Owairaka Kindergarten - 27/10/2017

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 is located in a diverse multicultural community in a central Auckland suburb. It is licensed to cater for 40 children over the age of two years in either six-hour days or morning sessions. Nine percent of children enrolled are Māori and 17 percent Pacific. Children are usually around three years of age by the time they start attending the kindergarten.

Staff include four registered teachers, a teacher aide and an administrator. Teachers are developing a cohesive team that is focused on enhancing outcomes for children.

The kindergarten's philosophy emphasises teachers' commitment to responsive relationships with parents and whānau to support children's learning.

The 2014 ERO report identified many positive features. The good practices of planning for and assessing children's interests and the well-resourced environment have been maintained. Good progress has been made in relation to ERO's recommendations to strengthen partnerships with parents and whānau, internal evaluation and bicultural practices.

The kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA), which provides a governance and management framework. Professional support personnel assist teachers with curriculum, management and property matters.

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

The Review Findings

Children participate in a programme that is guided by their interests and the choices. They play confidently, either independently or in groups, and have many opportunities to collaborate in shared interests. Children have well established friendships and know the kindergarten routines well. Teachers take appropriate opportunities to extend children's mathematics, science and literacy skills and knowledge in the context of play.

A useful format guides teachers' internal evaluation. They implement spontaneous and planned evaluations that include parent and child perspectives. Teachers could also evaluate the impact of teaching practice in relation to identified desirable and measurable learning outcomes for children.

The kindergarten is building positive partnerships with whānau for the benefit of children's ongoing learning. Parents are offered opportunities to contribute to the programme, including through the kindergarten's online portal. Good provision is made for parents who have limited access to the internet. Parents also share their aspirations for their children on entry to the kindergarten. It would be useful for teachers and parents to revisit these aspirations over the time that children are at the kindergarten.

Teachers recognise children's interests and their increasing knowledge, skills and dispositions. Teachers plan well to extend these interests by identifying further learning possibilities. Teachers could strengthen their assessment by making children's progress over time more explicit in learning stories. Teachers use good strategies to make children's learning visible in displays.

Teachers are committed to enhancing children's knowledge and understanding about the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand. They could use a 'teaching as inquiry' approach to evaluate and increase their inclusion of children's languages and cultures in their programme. Teachers could also evaluate their practices in relation to the Ministry of Education Pasifika Education Plan 2013-2017 to extend the sense of belonging of children with Pacific heritage.

Kindergarten operations are guided by a comprehensive strategic plan and a shared vision, linked to the AKA’s strategic goals. A Quality Improvement Process (QIP) also aligns with AKA and kindergarten strategic plans. It enables the AKA and teachers to monitor quality and promote ongoing improvement for positive outcomes for children. The AKA continues to review its management and leadership structure. It has begun a process of internal evaluation to establish how effectively the four pillars of its strategic planning.

Key Next Steps

The teaching team has identified useful next steps that include enhancing:

  • planning and assessment practices, to more explicitly focus on extending children's learning

  • internal evaluation, by identifying evaluative questions, and focusing on outcomes for children

  • provision and outcomes for Māori and Pacific children.

The AKA has useful processes for supporting teachers’ ongoing professional development. This process could be strengthened by ensuring that teachers’ individual goals are measurable and based on the evaluation of teaching practices and their impact children’s learning.

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.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

27 October 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


Owairaka, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, no children aged under 2 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 33 Boys 24

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2017

Date of this report

27 October 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2014

Education Review

May 2011

Education Review

February 2008

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.