Marfell Kindergarten - 19/01/2017

1 Evaluation of Marfell Kindergarten

How well placed is Marfell 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.


Marfell Kindergarten provides education and care for children from two to five years of age. The kindergarten is open five days a week, for six hours and is licenced for up to 34 children. Within these hours sessional care and education is also provided. Of the 40 children on the roll, 26 identify as Māori.

The kindergarten has recently been rebuilt and now encompasses a whānau room and dedicated space for a playgroup.

The newly established teaching team is fully qualified and the programme is further assisted by support staff. There have been a number of staff changes since the August 2013 ERO report.

The kindergarten is one of 24 governed by the newly established Kindergarten Taranaki (the association), formerly North and South Taranaki Kindergarten Associations. A chief executive was appointed to lead the association in 2014. Three professional leaders are employed by the association to provide professional support and guidance to teachers.

The previous ERO report identified areas requiring further development. These included, reviewing the philosophy and embedding self review and good progress has been made. In addition, the 2013 and May 2015 ERO reviews identified key next steps for the association. Progress in addressing these is ongoing.

This review was part of a cluster of eight in the Kindergarten Taranaki Association.

The Review Findings

Children participate in sustained play. They learn in a programme that reflects their interests, strengths and abilities. A strong sense of belonging and focus on wellbeing is promoted.

Respectful practice is evident. Teachers maximise the opportunities that arise to effectively support children developing social competence. Tuakana teina relationships actively promote children to support and guide their peers.

Te reo and aspects of tikanga Māori are integrated through the programme. Teachers work with parents and whānau to promote the best outcomes for all learners. These strong foundations and association guidance should support the ongoing focus on promoting educational success for Māori.

A recently established assessment process promotes learning centred partnerships with parents. Children's individual learning goals are established with parents and the outcome of these are monitored by teachers. Ongoing development of this process should include:

  • setting goals that use the child's interest as the vehicle for learning

  • highlighting children's culture, language and identity through these goals.

Children with additional learning needs are identified, well supported and their progress is monitored. Where appropriate teachers liaise with external agencies.

A useful appraisal process is in place that has a developmental focus. Strengthening this process through establishing goals that are clear, specific and measurable and providing a robust critique of practice are key next steps. The association has recently revised the appraisal procedure, this now includes the use of formal observations of teacher practice. Once fully established this should assist leaders to strengthen the process. Professional leaders should then undertake regular monitoring of practice and evaluate how well appraisal is being implemented in each kindergarten.

Ongoing improvement is required for evidence-based review and evaluation. Next steps include further developing teachers' understanding of the cycle of review and evaluation and strengthening their capacity to evaluate the effectiveness of the curriculum and teaching practices.

The kindergarten strategic plan provides an overall direction for the service. The annual plan identifies when and how this will be enacted. A distributed leadership model is used to achieve the overall kindergarten vision.

The board works collaboratively with its community to establish vision, values and strategic priorities. Establishing clearer measures of success should enable the board to measure progress and evaluate how well practices support the realisation of goals and vision.

The board's ongoing commitment to biculturalism is evident through planned initiatives to support teachers to promote te ao Māori in the curriculum and to develop culturally responsive practices. Senior association leaders are focused on developing initiatives to better determine the impact of curriculum delivery and teaching and learning in each kindergarten.

The association should establish clear expectations of the purpose and use of assessment, planning and evaluation in kindergartens. Professional leaders, in partnership with teaching teams, should then monitor the effective implementation of:

  • assessment, planning and evaluation

  • review and internal evaluation.

In addition, the association should establish a system for the ongoing monitoring of compliance with legislative requirements, including practices related to health and safety.

Key Next Steps

ERO and kindergarten teachers agree that the key next steps are to:

  • further develop assessment, planning and evaluation practices

  • strengthen goal setting and quality of feedback in appraisal

  • continue to build teachers' understanding of the review cycle and knowledge of evaluation.

The association should:

  • strengthen the processes used to evaluate the progress of the strategic plan

  • provide effective guidance and monitoring of association expectations related to assessment practice, review and internal evaluation and health and safety practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Marfell 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.

To improve practice:

  • leaders should ensure the kindergarten practice aligns with the association requirements, particularly, related to health and safety practices.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

19 January 2017

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


New Plymouth

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

34 children, aged over2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 21, Girls 19

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

19 January 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

August 2013

Education Review

June 2010

Education Review

December 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.