Kaitake Kindergarten - 19/01/2017

1 Evaluation of Kaitake Kindergarten

How well placed is Kaitake 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.


Kaitake Kindergarten provides education and care for children from two to five years of age. The kindergarten is open five days a week, for six hours daily and licensed for up to 34 children. Within these hours, sessional care and education is also provided. Of a roll of 59 children, eight identify as Māori.

The kindergarten is located in the coastal town of Oakura, near New Plymouth. The philosophy acknowledges that children learn through play within a nurturing and family-focused environment.

The teaching team is fully qualified and the programme is further assisted by support staff.

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. Three professional leaders are employed by the association to provide professional support and guidance to teachers.

The October 2013 ERO report identified areas requiring further development. These included review and evaluation, planning for learning and support for children's transition to primary school. In addition, the 2013 and 2015 ERO reviews identified key next steps for the association. Progress in addressing these areas is ongoing.

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

The Review Findings

Children's independence and social competence is promoted through a child-led curriculum. Children engage in sustained play, independently or in groups of their own choosing. The environment has been thoughtfully designed to maximise their engagement with a range of learning experiences. Environmentally sustainable practices are evident and integrated throughout the curriculum. These experiences build children's knowledge of the living world and their sense of belonging.

Children with additional learning needs are identified, supported and monitored over time. Teachers liaise with external agencies as required.

Teaching is collaborative and evident is a strong commitment to the kindergarten philosophy that values children's uniqueness, learning through play, respectful relationships and bicultural practice. Teachers engage well with children to extend their play and learning.

A bicultural perspective is evident. A next step is to further develop understanding of a te ao Māori and learning partnerships with whānau Māori. Association guidance should support the ongoing focus on promoting educational success for Māori children as Māori.

Planning for groups of children is emergent and responsive to their interests. A next step is for teachers to focus on determining how effectively they are meeting children's learning outcomes through evaluation.

Teachers effectively recognise children's learning through assessment practices. These practices should be strengthened to reflect children's cultures, languages and identities. Further consideration should be given to:

  • regularly revisiting the learning goals identified for children

  • clearly showing children's learning progress over time.

Children's successful transition to school is supported by the strong reciprocal relationships teachers have developed with their local schools.

Teachers are improvement focused and reflective. Review is undertaken in consultation with children and their families. Clarifying teachers' understanding and use of internal evaluation should better support decision making about change and improvement.

A useful teacher appraisal process is in place. A next step is to enhance critique of practice using a range of evidence. The association has recently revised its appraisal procedure and this now includes the use of formal observation of teacher practice. Once fully established this should assist leaders to strengthen the process. Professional leaders should then undertake regular monitoring of practice and evaluate how well appraisal is being implemented in each kindergarten.

The board works collaboratively with its community to establish vision, values and strategic priorities. This provides a shared direction to guide development. Establishing clearer measures of success should enable the board to measure progress and evaluate how well practices support the realisation of goals and vision.

The board's ongoing commitment to biculturalism is evident through planned initiatives to support teachers to promote te ao Māori in the curriculum and to develop culturally responsive practices. Senior association leaders are focused on 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.

ERO identified some issues in relation to health and safety. These have since been satisfactorily addressed. The association should establish a system for the ongoing monitoring of compliance with legislative requirements, including practices related to health and safety.

Key Next Steps

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

  • the quality of feedback in appraisal

  • learning partnerships with whānau Māori

  • acknowledgement of children's cultures, languages and identities in assessment documentation

  • review and evaluation.

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 practice, review and internal evaluation and health and safety practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

19 January 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



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

Girls 31, Boys 28

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

November 2016

Date of this report

19 January 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2013

Education Review

August 2010

Education Review

December 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.