Otahuhu Central Kindergarten - 29/02/2016

1 Evaluation of Otahuhu Central Kindergarten

How well placed is Otahuhu Central 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.


Otahuhu Central Kindergarten was previously known as Fort Richard Kindergarten. It operates as a Kindergarten Day Model which enables children to attend sessions similar to school hours. The kindergarten provides for up to 30 children over two years of age from the local multicultural community.

Relationships and a focus on children learning naturally through play are integral to the kindergarten’s philosophy. Respect for Māori as tangata whenua and valuing the multicultural backgrounds of children underpin the curriculum.

Over the past three years the kindergarten has had significant changes to the teaching team. It is staffed by a head teacher and two other registered teachers, a teaching assistant, a teacher aide and an administrator. In 2015 a new head teacher was appointed. An additional teaching assistant was also employed in 2015. At the time of this review there were two long-term relieving teachers. A permanent team will be appointed for 2016.

Teachers continue to provide the good quality teaching practices noted in ERO’s 2012 report. They have strengthened assessment and evaluation, and reviewed routines and ways to promote more complex play for children. They are part of a Ministry of Education initiative with a focus on increasing participation and attendance in the kindergarten.

The kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association, which provides leadership, a management framework, support personnel and a programme of professional development for teachers. In 2015, after extensive review and consultation, the association launched a new 10 year strategic plan. The association’s approach to rolling out a substantial change in its organisational structure has been carefully considered.

New association roles have been established to provide more targeted support for kindergartens and professional development for head teachers in their leadership roles. A Quality Improvement Process (QIP) is being implemented to monitor quality and promote ongoing improvement in kindergartens.

This review was part of a cluster of five kindergarten reviews in the Auckland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children learn to play cooperatively. They have leadership opportunities and show empathy for others. The careful presentation of the environment reflects children’s cultural backgrounds and supports them to explore and be creative. The redeveloped outside area provides challenge and choice for physically active and imaginative play. Children have opportunities to develop skills in literacy, mathematics, science and technology in meaningful ways.

Children, their parents and whānau have a strong sense of pride, ownership and belonging in the kindergarten. Teachers are highly inclusive and culturally responsive. They celebrate children’s abilities, use their home languages and affirm children’s cultural identities. Teachers encourage children to be accepting of differences and to explore their own and other’s cultures in play.

Teachers foster partnerships with parents and whānau in their children’s learning. Parents are well informed and encouraged to share their knowledge and ideas. They are very supportive and appreciative of the education and care their children receive. Teachers also have a good liaison with the local community and schools.

Teachers have a shared belief that children are capable learners. They interact skilfully and talk with children, affirming and building on their strengths, interests and ideas. Teachers foster children’s social, communication, and problem solving skills. Children have fun as they make discoveries and learn through purposeful play.

Teachers provide a curriculum that reflects Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, bicultural practices, and their shared teaching philosophy. Prominently displayed, detailed assessment and planning documents, show how children’s group and individual interests guide the programme. This information is highly valued, and contributed to by parents/whānau. Teachers are increasingly recording the development of children’s interests, and dispositions for learning.

Teachers continually consider how to improve outcomes for all children. The head teacher’s professional leadership enables the kindergarten to maintain its focus on providing high quality early childhood education. Positive working relationships, mentoring and collaboration have developed a team culture of trust and respect. Sound systems for self review guide teaching practice and guide programme improvement.

The association provides timely, in depth support for the head teacher and the team. Its strategic plan provides a stepping stone for the kindergarten to build on to meet the needs of its local community.

The association has a strong commitment to biculturalism and in embracing diversity. Resources and personnel have been targeted to ensure that the specific needs of children and their families are met.

Key Next Steps

The teaching team and Association Education Specialist agree that teachers could continue to:

  • review and refine curriculum planning processes
  • strengthen the evaluative aspects of self review and identify resulting outcomes for children
  • consolidate effective practices as a new teaching team becomes established.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

29 January 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


Otahuhu, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 23 Girls 12

Ethnic composition





Fijian Indian










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 2015

Date of this report

29 January 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2012


Education Review

May 2009


Education Review

April 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.