Mission Place Kindergarten - 05/12/2016

1 Evaluation of Mission Place Kindergarten

How well placed is Mission Place 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.


Mission Place Kindergarten is licensed for up to 30 children between two and five years of age. It provides sessions for children that are similar to school hours. The kindergarten’s philosophy focuses on developing caring relationships in an environment that values diversity and respects Māori as tangata whenua. Most of the children enrolled have Māori heritage and whakapapa to the five iwi of Muriwhenua or other North Island iwi.

The kindergarten is one of three in the Far North governed by the Kaitaia and District Kindergarten Association. A manager oversees kindergarten operations and reports regularly to a board that is responsible for the strategic direction of the association. A senior teacher was appointed in 2015 to support professional learning and the ongoing improvement of teaching practices. An experienced head teacher leads a team that includes qualified teachers and a part-time administrator.

The new teaching team has worked to maintain the positive features identified in ERO’s 2013 report. These features include caring, respectful relationships, supportive teaching interactions and a strong sense of community.

This review was part of a cluster of three kindergarten reviews in the Kaitaia and District Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

A caring, positive tone supports children to settle quickly into the programme. They move between clearly defined areas of play that are attractively presented to invite exploration. Children are confident working alongside their peers and talking about their experiences. They have opportunities to be involved in karakia and waiata.

Teachers’ interactions with children and whānau are welcoming, supportive and respectful. They work alongside children well and listen to their thoughts and ideas. Teachers use effective strategies to encourage children’s developing social skills and provide good support for children with special education requirements. They foster children's understanding of the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand through innovative practices. Teachers also increasingly include te reo me ōna tikanga Māori in the programme.

The programme is based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Teachers have recently developed a useful system for individual planning that includes information shared by families. This approach is enabling teachers to respond more deliberately to children's individual and group interests and strengths. They recognise that they could improve assessment records by better documenting how children's learning is supported and extended over time. While parents can access most learning records online, teachers should consider how to ensure parents can easily see all of the information teachers gather about children's learning.

The head teacher, who was appointed in 2015, is leading change skilfully. Teachers are developing shared understandings about effective teaching practices. They are working together to promote the kindergarten's philosophy and implement a new vision and goals for future improvement. The appraisal system is used well for teacher reflection and to provide feedback about teacher practice. Teachers are developing internal evaluation processes that are helping them to continue improving the kindergarten programme.

The senior teacher provides useful guidance for teachers to improve programmes and practices. Regular professional learning and development helps teachers to extend their skills and knowledge. Teachers continue to enhance the positive relationships they have with families.

Management policies and processes are well established. The association’s strategic plan focuses on making decisions to improve learning outcomes for children, which include investing in upgrading property and environments. The board is using the New Zealand School Trustees Association tool Hautū: Māori Cultural Responsiveness Self Review tool for Boards of Trustees, to review how well the association is meeting its commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Key Next Steps

To build on existing good practices teachers agree they could:

  • clarify the purpose of small group times and review how well current practices are contributing to children's learning

  • make regular links between learning records to show children's progress over time

  • improve the evaluation of programme and strategic goals to clearly identify positive outcomes for children.

The board and manager agree to:

  • improve the policy and procedures for managing staff competency and performance
  • develop and implement an action plan to progress the association’s commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi
  • evaluate progress towards meeting the association's strategic goals.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Mission Place 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.

ERO identified an area of non-compliance. The board and manager should ensure the practices and procedures for police vetting meet the requirements of the Vulnerable Children's Act.

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA7A.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

5 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

30 children, over 2 years of age

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 18 Boys 14

Ethnic composition





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

5 December 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

February 2013

Education Review

February 2010

Education Review

October 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.