Kainga Tamariki - 16/09/2015

1 Evaluation of Kainga Tamariki

How well placed is Kainga Tamariki 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.


Kainga Tamariki is an all-day early childhood education and care service located in Kihikihi, just south of Te Awamutu. It is licensed for 25 children, including up to eight children up to the age of two. Currently there are 31 children on the roll, of whom 11 are identified as Māori. The centre is open from 7.30 am to 5.15 pm on week days.

The centre is a small, family-oriented, privately owned centre which aims to promote learning through free play, with equitable opportunities for all. It places emphasis on tuakana-teina relationships, whereby older children help younger children to accomplish their learning outcomes.

The 2013 ERO review signalled that the centre required further development in the areas of management, strategic and financial planning, self review, teachers’ professional knowledge and the quality of the learning and care environment. Since that time, the centre has had ongoing support to address these matters from an external provider contracted by the Ministry of Education.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from strong, positive relationships with teachers and each other. Tuakana-teina relationships are evident in the centre. Children enjoy exploring and learning together in a welcoming and friendly environment. Teachers recognise children’s interests and strengths, and plan learning opportunities to build on these. Children are able to make choices and freely explore the environment.

Literacy and numeracy are well-supported. Children listen to stories, share books, and have opportunities to write. They also engage in art activities and learn songs and waiata. They readily respond to leadership opportunities, and are responsible participants in the everyday life of the centre.

Recent self-review has been effective in guiding centre leaders to make positive changes to the environment for children over two, who particularly enjoy making good use of new opportunities in the revitalised playground. The indoor area for babies and toddlers is colourful and inviting, and has an improved range of equipment for children to investigate. They engage happily with older children and their active play is well-supported by teachers. The outdoor playground is planted to provide babies and toddlers with experience in harvesting and eating fruit and vegetables.

Leaders and teachers are committed to increasing their capacity to support children’s knowledge of te ao and te reo Māori, and have recently undertaken professional development with the local Maniapoto Trust Board.

Under the guidance of the external professional development provider, the centre leader and the manager have strengthened:

  • strategic and annual planning
  • teacher appraisal
  • self review.

This better alignment between strategic planning and the centre budget is likely to lead to significant, ongoing improvement. Centre leaders agree that while significant improvements have been made to systems and processes, these are not yet fully embedded.

Teachers have responded to advice and guidance in the areas of planning and assessment. Centre planning is now more responsive to children’s interests, and adds complexity to the programme to extend children’s learning. Teachers now use a wider range of resources to recognise and respond to children’s learning.

Key Next Steps

Leaders recognise, and ERO agrees, that assessment remains an area for further development. More attention needs to be given to identifying individual children’s learning and development, and to identifying appropriate next steps for learning that connect with children’s personal learning pathways. This could be achieved by developing a deeper understanding of each child's character and disposition.

Centre leaders need to take responsibility for monitoring the content and quality of assessment in relation to agreed expectations, and ensure that learning stories make children’s learning and progress more visible.

While many improvements have been made to the learning environment, it is essential to maintain a process of self review to evaluate its quality and how effectively environments are enriching children’s experiences.

Centre leaders need to ensure that policies for the performance management of teachers reflect new legislation, and that feedback given to teachers gives clear suggestions as to how performance can be strengthened.


Centre management needs to obtain appropriate, ongoing mentoring and support from an external facilitator to sustain, continue and embed ongoing improvements noted in this ERO report. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kainga Tamariki 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 Kainga Tamariki will be in three years. 

Graham Randell
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

16 September 2015 

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 


Kihikihi, Waikato

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys      19
Girls       12

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2015

Date of this report

16 September 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2013

Education Review

June 2010

Supplementary Review

July 2009

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.