Kensington Educare - 07/05/2018

1 Evaluation of Kensington Educare

How well placed is Kensington Educare 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.


Kensington Educare provides full day early childhood education and care for up to 31 children. The families who attend are from the wider Whangarei area. The children, aged from two to five years, play as a mixed age group. The centre is located within the ASB Leisure Centre complex.

The day-to-day operation of the centre is the responsibility of an experienced centre manager. She is supported by Educare's general manager and area manager.

Kensington Educare Ltd is one of a group of 11 centres owned by the directors of Educare Early Learning Centres. The shared vision across this group is "Learn, Laugh, Play". The group's senior leadership team provides administrative and professional support. They also monitor and evaluate the centre's progress towards achieving centre-specific strategic goals aligned to the organisation's goals. Educare's focus over the past three years has prioritised professional learning and development (PLD) in leadership and te ao Māori as underpinning practices. More recently, PLD has included a focus on curriculum, and aspects of performance management.

Kensington Educare's philosophy is consistent with the values of Educare Learning Centres and is aligned with the aims of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. The philosophy promotes working in partnership with parents to support children to see themselves as capable learners who will transition successfully on to school. The centre philosophy shows a commitment to ensuring that children have opportunities to learn about New Zealand's bi-cultural heritage.

Since the 2014 ERO review of this centre Educare Learning Centres managers have focused on developing centre leadership skills and strengthening the organisation's appraisal systems.

This review was part of a cluster of six reviews in the Educare Early Learning Centres organisation.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from positive relationships with adults who actively promote their sense of identity. Children's contributions to conversations are valued, and their potential as learners is recognised and nurtured by teachers. Children are encouraged to be self-managing, and are supported to solve any conflict that may occur. Teachers make good use of questions to help children clarify their thinking and support their communication skills development.

Teaching and learning programmes promote positive outcomes for children. Centre staff value working in partnership with parents/whānau. They recognise and build on the learning that children bring with them to the centre. Teachers support children with additional needs and their parents.

Children's cultures are acknowledged in the programme. The unhurried pace for learning provides long periods of uninterrupted play where children can make choices and pursue their interests. Children get involved in collaborative play that increases in complexity.

Teachers meaningfully assess and plan for individual children. They share their documents with parents though electronic portfolios, and encourage parents to contribute to them. Teachers seek parents' aspirations for their children, and are increasingly including these in programme planning.

Teachers acknowledge their responsibilities to the Treaty of Waitangi by including te reo Māori and aspects of tikanga Māori in the programme. They have worked closely with local iwi to make strong links with the local Māori history and stories. This recognition is welcomed and supported by parents/whānau.

The centre manager is reflective and improvement focused. She and the staff regularly review centre operations. The manager is committed to using internal evaluation and strategic planning to promote ongoing improvement. Educare managers could now consider how they might support her to make the best use of these processes. Staff promote health and safety by following the policies and procedures of Educare Learning Centres.

Performance management systems successfully contribute to the centre achieving its vision and goals. A review of the appraisal system has increased teachers' accountability and engagement in improving their professional practice. The centre is well prepared to meet the 2018 Education Council requirements. Appraisal goals and strategic planning are used to identify staff professional development needs.

The centre is a member of Ngā Kura mō te ako o Whangarei (Group 1) Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako, and is proactively engaging with local schools to support the children's educational pathways.

Key Next Steps

Centre managers and ERO agree that children at Kensington Educare would benefit from internal evaluation practices that focus investigations on the impact that centre operations are having on children's wellbeing and education.

Staff could ensure that the philosophy clearly identifies the desired valued outcomes for children. They could then evaluate the extent to which centre operations support all children, and especially priority groups, to realise these outcomes.

Educare Learning Centres managers are focused on improvement. They have identified areas they intend to strengthen across all of their centres. These areas include:

  • strengthening strategic documents by including goals related to valued outcomes for children and using these goals to evaluate centre performance
  • supporting centres to provide high quality service by sharing best practice and strengthening quality assurance processes
  • building on the strong leadership culture that exists across the organisation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kensington Educare 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 Kensington Educare will be in three years.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

7 May 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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

31 children, over 2 years of age

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 22 Boys 16

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2018

Date of this report

7 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2007

Education Review

December 2014

Education Review

May 2011

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.