Lincoln North Kindergarten - 19/03/2018

1 Evaluation of Lincoln North Kindergarten

How well placed is Lincoln North 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.


Lincoln North Kindergarten is a well-established service and is licensed for a maximum of 40 children over the age of two years. The majority of families are Māori or Pacific. An extensive renovation to the outdoor playground was completed in 2016.

The kindergarten’s philosophy is based on the principles and strands of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. It emphasises a focus on providing holistic learning experiences that promote a positive attitude to learning. It also values strong relationships with parents, whānau and the wider kindergarten community.

The kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA) which provides a governance and management framework. Professional support personnel assist teachers with curriculum, management and property matters. Staff are in the process of adapting to changes in AKA operational practices.

The kindergarten faces a period of change, with a new head teacher having been appointed in early 2018. However, over the last three years the teaching team has not made the necessary progress to address the areas identified as needing improvement in ERO's 2015 report. Those improvements included developing robust self review, involving parents in children's learning, promoting te reo and tikanga Māori, and including Pacific parents' cultural perspectives.

AKA managers have developed an action plan for supporting teachers to improve the programme for children, develop sustainable and effective internal evaluation, and strengthen leadership capacity. Over the next six months, with the support of the AKA, teachers will monitor and evaluate the extent of the progress made in relation to priorities identified in the action plan.

This review was part of a cluster of ten Kindergarten reviews in the Auckland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children and whānau experience respectful relationships with kind and caring teachers. Children settle quickly into the programme with activities provided by teachers. Mixed-age play opportunities are valued and promoted. Children enjoy their play and there is an unhurried pace to the programme.

Teachers mostly work well alongside children, following their choice of play experiences. Children would, however, benefit from better access to a wider range of resources that offer children more variety and challenge, and support creative and imaginative play. A greater focus on responding to individual children, and increasing children's opportunities for physical challenge are also important areas for development.

Teachers meet regularly to plan, evaluate and discuss children's interests. Programme planning is based on themes that arise from a variety of sources of information. As part of their evaluation, teachers should review the impact of their teaching strategies on children's learning. This would enable teachers to gauge the effectiveness of their programme and to plan more effectively around individual children's interests.

Teachers have attended a self-review workshop and have developed an appropriate process and format to identify where they can improve children's learning. They should now strengthen evaluation practices across all aspects of the centre's operation.

The AKA is reviewing its appraisal processes to align with the NZ Education Council's new requirements. As part of this development leaders should ensure that there is depth and an improvement focus in teachers’ reflection and professional goals.

Key Next Steps

To improve the quality of teaching and learning, the new teaching team should:

  • ensure that children's assessment portfolios become a more useful record of the individual child’s learning journey and of teachers' partnerships with whānau

  • increase the integration of te reo and tikanga Māori in the daily programme and make children's cultural heritage and strengths more visible in their portfolios

  • increase opportunities for children to explore Pacific values and contexts in the daily programme

  • establish robust practices for evaluating the effectiveness and impact of teaching practices and the learning programme on outcomes for children

  • increase the rigour of internal evaluation so that it clearly identifies next steps for kindergarten development and guides ongoing and sustainable improvements.

AKA managers have developed a plan for supporting the teaching team to make the required improvements. Teachers will evaluate the quality of the progress made in relation to the action plan. ERO will evaluate the extent of this progress within six months.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Lincoln North 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.

The kindergarten needs to improve its performance in the following areas:

  • analysis of assessment information to understand children's learning and develop programmes that are more clearly responsive to children’s individual interests and strengths

  • more formal and regular internal evaluation to support ongoing improvement and more sustainable good practice.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Lincoln North Kindergarten will be within three years.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

19 March 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


Henderson, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children over 2 years of age

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 30 Girls 16

Ethnic composition

Cook Island Māori
Sri Lankan
other Pacific Peoples


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

19 March 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2015

Education Review

November 2011

Education Review

December 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.