Owairaka Kindergarten - 12/09/2014

1 Evaluation of Owairaka Kindergarten

How well placed is Owairaka 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.


Owairaka Kindergarten, in Central West Auckland, provides early childhood education for up to 40 children from two years to school age. The kindergarten community is a culturally and ethnically diverse. Many families have English as an additional language. Some families have longstanding intergenerational family links with the kindergarten and some also have links through their extended whānau in the wider community. The kindergarten is staffed by four qualified teachers, a teacher in training, an administrator and a teacher aide.

Since the 2011 ERO review the kindergarten has changed from a sessional service to the kindergarten day model. This change enables children to attend sessions similar to school hours. Families have the option of enrolling their child for six hour days or for four hour sessions.

Although there have been changes to teaching and support staff, teachers continue to sustain the good practices noted in the previous ERO report. All teachers have engaged in professional learning and development to enhance teaching practices and enrich the programme for children.

Owairaka Kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA) and operates within the policies and management framework of this organisation. A professional services manager (PSM) visits regularly and provides professional advice and support for teachers.

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

The Review Findings

Children learn in a stimulating, well resourced environment that reflects teacher’s commitment to biculturalism, children’s multiethnic backgrounds, and to environmental sustainability. Indoor and outdoor play spaces are inviting and promote opportunities for physical challenge, imaginative play and natural science exploration. Children show care and ownership of the environment and demonstrate an enthusiasm for learning.

Curriculum planning and implementation is underpinned by respectful relationships, the kindergarten’s philosophy and by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Teachers are responsive, inclusive, and actively seek ways to promote children’s learning. They plan programmes based on children’s ideas and emerging interests. Children’s portfolios show how their strengths and dispositions have been developed over time. Teacher planning also includes links to the kindergarten’s strategic plans. Parent and whānau involvement in, and feedback about, the programme is encouraged and valued.

Teachers foster children’s understanding of the world around them in meaningful ways. They promote children’s sense of themselves as successful learners and encourage children to make choices and learn through play. Teachers nurture children’s self esteem and sense of identity and promote positive attitudes to learning. They encourage the development of children’s communication skills through sustained conversation, art, drama and music. Children explore literacy, mathematics, science and information communication technologies as part of their learning.

Children are confident capable learners. They play cooperatively and imaginatively for sustained periods of time and are encouraged to be independent and self managing. Their physical and emotional well being is well supported and their cultural identify affirmed. Teachers are reflective, work collaboratively and enhance educational opportunities for children.

Teachers have established good self-review systems that guide kindergarten operations and inform ongoing improvements. They make good use of equity funding to assist all children to be actively engaged. The teaching team is well supported by the strong professional leadership of the Auckland Kindergarten Association. The AKA also provides leadership opportunities for teachers outside of the kindergarten.

The Auckland Kindergarten Association has good systems for self review and accountability to guide kindergarten management, and it continues to provide effective governance for kindergartens. The AKA has a strong commitment to biculturalism and to implementing strategies that support kindergartens in promoting positive outcomes for all children. The association is currently reviewing the appraisal process.

Key Next Steps

The teachers, the PSM and ERO agree that the key next steps for the kindergarten could include:

  • strengthening self-review processes and documentation
  • further increasing parent and whānau involvement and partnership
  • continuing to build on bicultural practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

12 September 2014

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


Owairaka, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 31

Girls 27

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā








Cook Island Māori













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

June 2014

Date of this report

12 September 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2011


Education Review

February 2008


Education Review

February 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.