Kawakawa Bay Kindergarten - 17/09/2014

1 Evaluation of Kawakawa Bay Kindergarten

How well placed is Kawakawa Bay 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.


Kawakawa Bay Kindergarten is the only early childhood education service for the coastal and rural communities of Orere Point and Kawakawa Bay. It enjoys high levels of community support and commitment.

In early 2014, the community supported a change that enabled the kindergarten to offer a kindergarten day model. It now provides six-hour sessions on four days a week for up to 20 children, including some under three years of age. The teaching team now includes two registered teachers and a teacher aide. The team is supported very well by parent helpers and an administrator.

ERO’s 2011 review recognised the strength of community relationships in the kindergarten and identified a variety of good practices. ERO suggested improvements in planning and self review to support more complex learning. Good progress has been made in these areas.

This review was part of a cluster of seven kindergarten reviews in the Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association.

The Association’s values, strategic goals and mission statement provide clear guidance for the kindergarten. A sound governance framework, management systems and professional personnel support kindergarten operations. A professional practice manager (PPM) provides management, leadership and curriculum support for teachers, and the Association provides regular professional development opportunities.

The Review Findings

Children and their families enjoy very good relationships with teachers and each other and have a strong sense of belonging in the kindergarten environment. Teachers actively promote a sense of community and partnership with whānau. They value the regular voluntary support that they receive from parents and other community members.

Child-led learning is very well supported by skilled adults. Children play cooperatively and are respected as self-managing, competent learners. They are creative and independent. Child-initiated imaginative role play, that mirrors the community and children’s life experiences, is a feature of the programme.

Children are capable communicators and have in-depth, meaningful conversations with teachers and each other. Teachers provide very good support for children’s language development and literacy learning. They respond appropriately to children’s ideas to foster thinking and increasingly complex, extended learning. The extension of a child-led interest in mathematics is apparent in children’s play and throughout the kindergarten.

Teachers recognise the capability of two-year-old children and have established effective strategies for including them in most aspects of the programme. Adults support these children well to settle in and to engage with learning activities. Older children model and care for the younger children in the kindergarten. These tuakana/teina relationships are promoted and appreciated.

The kindergarten’s richly resourced learning environment reflects its coastal and rural surroundings and teachers’ commitment to providing a bicultural programme. It provides very good opportunities for exploration, investigation and physical challenge. Displays celebrate the kindergarten community and feature children’s literacy and creative work.

Teachers have developed a useful new process to help them plan how they will support individual children’s learning. Well documented assessment provides very good information about children’s learning and their active engagement in the high quality programme. Programme implementation clearly reflects the principles of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

The head teacher models skilled teaching and provides effective leadership for other adults in the kindergarten. Teachers value the PPM’s support. Changes in kindergarten operations have been carefully managed. Teachers’ self review is thoughtful, well recorded and improvement focused. It is becoming better informed by research about best practice.

Association systems for strategic planning and self review are well established and effective. Teachers and whānau have opportunities to contribute to these processes. The PPM knows the kindergarten very well, provides responsive and professional support for teachers and continually promotes high quality teaching and learning. The PPM regularly reports to the general manager about the kindergarten’s progress. The Association’s performance appraisal processes are well established and have recently been adapted to enhance support for the ongoing growth and development of staff.

Key Next Steps

The PPM and teachers have identified appropriate priorities for ongoing kindergarten development including:

  • maintaining and building on current good practices, with an impending change in the teaching team

  • continuing to deepen their self-review thinking, and focusing their evaluation more clearly on how effectively their practices respond to the needs of children and the community.

To enhance its governance and management practices, the Association could now consider making more deliberate connections between the kindergarten’s and Association’s self review and longterm planning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kawakawa Bay 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.

Association plans for upgrading bathroom and other facilities at the kindergarten will enable teachers to improve provision for children’s health and safety.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Kawakawa Bay Kindergarten will be in four years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

17 September 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


Kawakawa Bay, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

20 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 13

Boys 7

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā

Middle Eastern






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

July 2014

Date of this report

17 September 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 2011


Education Review

May 2008


Education Review

June 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.