Kidsfirst Kindergartens MacFarlane Park - 15/05/2019

1 Evaluation of Kidsfirst Kindergartens MacFarlane Park

How well placed is Kidsfirst Kindergartens MacFarlane Park to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Kidsfirst Kindergartens MacFarlane Park is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


Kidsfirst Kindergartens MacFarlane Park is one of 69 early learning services governed and managed by Canterbury Westland Kindergarten Association Incorporated, trading as Kidsfirst Kindergartens.

The kindergarten provides for the education and care of young children from two to school age. All teachers/kaiako are qualified and certified. The association education manager (EM) provides consistent professional advice and guidance to support the effective operation of the service.

The kindergarten's aim is for each child to develop mana motuhake - self-determination. Kaiako/teachers encourage children to be self-directing, creating their own challenges and being supported to achieve these. Teachers foster a strong sense of belonging by encouraging children to show manaakitanga - caring for each other, and kaitiakitanga - caring for the environment. Their curriculum priority is for children to become competent and confident learners through supporting their social and emotional competencies, and through strengthening oral language.

ERO's November 2012 report noted that the developing understanding of the purpose and processes of self review needed to be well embedded to ensure continuous improvement in all aspects of the curriculum. The current teaching team has developed useful and effective processes for reflection and internal evaluation.

This review was one of seven kindergartens in the Canterbury Westland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

The kindergarten's philosophy is strongly evident in practice. The wellbeing and belonging of children and their whānau are well supported. There is a clear focus on whānaugnatanga and the agreed valued learning outcomes for children. Teachers focus on knowing children in the context of their whānau and the wider community. They are strong advocates for children and their whānau.

Children experience rich authentic learning across the depth and breadth of Te Whāriki: Early childhood curriculum. Teachers recognise the importance of developing children's oral language skills. All three of Aotearoa's official languages are used to communicate with children. Curiosity and exploration of the natural world are a special focus. Teachers work as a team and make the most of the passions and skills of each team member. They encourage children to make choices and become increasingly independent.

Children’s language, culture and identity are highly valued. The kindergarten is promoted as papakainga/home base for children and their whānau. Māori concepts and values are central to the way the kindergarten operates. Māori children are well supported to succeed as Māori.

The inclusive environment is responsive to children's individual needs and preferences. Teachers have a strong focus on supporting children's social and emotional competence. There are respectful and reciprocal relationships between and among children and teachers. Children's transitions into and out of the kindergarten are carefully planned and enacted.

The Canterbury Westland Kindergarten Association has a well-developed and clearly understood vision. It is underpinned by targeted strategic and annual planning systems. There are close links between the kindergarten plans, internal evaluation, appraisal and professional development. The teachers are well supported by association managers and leaders to achieve the priorities of the kindergarten and to promote high quality learning outcomes for all children.

Since the last review, a restructure has enabled a key focus on education excellence within the kindergartens, and innovation and collaboration within the association and in the wider early childhood community. Key staff make a significant contribution to supporting other early learning services in Te Waipounamu / South Island.

The association has a very strong commitment to providing high quality professional development to build on leadership capacity and teacher capability. It has high expectations for teaching and learning and equitable outcomes for all children. This includes promoting understandings of and respect for te ao Māori at all levels of the organisation. The association's internal evaluation practices are used well to inform decision making and support the strong focus on continuous improvement.

Key Next Steps

ERO and the kindergarten team agree that the next steps are to:

  • make the involvement and views of parents and whānau more explicit in planning, assessment and evaluation

  • identify and review specific teaching strategies more clearly in assessment, planning, and evaluation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kidsfirst Kindergartens MacFarlane Park 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.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

15 May 2019

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

30 children over 2 years of age

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 15, Girls 10

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2019

Date of this report

15 May 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2012

Education Review

June 2009

Education Review

May 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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.