Ngaio Kindergarten - 22/06/2020

1 Evaluation of Ngaio Kindergarten

How well placed is Ngaio Kindergarten to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Ngaio Kindergarten is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


Ngaio Kindergarten is licensed for 43 children aged over two years. Of the 65 enrolled, four are Māori. Daily sessions are for children up to school age. The kindergarten serves a diverse ethnic community.

Four out of the five teachers have been appointed since the June 2015 ERO review. All are qualified and registered.

The kindergarten philosophy emphasises the importance of the dual heritage of Aotearoa; tamariki, whānau and kaiako mana; whanaungatanga; and kotahitanga.

ERO's 2015 report identified areas requiring further development. These included self review, assessment, planning and evaluation, and ways to achieve success for Māori and Pacific children . Progress is evident.

The kindergarten is governed and managed by He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Kindergarten Association (the association). The association governs 103 early childhood services which include a diverse range of kindergartens, all day education and care services, three Pacific kindergartens and a Pacific home-based service. A team of senior teachers oversees and supports professional practice.

Progress has been made by the association to improve support for individual kindergartens, the appraisal process, and teachers' capability to work with Māori learners.

This review is one of eight in the He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Kindergarten Association, Wellington region.

The Review Findings

The learning environment is well developed and organised to invite children's interest and participation. A comprehensive range of high quality resources is freely accessible. The outdoor area effectively supports physical challenge and adventure. Children enjoy the opportunities made available to them.

Children's leadership is strongly promoted. Older children are accorded rangatira status and encouraged to use their expertise to assist others. This contribution to the curriculum should enhance their confidence and competence as they approach school age.

The curriculum enables children to make choices about their involvement and learning. Literacy, mathematics, science, and the arts are suitably integrated in play-based ways. Children are well supported to be self-managing and independent learners. Many sustain their engagement in play for extended periods. With an increase in the numbers of very young children on the roll, teachers are aware of the need to implement routines that effectively support this group's settling, increased care needs, and active participation.

The values of whanaungatanga, kotahitanga and upholding mana are clearly evident in guiding documents and strongly reflected in the curriculum. Teachers reinforce the importance of working together, respectful relationships and social competency in ongoing ways. Children demonstrate understanding of these values.

Teachers are responsive, respectful and well engaged with children. They are attuned to developing ideas and interests, supporting with strategies that encourage collaboration, perseverance, problem solving and skill development. Positive guidance is used well to promote social competence and friendships. At times teachers need to improve the organisation of supervision and resources, and placement of some equipment, to better support all children's participation and safe play.

The development of responsive and reciprocal relationships with families and whānau is prioritised and seen as a foundation to sustaining children's active involvement in the programme. The kindergarten benefits from its supportive community.

Acknowledgment of the importance of bicultural practice is highly evident. Appropriate association support for building teaching and learning capability is in place. Teachers should continue to practice using the language and protocols in everyday ways and seek connections with whānau Māori and mana whenua to inform their approach.

Provision for children requiring additional support is well developed. Regular team discussions effectively inform planning that removes barriers to participation and promotes active involvement in the curriculum. Outside agency assistance is sought as required. Teachers have undertaken professional development to strengthen their support for Māori and Pacific learners. They are highly responsive to families' cultures and languages.

Children's transitions into the kindergarten are very well supported and agreed in collaboration with parents. Time is allocated for parent meetings, discussion and to set up settling and planning systems for individuals. Children's wellbeing is a priority.

Teachers continue to develop their approach to supporting children's transition to primary school. A good relationship with the adjacent school has been established. The team should continue to seek ways of sharing information about individual children with new entrant teachers to support continuity in their learning pathway.

Planning for learning is a focus for the team's development. Group planning is suitably responsive to need and based on kindergarten priorities. Children's progress and participation are well illustrated in displays. Teachers regularly note and discuss individual children's participation, interests and needs. Parents' and whānau cultures, languages and aspirations for their children are acknowledged in these learning stories. An online platform supports the two-way communication of information with families. Senior teacher feedback highlights the need for teachers to more strongly acknowledge parents' aspirations. ERO's evaluation concurs. Teachers should also work on strengthening the focus on children's significant learning and showing how they are adding value to progress this over time.

A strong sense of team and distributed approach to leadership is evident. Teachers are collaborative, motivated and strongly child focused.

Self review has resulted in improved outcomes for children and is valued as a tool to strengthen practice and operation. A next step for teachers is to develop their understanding and use of internal evaluation to better support their decision making about change and next development steps.

The association provides effective professional development and ongoing support to build the leadership capabilities of the head teacher and teaching team. Well-considered resource allocation enhances teaching and support for children’s learning and wellbeing. There is an established culture in place which values and celebrates children and their whānau.

The well-considered appraisal process continues to be reviewed and developed to better support teachers and leaders to inquire into the effectiveness of their practice. Work is ongoing to build and embed understanding of the association's expectations and processes.

Association leaders, including the senior teachers, work effectively together with shared commitment to the mission, vision, values and goals of the organisation. Strategic goals and objectives are focused on improvement for the benefit of children, whānau and community. Tūmanako, is providing high-level guidance for the association's future direction as a Tiriti o Waitangi based organisation. A range of effective tools is used well by senior teachers to monitor the quality of, and promote improvement to, individual kindergarten practice and operation.

Key Next Steps

ERO and senior leaders agree that priorities for teachers are to:

  • continue to develop their team approach to assessment for learning, and internal evaluation.

The priority for the association is:

  • to continue to build on and follow the strategic direction set through Tūmanako, Te Tiriti o Waitangi- based strategic priority framework.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Ngaio 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.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement

Southern Region - Te Tai Tini

22 June 2020

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

43 children aged over two

Service roll


Gender composition

Male 33, Female 32

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2020

Date of this report

22 June 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2015

Education Review

December 2011

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.