Kainga Tamariki - 27/08/2019

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

Kainga Tamariki is not well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


Kainga Tamariki is in the rural township of Kihikihi, south of Te Awamutu. The long established centre is licenced to provide full-day education and care for children from birth to school age, including a maximum of eight infants aged up to two years. At the time of this review, approximately half of children enrolled are Māori.

It is a privately owned family business, operating under the management and governance of the owner. Since ERO’s previous evaluation in 2015 the centre manager/owner has employed an assistant manager. There have been considerable changes to the teaching team. In October 2018 the centre appointed a curriculum leader.

Centre operations, day-to-day management, and governance are the responsibility of the centre owner/manager. The service has been working with the Ministry of Education in 2019 to address areas of compliance.

The centre’s ERO reporting history shows that areas identified for improvement in 2013 and 2015 remain areas for improvement in this 2019 report.

The Review Findings

Kainga Tamariki Early Learning Centre is not well placed to promote positive outcomes for children. ERO identified significant areas of non-compliance with the Early Childhood Regulations and associated Licencing Criteria related to: curriculum; governance; management and administration; premises and facilities; and health and safety practices.

Managers/owners and teachers should urgently improve their knowledge, understanding, and implementation of regulatory requirements in relation to early childhood education provision.

Stronger leadership and governance is required to ensure existing systems and processes are adequately developed and implemented to support sustainability and meet requirements. Some of the centre's policies and procedures identified for review since 2015 have not been updated to reflect and meet current regulatory requirements.

Children are yet to experience a curriculum that suitably responds to their abilities, interests, and needs. Curriculum leaders and management need to strengthen their understanding of current teaching and assessment practices in line with Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

Internal evaluation for ongoing improvement is in the very early stages. Building the capacity of all personnel to understand the purpose and use of internal evaluation to inform future decision-making is required.

Key Next Steps

Priorities for improvement include:

  • systems for identification, monitoring and assurance of all legislative requirements

  • leadership to improve teachers' professional practice to promote high quality education and care

  • curriculum responsiveness to better meet all children's strengths, abilities, interests and needs

  • knowledge and understanding of internal evaluation and how this contributes to developing high quality practice and outcomes for children

  • ensuring that the service is effectively governed and managed in accordance with good management practices, including review practices and full implementation of teacher appraisal processes.

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.

Actions for compliance

ERO found significant areas of non-compliance in the service. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following areas and ensure there is:

  • an ongoing process of self-review and evaluation that helps the service maintain and improve quality of its education and care

  • a current operative Fire Evacuation Scheme approved by the New Zealand Fire Service

  • safe securing of heavy furniture and equipment that could fall or topple and cause serious inquiry or damage

  • an appointment process that is consistent with the requirements of the Children's Act 2014

  • all reasonable steps taken to ensure the premises and facilities are kept in good repair and maintained

  • a suitable design and layout of the infant learning environment to support effective supervision of children and does not restrict access to the licensed space

  • nappy changing facilities that are safe and stable and appropriate for the age and weight of children and safe and hygienic practices, particularly for older children

  • the elimination of any hazards to the safety of children, particularly plastic bags in the sleep room and unsecured electric cords

  • records related to each child who attends and sleeps at the service, and that these are consistently documented

  • an annual plan to guide the service's operation that is current and not only includes when key tasks are to be undertaken but also who is responsible, and that the plan is fully implemented

  • the full implementation of a teacher appraisal process

  • adults providing education and care and engage in meaningful positive interactions to enhance children's learning and development; and those adults demonstrate an understanding of children's learning and development, and knowledge of relevant theories and practice in early childhood education. [Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA6; HS4; HS6; GMA7; GMA 7A; HS28; HS1; PF13; HS17; HS18; PF25; HS3; HS12; HS9; GMA 8; GMA 9; C3; C4; Children's Act 2014]

Since the onsite stage of the review the service has provided ERO evidence of the following: annual planning; an appointment process consistent with the Children's Act 2014; the layout of the infant outdoor space to support effective supervision; and sleep records of each child who attends and sleeps while at the service, to address the identified areas of non-compliance.

In order to improve practice, managers need to:

  • strengthen practices around the management of complaints received.

Recommendation to Ministry of Education

ERO recommends that the Ministry reassess the licence of Kainga Tamariki. ERO will not undertake a further education review of this service until the Ministry of Education is satisfied that the service meets licensing requirements.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

27 August 2019

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



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

Male 14, Female 10

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2019

Date of this report

27 August 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2015

Education Review

November 2013

Education Review

June 2010

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.