Matua Plunket Kindergarten - 08/07/2016

1 Evaluation of Matua Plunket Kindergarten

How well placed is Matua Plunket 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.


Matua Plunket Kindergarten is located in the Tauranga suburb of Matua and next door to the local primary school. The centre is a community education and care centre owned and operated by the the Royal New Zealand Plunket Society. Matua Plunket Kindergarten provides sessional education and care for children from two years to five years of age. The centre is licensed for 40 children and has 57 children on the roll including 7 children who identify as Māori.

The centre's statement of philosophy has recently been reviewed and reflects the principles of Te Whāriki (the early childhood curriculum). It makes clear references to relationships forming the foundation of the kindergarten and a strong bridge between home and centre. Teachers are committed to developing children as initiators of their own learning through the use of a range of resources.

Since the previous ERO review, significant staff changes have resulted in a focus on team building and shared leadership. Teachers have addressed key next steps from the 2013 ERO report that relate to assessment, planning, evaluation, Treaty of Waitangi based practices and the appraisal process.

Policies and procedures are in place to assist with the provision for a safe, physical and emotional learning environment for children and staff.

The Review Findings

Warm and nurturing relationships between teachers, children and parents are a feature of this centre. The Matua Plunket Kindergarten philosophy is well integrated throughout centre programmes. It encourages children to work independently and follow their strengths and interests. The centre's vision and goals are firmly focused on providing learning and teaching programmes that are research based and promoting equitable outcomes for all children. There is a culture of trust and respect amongst teachers, children and parents.

Teachers know children and their families well. They use positive strategies to support social competencies and encourage self-directed learning and are skilled observers. These observations are used to extend children's thinking and creativity. The unobtrusive, responsive and caring interactions with children contribute to a calm, settled and focused learning culture. Children are becoming more socially competent by learning through play in spacious environments. These areas are designed to enable children to have active and quiet spaces to play.

Programmes include the integration of literacy and mathematics learning in the context of play and the development of group skills such as taking turns, listening and sharing. Mixed-age groups support older children to lead learning with younger children, and they are provided with a variety of opportunities to make sense of the natural, social, physical and material worlds. Te reo and tikanga Māori is naturally integrated into the daily programme. Flexible and natural routines promote children’s independence and responsibility. Children’s sense of belonging is nurtured during and after transitions into and within the service, and when moving to school.

The centre manager operates a shared leadership model including collaborative decision making. She ensures that teachers have time to critically reflect on their practices and have opportunities to contribute to self review. A shared understanding among teachers of the service's philosophy, vision and goals have been successfully promoted. An effective staff appraisal process is linked to relevant professional development.

The Royal New Zealand Plunket Society provides administration support and opportunities for professional learning and development. A Community Services leader is available for advice and guidance. The umbrella organisation provides a framework for centre governance and direction.

Staff actively encourage a strong partnership with parents and families, and a parent committee supports the centre with resourcing for centre activities. Parents spoken to expressed confidence that their children’s diverse needs were being catered for. They are well informed through regular e-portfolios, newsletters and informal conversations with staff.

Key Next Steps

While there are some effective self-review practices, other reviews could be further improved by clearly developing documented procedures and practices for strategic self review.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Matua Plunket 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 Matua Plunket Kindergarten will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

8 July 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

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children over 2 years of age

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 29 Girls 28

Ethnic composition







Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2016

Date of this report

8 July 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

July 2013

Education Review

August 2010

Education Review

July 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.