Ngamotu Kindergarten - 19/01/2017

1 Evaluation of Ngamotu Kindergarten

How well placed is Ngamotu 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.


Ngamotu Kindergarten provides education and care for children from two to five years of age. The kindergarten is open five days a week, for six hours daily, and is licensed for up to 34 children. Within these hours, sessional care and education is also provided. Of the roll of 30 children, 15 identify as Māori.

The kindergarten is situated in a residential area in Spotswood, New Plymouth. The teaching team is fully qualified and the programme is further assisted by support staff. There have been some staff changes since the August 2013 ERO report.

The kindergarten's philosophy acknowledges the principles of turangawaewae, aroha and ako. A focus on environmental sustainability and recent alignment with the Enviroschools network is reflected in outdoor developments.

The kindergarten is one of 24 governed by the newly established Kindergarten Taranaki (the association), formerly North and South Taranaki Kindergarten Associations. A chief executive was appointed to lead the association in 2014. Three professional leaders are employed to provide support and guidance to teachers.

The previous ERO report identified areas of practice requiring further development. These included self review and evaluation. While some work has been undertaken, limited progress has been made. In addition, the 2013 and May 2015 reviews identified key next steps for the association. Progress in addressing these is ongoing.

This review was part of a cluster of eight in the Kindergarten Taranaki association.

The Review Findings

Children engage in sustained play, in an environment rich with resources and activities. A culture of aroha and respect for others, as well as the environment, is clearly evident. Children have many opportunities to make choices, and confidently participate in group activities and routines. They benefit from the kindergarten's strong focus on healthy eating and active movement.

Children's and families' sense of belonging within the kindergarten is promoted by teachers' warmth of response. They work alongside children to extend their play and learning in a child-directed programme. A range of effective strategies is used to support children's growing social competence. Teachers clearly give priority to positive relationships with children, families and the local community.

Effective distributed leadership is evident. Leaders and teachers are committed to the kindergarten philosophy and effectively use strategic and annual plans to monitor and enact its values. Communication, community, care and respect are emphasised.

A new model for planning has recently been implemented. As this process develops, attention should be given to:

  • regularly seeking and responding to the learning goals of whānau for their children

  • clearly considering how teachers plan to add challenge and complexity to extend children's learning

  • reflecting planning and outcomes through assessment documentation

  • highlighting and evaluating children's progress over time.

Clear understanding of the purpose and process of internal review and evaluation is not yet evident. An increased level of support and closer monitoring from the association are necessary, in order to develop and implement a suitable process to guide improvement.

Teachers are committed to the promotion of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori, and skilfully integrate these into all aspects of the programme. Children benefit from teachers who value and regularly speak te reo Māori. These strong foundations and association guidance should support teachers' ongoing focus on promoting educational success for Māori children as Māori.

The bicultural curriculum is highly reflective of the kindergarten's local context as well as the dual heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand.

A range of useful and thoughtful strategies support children's successful transitions into the kindergarten and on to school. Teachers collaborate with families to support their children and emphasise the value of learning through play.

Children with additional learning needs are identified and supported and their progress is monitored. Teachers liaise with external agencies where appropriate. 

A useful appraisal process is in place. The recently revised appraisal procedure includes the expectation that formal observations of teachers' practice will be used. This change should assist leaders to strengthen the process. Critique of practice should also be enhanced to support teachers' ongoing improvement and learning. Professional leaders should then regularly monitor practice and evaluate how well appraisal is being implemented in each kindergarten.

The board works collaboratively with its community to establish vision, values and strategic priorities. Establishing clearer measures of success should enable the board to measure progress and evaluate how well practices support the realisation of goals and vision.

The board's ongoing commitment to biculturalism is evident through planned initiatives to support teachers to promote te ao Māori in the curriculum and to develop culturally responsive practices. Senior association leaders are focused on developing initiatives to better determine the impact of curriculum delivery and teaching and learning in each kindergarten.

The association should establish clear expectations of the purpose and use of assessment, planning and evaluation in kindergartens. Professional leaders, in partnership with teaching teams, should then monitor the effective implementation of:

  • assessment, planning and evaluation

  • review and internal evaluation.

In addition, the association should establish a system for the ongoing monitoring of compliance with legislative requirements, including practices related to health and safety.

Key Next Steps

ERO and kindergarten teachers agree that the key next steps are to:

  • develop and implement a clear process to guide effective internal review and evaluation, in close consultation with the association

  • extend teachers' positive relationships with whānau to collaborate on children's learning goals

  • further develop assessment, planning and evaluation practices

  • strengthen the quality of feedback in the appraisal process.

The association should:

  • strengthen the processes used to evaluate the progress of the strategic plan

  • provide effective guidance and monitoring of association expectations related to assessment practice, review and internal evaluation, and health and safety practices. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

19 January 2017 

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


New Plymouth

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

34 children, aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 18, Boys 12

Ethnic composition



Other ethnic groups




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

November 2016

Date of this report

19 January 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

August 2013

Education Review

July 2010

Education Review

February 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.