Meta Riddiford Kindergarten - 29/07/2013

1 Evaluation of Meta Riddiford Kindergarten

How well placed is Meta Riddiford 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.


Meta Riddiford Kindergarten is located in Featherston, Wairarapa and caters for children from two to five years of age. It is an all-day centre and licensed for 40 children. At the time of this review there were 45 children enrolled, including 15 Māori.

The Rimutaka Kindergarten Association effectively governs the kindergarten, and provides senior teacher support for the kindergarten. They are committed to maintaining the ratio of 100% qualified teachers. Well-developed policy guidelines clearly outline association expectations for developing the programme and managing day-to-day operations.

The teaching team comprises a head teacher and four fully qualified teachers.

Meta Riddiford Kindergarten’s vision is to have 'An environment where fun and respect are paramount'. Teachers model this effectively in their teaching practice.

The kindergarten has a positive reporting history with ERO.

This review was part of a cluster of eleven kindergarten reviews in the Rimutaka Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Teachers show a clear commitment to instilling life skills and a love of learning in children. They effectively respond to children’s interests and needs by:

  • providing opportunities for sustained child-led play where learning through play is valued

  • promoting high quality literacy and numeracy learning

  • showing genuine care for children and positively affirming their success

  • sharing professional conversations about aspects of the programme

  • focusing on children’s holistic development

  • building on children’s prior learning and extending their imagination and reasoning.

As a result, children’s social and emotional confidence, wellbeing and sense of belonging are successfully fostered in the programme. Relationships teachers have with children are warm, welcoming and responsive to their needs. Children clearly enjoy their conversations with adults.

Teachers are gaining confidence in reflecting the language, culture and identity of Māori learners within the curriculum. There is a focus on growing links with the local community to provide children with meaningful experiences. An appropriate association-wide review is currently being undertaken to evaluate and implement practices to enhance learning opportunities for Māori learners.

The diverse backgrounds of children and their families are celebrated. Parents are warmly welcomed and positive partnerships with whānau are highly valued. For many, the kindergarten is the hub of the community so relationships are regarded as important for enhancing successful outcomes for children.

Teachers encourage and continue to provide opportunities, such as support meetings and education workshops, to empower parents as first teachers to contribute to their child’s learning.

Positive relationships with local schools support smooth transitions for children. Useful information for parents is provided and reciprocal visits build children’s confidence and familiarity with their new environment.

Teachers work in partnership with external agencies and parents of children with additional needs to improve and enhance their learning. Individual plans are developed and reviewed to support children in an inclusive environment.

Senior teachers provide well-targeted, ongoing support and guidance for teachers. They promote regular professional development opportunities and useful systems that focus on positive outcomes for children. Planned development of the performance appraisal process has the potential to better promote teacher development.

Children’s emotional and physical wellbeing is promoted through sound health and safety practices.

Key Next Steps

The head teacher and her staff have appropriately identified the need to collaboratively review their teaching philosophy. ERO's evaluation affirms this direction. Such review should clearly build a shared understanding of what constitutes high quality use of:

  • self review
  • assessment and planning practices
  • teaching strategies to provide opportunities for Pacific children to enjoy success as Pacific.

Teachers acknowledge the need to strengthen their evaluative capacity to systematically enquire into and judge the impact of the areas for development outlined above.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Meta Riddiford 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 Meta Riddiford Kindergarten will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region (Acting)

29 July 2013

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 26

Boys 19

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā





Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2



Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2013

Date of this report

29 July 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2010


Education Review

February 2007


Accountability Review

September 2002

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.