Mangawhai Kindergarten - 20/11/2015


1. Evaluation of Mangawhai Kindergarten

How well placed is Mangawhai 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.


Mangawhai Kindergarten is in a semi-rural community north of Auckland. The kindergarten is licensed for a maximum of 40 children over two years of age. Four qualified teachers provide education and care for local children from diverse cultural backgrounds. Sessions are provided each week day, and follow the six hour Kindergarten Day Model.

The kindergarten’s philosophy focuses on the provision of a rich learning environment that allows children to make choices, supported by teachers and peers. Respect for each other is the underpinning value identified in building relationships with children, families and the community.

The kindergarten has a positive reporting history. The 2012 ERO report acknowledged positive relationships, meaningful bicultural practice, and the varied and relevant programme for children as strengths. These positive aspects have been maintained.

ERO’s 2012 report identified that teachers needed to continue to strengthen self review, strategic planning, planning and assessment processes, and bicultural practice. The team has responded positively to these recommendations.

The kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association, which provides considered leadership, a management framework, support personnel and a programme of professional development for teachers.

In 2015, after extensive review and consultation, the Association launched a new 10 year strategic plan with four key strategic objectives. The Association’s approach to rolling out a substantial change in its organisational structure has been carefully considered.

New Association roles have been established to provide more targeted support for kindergartens. Professional development supports kindergarten head teachers in their leadership and management roles. A Quality Improvement Process (QIP) is being implemented to monitor quality and promote ongoing improvement in kindergartens.

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

The Review Findings

Children have a sense of belonging and ownership in the kindergarten surroundings. They are confident communicators and use language well to engage with their peers. Friendships are evident and children engage in periods of sustained cooperative play.

A well-resourced environment provides many opportunities for children to settle in to play. The layout has been well considered to allow space for children and adults to gather. Parents are welcomed and take advantage of the spacious layout to play with, and help settle, their children.

Teachers greet children warmly. There is depth in their relationships with children that allows teachers to successfully engage them in conversation. The opportunity to share news from home at the morning mat time enhances this process and builds camaraderie. Teachers use and promote te reo and tikanga Māori in building a culture of whanaungatanga.

Teachers and children learn together, particularly around te reo and tikanga Māori. Children and adults are deepening their knowledge of te ao Māori perspectives through language, stories, artwork and cultural celebrations.

The kindergarten philosophy is highly evident in practice. Parents express appreciation for events organised by the teachers which invite participation from the local community. The open, inclusive setting has provided opportunities for parents/whānau to contribute to the learning programme in numerous ways, supporting and improving outcomes for children.

The programme is responsive to the interests and strengths of the children. Children are invited to set their own learning goals, which are well displayed and regularly discussed with teachers. Parents’ aspirations are also included in this display. Learning stories are regularly updated and capture learning progress. The kindergarten’s close proximity to the local primary school has facilitated opportunities to build an effective transition to school programme.

The Association’s QIP is well understood as a tool for future kindergarten growth. It provides a means for staff to link self review, the operational plan, strategic plan and appraisal. An effective appraisal process supports professional growth and results in relevant professional development opportunities.

Association systems for monitoring and promoting improvement in kindergarten operations are well established. Self review in this kindergarten is becoming well embedded and contributes to improved outcomes for children. The Association has a strong commitment to biculturalism and embracing diversity. Resources and personnel have been targeted to ensure that the specific needs of children and their families are met.

Key Next Steps

The teachers agree that they could continue to strengthen programme evaluation by reflecting on their role in developing children’s more complex thinking.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Mangawhai 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 Mangawhai Kindergarten will be in four years.


Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern


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


Mangawhai, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 36 Girls 31

Ethnic composition





Latin American

other European









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

August 2015

Date of this report

20 November 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

These are available at

Education Review

January 2013

Education Review

August 2009

Education Review

May 2006

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.