Mission Place Kindergarten - 25/02/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

Mission Place Kindergarten teachers are well placed to promote positive outcomes for children. The new teaching team is in a good position to consolidate and build on current good practices.


Mission Place is one of three kindergartens in the far north governed by the board of the Kaitaia and Districts Kindergarten Association. A manager oversees kindergarten operations, including financial management and employment matters. Professional Practice Managers (PPMs) from the Northland Kindergarten Association are contracted to support teachers’ professional learning and development and the implementation of programmes for children. PPMs report regularly to the manager, who then reports to the board of trustees.

The kindergarten provides six hour days for children over the age of three. Many of the children enrolled are Māori. Teachers place a high priority on improving their knowledge about tikanga and te reo Māori and bicultural practice. They have well established connections with children’s whānau and the local community.

The kindergarten has had several staff changes since ERO’s 2010 review. A permanent teaching team has now been established and an experienced teacher has been appointed to the head teacher role. The three qualified teachers are supported by a part-time administrator.

Improvements since 2010 have included the provision of increased staff workspaces and improved layout of the play areas and resources. Teachers have plans to develop the spacious outdoor area.

This review was conducted as part of a cluster approach to reviews in three early childhood education services within the Kaitaia and Districts Kindergarten Association umbrella organisation.

The Review Findings

Teachers have mutually respectful and caring relationships with the children, parents and whānau. They work collaboratively to support children’s learning and development. Parents/whānau are supportive and appreciative of the teachers and the service they provide. Teachers encourage whānau involvement in their children’s education and keep parents fully informed. A strong sense of community is evident in the kindergarten.

Children learn in a stimulating, well resourced learning environment that supports their sustained engagement in play and learning. They have good opportunities to experience literacy, numeracy, science and technology in meaningful ways. Children engage in self-directed cooperative play and enjoy their friendships with others. Leadership opportunities are encouraged. Teachers nurture children’s creativity, curiosity and problem-solving abilities.

Teachers have a strong philosophy based on the principles of Te Whāriki, the New Zealand early childhood curriculum. Their supportive interactions, high expectations and sustained conversations contribute to children’s development as confident capable learners. Concepts of sustainable living, care of the natural world and healthy lifestyles are woven in everyday activities.

The Association manager and board of trustees are well informed about kindergarten developments and challenges. They are committed to supporting teachers in their work with children and their whānau. Teachers are developing a culture of reflective practice, including documenting the processes and findings of self review. The teaching team is well supported in this by the PPMs.

To support the development of more complex child-directed learning, teachers could consider how to better:

  • document children’s contributions to programme development, partnerships with whānau, and planned teaching responses and strategies
  • illustrate the value that they place on whānau contributions and on recognising each child’s identity and heritage
  • develop more in-depth evaluation of their teaching practice and resulting outcomes for children, linking this evaluation to the kindergarten philosophy.

The manager of the Kaitaia and Districts Kindergarten Association has also identified the need to strengthen self review at their governance and management levels. Further steps to improve their support for kindergarten teachers could include:

  • reviewing the effectiveness and impact of the PPMs’ work, and including review processes in future contracts
  • providing more targeted induction processes and strengthened support systems for head teachers.

To improve current reporting practices, the Association could ensure that information about the allocation and use of Ministry of Education equity funding is shared with the kindergarten community.

2 Legal Requirements

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.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

25 February 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

All Day Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 0 aged under 2 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 27 Boys 14

Ethnic composition

Māori NZ European/Pākehā


Central American












Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

No children under 2 years


Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2012

Date of this report

25 February 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2009

October 2006

May 2004

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

  • 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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.