the association), formerly North and South Taranaki Kindergarten Associations. A Chief Executive was appointed to lead the association in 2014. Two professional leaders (PLs) are employed by the association to provide professional support and guidance to teachers. Since the earlier 2016 ERO reviews a programme manager and a human resource manager have been appointed.

ERO's October 2013 report asked the association to strengthen appraisal. Progress in this is ongoing.

This review was part of a cluster of eight in the Taranaki Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Teachers draw on sound professional knowledge to provide a well-considered, varied curriculum for the mixed age group. Interactions are peaceful and unhurried. The environment is used purposefully to invite children's exploration, curiosity and developing interests. Social and emotional learning is an area of strength. Highly effective teaching in this area results in a culture of engagement and sustained play. Events, excursions and celebrations extend the programme and link to children's home cultures, as well as to the kindergarten's sustainability focus.

Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori is meaningfully integrated throughout the curriculum. All children are immersed in valuable bicultural learning. Association guidance should support the kindergarten's ongoing focus on promoting educational success for Māori.

Parents regularly contribute to the programme. Their input is highly valued by teachers, who actively promote learning partnerships with whānau. Families and children benefit from the sharing of useful curriculum information and current early learning research.

Portfolios show children's engagement in the programme, and celebrate dispositional learning and virtues. However, their assessment component requires strengthening. Individual programmes of learning, based on a clearly linked cycle of assessment, planning and evaluation, are not yet evident. Teachers should develop and implement a process which clearly highlights children's progress and informs deliberate, planned teaching strategies.

Self review is currently used for research and development projects. These are collaborative, childfocused and result in improvements. Leaders have indicated their intention to shift this process towards internal evaluation of the curriculum. ERO affirms this direction as a next step.

Thoughtful processes are in place to support children's transition into kindergarten and on to school. Teachers have developed useful resources to support families and children. Reciprocal relationships with local schools have been established.

Children with diverse needs are identified, supported and external agencies are liaised with where appropriate.

A recently revised appraisal procedure includes the use of formal observation of teacher practice. Once fully established this should assist leaders to strengthen the process. PLs should then undertake regular monitoring of how well appraisal is being implemented in each kindergarten.

The board works with the community to establish vision, values and strategic priorities. Establishing clearer measures of success should enable the board to measure progress and evaluate how well practices support the realisation of the goals and vision.

The board's ongoing commitment to biculturalism is evident through planned initiatives to support teachers to promote te āo Māori in the curriculum and to develop culturally appropriate practices. Senior leaders are developing initiatives to better determine the impact of curriculum delivery and teaching and learning in each kindergarten.

The association should establish clear expectations of the purpose and use of assessment, planning and evaluation in kindergartens. Professional leaders in partnership with teaching teams should then monitor the effective implementation of:

  • assessment, planning and evaluation

  • review and internal evaluation.

In addition, the association should establish a system for the ongoing monitoring of legislative requirements, including those related to health and safety. 

Key Next Steps

ERO and kindergarten teachers agree that the key next steps are to:

  • strengthen assessment, planning and evaluation

  • implement a system of internal evaluation of the curriculum.

The association should:

  • strengthen the processes used to evaluate the progress of the strategic plan

  • provide effective guidance and monitoring of association expectations related to assessment, planning and evaluation, review and internal evaluation and health and safety practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

21 April 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


New Plymouth

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

34 children aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 39, 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

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

21 April 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

October 2013

Education Review

June 2010

Education Review

December 2006

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.