Orapa Kindergarten - 19/01/2017

1 Evaluation of Orapa Kindergarten

How well placed is Orapa 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.


Orapa 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 total roll of 49, seven identify as Māori.

The kindergarten is situated in a residential area of Waitara. A strong community spirit and sense of belonging exists amongst families and whānau, with many having intergenerational links to the kindergarten. In response to consultation with the local community, the kindergarten has recently started providing food to all children attending, as well as transport for up to 16 children per week.

The teaching team is fully qualified and the programme is further assisted by support staff.

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

Orapa Kindergarten's August 2013 ERO report identified areas requiring further development. These included assessment and planning processes. In addition, the 2013 and May 2015 reviews identified key next steps for the association. Progress in addressing these areas is ongoing.

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

The Review Findings

Children's strong sense of belonging is fostered within the kindergarten. They are able to engage in sustained play, independently and in groups of their own choosing. Children actively problem-solve and direct their own play and learning. They confidently participate in well-established kindergarten routines.

Teachers work alongside children to extend their play. They know children well and ensure the programme is responsive to their strengths, interests and abilities. Children benefit from a strong focus on active movement and healthy eating.

Specific and useful strategies are in place to promote educational success for Māori. Children have opportunities to hear and speak te reo Māori. Tikanga Māori is valued and well integrated within the kindergarten curriculum. Māori children and whānau are strongly supported to participate and engage with the programme. Association guidance should further enhance this area of strength.

Children with additional learning needs are identified, supported, and their progress is monitored. Where appropriate, teachers liaise with external agencies.

Families and the community are regularly informed and consulted about all aspects of the kindergarten programme. The head teacher provides effective leadership to the teaching team for implementing a wide range of strategies to support a shared focus on best outcomes for children.

Teachers work closely with families to support children's successful transitions into kindergarten and on to school. A range of strategies are used to make links with local schools.

A new process for planning and assessment has recently been implemented. Teachers regularly discuss and document children's learning. Further development of this process should include:

  • clearly supporting and showing children's progress over time

  • regular consultation with whānau focused on planning their children's learning

  • evaluation of planned learning outcomes to identify what worked and what needs to be improved.

A useful appraisal process is in place to support teachers' ongoing improvement. The association has recently revised the appraisal procedure to include the use of formal observations of teacher practice. Once fully established, this should assist leaders to strengthen the process, as well as deepening critique of teacher practice. Professional leaders should then undertake regular monitoring of practice and evaluate how well appraisal is implemented in each kindergarten.

Teachers collaborate about effective evidence-based review. This is used well to guide decisions about programme improvements. Practice should now shift from reviewing what they do, to evaluating how well practices improve outcomes for children. More robust evaluation of changes made, and systematic monitoring of impact over time, should also strengthen current practice.

The association 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 āo 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:

  • continue to develop assessment, planning and evaluation

  • strengthen their capacity to evaluate practice

  • provide more critique of practice within the teacher 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 Orapa 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 Orapa 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



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

Boys 27, Girls 22

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

November 2016

Date of this report

19 January 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2013

Education Review

June 2010

Education Review

December 2005

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.