Karis Kids Early Childhood Care and Education Centre - 01/04/2014

1 Evaluation of Karis Kids Early Childhood Care & Education Centre

How well placed is Karis Kids Early Childhood Care & Education Centre 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.


Karis Kids Early Childhood Care and Education Centre is located in the rural township of Marton. The centre opened in 2012 and became fully licensed on 24 July 2013. The centre caters for up to 55 children and of those enrolled, 11 are Māori and 9 are Samoan.

The vision of ‘Nurture, Learn and Grow Together’ is woven through the teaching and learning programme. The centre philosophy draws from its Greek name Karis which means 'of grace' and 'to nurture'. Karis Kids is committed to being a learning community which upholds qualities of grace, love and encouragement as significant to empower individuals to grow and realise their potential. The virtues programme underpins this commitment.

Partnerships with families, whānau, community and iwi are a priority at the centre. This is supported by the appointment of a Pacific liaison teacher and a Pouwhakataki. The 2014 to 2017 strategic plan incorporates Māori and Pacific Education Plans. The Pacific teacher and the Pouwhakataki roles raise the profile of te ao Māori and Pacific cultural presence.

Recent changes in staffing have resulted in management introducing a distributed leadership model with individual identified staff accepting leadership responsibility.

The Review Findings

Children experience warm, positive caring relationships with teachers and peers. They enjoy opportunities to choose areas of play as well as participate in structured activities which are communication, literacy and mathematics focused. Children demonstrate a strong sense of belonging and engage in play for extended periods of time. Teachers are responsive to children’s needs and interests and know the children well. Parents have many opportunities to contribute to their children’s learning and make links to home settings.

Māori and Pacific identify, language and culture are prioritised features of the programme. Children respond te reo Māori and Pacific language. They participate in whakatau and in routines and rituals which include tikanga, karakia and waiata. Children’s language development is supported and modelled successfully by teachers.

Infants and toddlers engage in rich experiences which build their capability. To cater for individual language growth a range of strategies has been introduced including:

  • infant signing
  • using visual images of the child’s world and pictures of the wider world
  • deliberate planning using specific resources
  • bi-lingual waiata

Teachers respond to children’s rhythms and encourage positive communication skills. ERO and leaders agree that increasing the complexity of conversations with children is an area for further development. Deepening knowledge and understanding of Te Whāriki should increase teacher capability to extend children’s thinking through language.

A curriculum planning, implementation, evaluation and reflection (PIER) approach is recently introduced. Teaching as inquiry is strengthening teaching and learning. It incorporates past approaches with the current focus on thinking flexibly and positively. The next step is to embed the process.

Portfolio narratives highlight children’s interests, range of experiences and learning steps. Children’s creative artwork also enhance the portfolios. The next step is to include children’s voice in the stories.

Transitions across the centre are flexible and responsive to meet the needs of individual children and families. The centre has developed relationships and transition protocols with local schools which are highly supportive and respectful of children and families, with local schools.

Self review is well structured to achieve the centre’s next steps. Managers have a clear direction for improvement.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre leaders agree that the next key steps are to:

  • extend team knowledge and understanding of Te Whāriki
  • further develop teacher capability in te reo Māori and the Samoan language
  • further develop teachers' reflection and evaluation about their practice through the PIER approach
  • strengthen the inclusion of children’s voices in portfolios.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Karis Kids Early Childhood Care & Education Centre 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 Karis Kids Early Childhood Care & Education Centre will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region (Acting)

1 April 2014

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

55 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 56%

Girls 44%

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā


Other ethnic groups





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

February 2014

Date of this report

1 April 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

This is the first report of this centre


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.