Kawakawa Bay Kindergarten - 21/12/2018

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 a well-established all-day service in a coastal community. It is licensed for 20 children two years of age and over and operates daily from 8am to 3.30pm.

The kindergarten is part of the Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association (CMKA) and operates under its policies and management framework. A CMKA education manager (EM) visits the kindergarten and provides leadership and curriculum support for teachers. The CMKA is currently in the process of reviewing its structures and operational framework.

The kindergarten has faced some challenges since the 2014 ERO review. In March 2017, the kindergarten relocated to the community hall for nine months while the building was repaired after severe flooding. There have also been ongoing staff changes during this time. The teaching team includes a head teacher, one other registered teacher, an administrator, and a teacher aide.

ERO's 2014 report noted that the kindergarten enjoyed high levels of community commitment, and that children were very well supported by skilled adults. These aspects of good practice remain consistent. Key next steps in 2014 included maintaining and building on current good practice through changes in the teaching team, and continuing to deepen self-review.

This review was part of a cluster of eight reviews in the CMKA.

The Review Findings

Children are well supported to be confident and competent learners within this positive environment. They demonstrate a sense of belonging at the kindergarten. Children enjoy many opportunities to explore the well-resourced environment and lead their own learning.

Teachers encourage children to take responsibility for themselves and to care for others. Children play cooperatively with each other and have established friendships with their peers. They interact respectfully with teachers and other adults.

The teaching team works cohesively to implement a curriculum that is responsive to the interests of children and takes account of the aspirations of parents. Noteworthy aspects of the curriculum include:

  • a deeply embedded play-based, child-led approach

  • strategies to help children learn to self-regulate their emotions and build resilience

  • a focus on practising and instilling an understanding of environmental sustainability

  • thoughtful curriculum approaches that cater for children's different interests and developmental stages in a mixed age group.

Teachers maintain strong connections with the wider community. Parents and whānau provide invaluable support for the day-to-day kindergarten operations. Parents who spoke to ERO appreciate what the kindergarten provides for their children.

Teachers have established positive reciprocal relationships with the nearby primary school and local council. Regular small group excursions to a local reserve deepen the older children's understanding of nature and the link to te ao Māori. Teachers are considering ways to further enhance the relationship between the kindergarten curriculum and the local community.

CMKA strategic goals and the kindergarten's annual planning guide improvements in teaching practice, learning environments and outcomes for children and their whānau. Clearer identification of indicators at the outset would strengthen strategic planning and evaluation processes.

Well established CMKA management systems, policies and processes guide the kindergarten's practices. Embedding the practice of regular documented observations into CMKA appraisal processes would enhance the support provided for teachers' professional growth.

Key Next Steps

Leaders and teachers agree that their key next steps include:

  • making teachers' professional discussions, goal setting and decision making more visible in planning and internal evaluation documentation

  • continuing to develop the inclusion of te ao Māori by strengthening links between the curriculum, tangata whenua and local tikanga Māori practices.

CMKA leaders agree that their next steps are to continue:

  • providing consistent ongoing support for leaders and teachers that sustains leadership and improves teaching practice

  • implementing Te Whāriki, the revised early childhood curriculum, to identify priorities for learning and evaluation

  • supporting teachers to increase the visibility of children's cultural identity and continuity of learning in their individual portfolios

  • building capability and depth in internal evaluation across the association.

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.

To improve current practice, the service should take steps to ensure that all parents and whanau are well informed about how the risks associated with the swimming programme are managed.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

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

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

21 December 2018

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 aged over 2 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 13 Boys 10

Ethnic composition

other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2018

Date of this report

21 December 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2014

Education Review

April 2011

Education Review

May 2008

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.