Koru Kindergarten - 14/05/2015

1 Evaluation of Koru Kindergarten

How well placed is Koru 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.


Koru Kindergarten is attached to the Stratford High School Teen Parent Unit (TPU) and accessed by parents attending the TPU and the wider community. The kindergarten provides education and care for infants, toddlers and young children aged from six weeks to five years.

The kindergarten is one of 24 kindergartens administered by the newly established Kindergarten Taranaki, formerly the North and South Taranaki Kindergarten Associations. The board is responsible for setting the overall strategic and policy direction for the organisation. Four professional leaders are employed to support learning and development for teachers. The present management structure is under review.

The kindergarten is licenced for 35 children and has a roll of 47. All teachers at Koru Kindergarten are qualified and registered. They have worked with commitment, alongside their professional leaders to address the areas for review and development identified in the July 2012 ERO report. The kindergarten’s collaboratively developed philosophy aspires to respect and understand each child’s unique character through a primary caregiver approach.

This review was part of a cluster of eight kindergarten reviews in Kindergarten Taranaki.

The Review Findings

Centre philosophy and vision are highly evident in practice. Whanaungatanga is significant, all-embracing and supports centre relationships. Children, their parents and families are valued and their mana respected. All demonstrate a strong sense of wellbeing and belonging within a warm and inclusive environment.

Infants and toddlers’ holistic development is fostered by teachers who know the preferences of the children in their care. Teachers recognise and respond appropriately to children’s inquisitiveness, joyfulness, their physical needs and nurture.

Toddlers and babies experience rich, authentic learning experiences and enjoy affectionate relationships with teachers. Attentive adults are responsive to children’s verbal and non-verbal cues. Since the previous ERO review, teachers have focused on ways to intentionally recognise and respond to all opportunities to engage in and extend children’s learning.

Assessment, planning and evaluation reflect the importance of relationships. Infants’ and toddlers’ strengths, interests and dispositions are recognised and celebrated. Mothers’ and parents’ aspirations for their children’s development are sought. Their views are valued and frequently documented.

Aesthetically pleasing natural spaces, indoors and out, stimulate children’s active exploration and developing resourcefulness. Children enjoy freedom of movement as they develop a strong sense of self, growing and learning at their own pace. Weekly farm experiences and excursions into the community extend their knowledge of the outside world.

The integration of a bicultural perspective is becoming evident. Young children are developing a positive understanding of their heritage.

Mothers and their babies experience responsive and gradual transitions into the centre. Their needs and circumstances are sensitively considered. This also is the case for children who attend from the community.

Collaborative teacher practice contributes to the development of appropriate, responsive programmes of learning and high-quality care.

Self review is responsive and planned, focusing on improved outcomes for all children.

Key Next Steps

Leaders and teachers agree with ERO that they should:

  • review the impact of deliberate acts of teaching
  • continue to gain confidence and further develop their capability in te reo me ngā tikanga Māori
  • strengthen relationships with local schools to provide for children’s easy transition.

Kindergarten Taranaki Key Next Steps

Kindergarten Taranaki is a new entity established in March 2014. Collaboratively developed strategies and values guide future direction. An internal review of capacity and capability of non-teaching roles has been completed.  Further development of processes and practices is required.

ERO, the chief executive and professional leaders agree that priorities for improvement are:

  • developing the annual plan
  • strengthening systems and processes for performance management
  • consistent implementation of appraisal
  • reviewing and clarifying professional leaders’ role in building teachers’ capability.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Koru 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.

Actions for compliance for Kindergarten Taranaki

ERO identified an area of non-compliance. To meet adequate sleeping requirements Kindergarten Taranaki urgently needs to:

  • ensure that furniture or items intended for children to sleep on be arranged and spaced, when in use so that adults have clear access. [Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008,HS10]

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

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

Joyce Gebbie,

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central,

14 May 2015

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

35 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 25, Girls 22

Ethnic composition



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


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2015

Date of this report

14 May 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

July 2012

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.