Manaia Kindergarten - 14/12/2016

1 Evaluation of Manaia Kindergarten

How well placed is Manaia 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.


Manaia Kindergarten is located on the grounds of Masterton Primary School. It is one of 85 kindergartens and three home-based education and care networks governed and managed by He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Free Kindergarten Association Incorporated (the association). This is a new kindergarten association created from joining the Rimutaka and Wellington Kindergarten Associations in 2014. This is the first review for this kindergarten since the merger.

Since the July 2013 ERO report, the service has introduced daily six hour sessions and mixed age groups. The kindergarten is licensed for 40 children aged over two years. Of the 45 children enrolled, 13 are Māori.

The kindergarten philosophy supports children as independent thinkers, future leaders, explorers, investigators and discoverers.

All five teachers at the kindergarten are qualified, four are fully registered and one teacher is completing registration.

The board and managers provide governance for the organisation. Senior teachers have delegated kindergartens. Their role is to provide regular support and a range of professional learning and development opportunities for teachers.

In 2012, the Wellington association developed a framework to guide the implementation of its curriculum, Te Manawa. This document outlines criteria for curriculum delivery, including expectations for assessment and planning for children’s learning. Its introduction in ex-Rimutaka Kindergartens occurred during 2015 with kindergartens adapting it to respond to their community. Teachers at Manaia Kindergarten are progressing their understanding and implementation of Te Manawa.

The July 2013 ERO report identified that teachers needed to further develop their understanding of self review, assessment, planning and learning to strengthen the programme. These areas have been improved.

This review was part of a cluster of 10 in the He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua kindergartens.

The Review Findings

A warm welcoming environment supports children's learning experiences and they confidently, investigate, explore and discover. Children's social competencies guide positive interactions and promote respectful relationships between peers and adults.

Well-resourced and purposefully-organised learning spaces offer challenges for children. Changes to the outdoor environment has increased opportunities for all children to physically engage with creativity and joy.

Teachers, children, parents and whānau know each other well. Parents and whānau are able to share their children's individual interests, strengths and aspirations. These are collated centre wide, so that all teachers can access and dialogue further with families.

Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum underpins the philosophy and guides programmes and practices to extend children's learning. Relationships amongst children, parents and whānau is integral to fostering a connected learning community.

Teachers adapt the programme to respond well to children's interests and wonderings. Children lead their own learning. Teacher conversations promote language growth and understanding of physical activity, mathematical and science ideas.

Teachers collaborate to implement Te Manawa, the association assessment, planning and evaluative approach. Staff, planning meetings and ongoing discussions occur to build shared knowledge and consistency of teaching and learning practices. Teachers are aware of the need to continue to strengthen the evaluation aspect of the assessment process.

Portfolio narratives are anchored in Te Whāriki. These capture a range of children's literacy, numeracy and science experiences. Parent and whānau voice, including aspirations, are highlighted. Children's culture, language and identity are acknowledged. Stories of overcoming physical challenges, gaining confidence and capability over time are evident. ERO's evaluation affirms leaders' identification of the need for teachers to continue to develop shared goals for documenting children's learning stories.

Te ao Māori knowledge and understandings are upheld and planned for across the centre. Māori children are validated and affirmed. Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are celebrated through daily practices. Learning partnerships with parents and whānau are celebrated. Teachers have identified that incorporating te ao Māori into the curriculum is an area they will continue to develop and strengthen.

Pacific children are supported to achieve success and fanau have positive relationships with staff.

Children identified with additional needs and their families are supported to progress and develop through whānau, staff and external agency input. A responsive, collaborative approach is in place. The inclusive environment is respectful of the diverse ethnic groups in the centre.

Transition into the kindergarten and onto Masterton School is well considered. Staff, as part of a Wairarapa Early Childhood Network, meet and dialogue with new entrant teachers.

Self review is leading to change and improvement. Teachers are implementing emergent, planned and strategic review using a range of tools to inquire into their curriculum effectiveness. An inquiry lens across teaching and learning needs further development. ERO's evaluation affirms leaders' intention for staff to continue to develop knowledge and understanding of internal evaluation for continuous improvement.

Teachers improve their qualifications through ongoing study and professional learning. The head teacher leads a collaborative team and promotes distributive leadership.

The senior teacher provides termly written feedback in relation to centre priorities and the quality of teaching and learning. She completes an annual internal evaluation that supports strengthening of these termly reports. There is a deliberate focus on outcomes for children and teacher/leader performance.

Managers undertook an internal review of the appraisal system. The revised model is being implemented across the kindergartens. The process includes focussed goals that build teacher and leader capability and clearer links with the Practising Teacher Criteria.

Key Next Steps

The senior teacher, head teacher, staff and ERO agree that the following key next steps for Manaia Kindergarten are to:

  • strengthen assessment, planning and evaluation

  • further develop understanding and use of internal evaluation.

The association should continue to support the development of formal critique of teaching practice and strengthening responsiveness to Māori children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Manaia 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

14 December 2016 

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

40 children, aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 25, Boys 20

Ethnic composition




Other ethnic groups





Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2016

Date of this report

14 December 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

July 2013

Education Review

May 2010

Education Review

February 2007

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.