Parakai Kindergarten - 05/02/2015

1 Evaluation of Parakai Kindergarten

How well placed is Parakai 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.


Parakai Kindergarten was formally known as River Valley Kindergarten and is located in the rural community of Parakai. It serves a wide catchment area of Helensville, Parakai, South Head Peninsula and Kaukapakapa. The kindergarten is licensed for up to 40 children over two years of age. It operates under the umbrella of the Northern Auckland Kindergarten Association, which provides effective advice and guidance for governance and kindergarten operations.

The kindergarten has responded well to the previous ERO review in 2011.Teachers have strengthened self-review practices and established systems for promoting deeper reflection on their teaching practice. A building upgrade has been completed. An important aspect of this has been the inclusion of a whānau room that is used by local health and social services and is available to the wider community.

Parakai Kindergarten affirms Māori as Tangata Whenua. A significant feature of the centre is its affirmation of Māori concepts such as aroha, ako, whanaungatanga and manaakitanga.

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

The Review Findings

Children, parents and whānau are warmly welcomed into the kindergarten. Teachers give whānau time and space to settle their children and highly value their involvement in and contributions to the centre. They display a strong commitment to bicultural practice and have established positive partnerships with Māori families. Te ao Māori is valued and recognised. Teachers know their families well and the programme is inclusive of the diverse cultures and learning needs of children.

Children are confident and capable learners. They engage in sustained periods of play and work respectfully alongside their peers. Tuakana/teina relationships, where older children support and guide younger peers, are evident and exist across all ages, cultures and abilities. Children explore and make independent choices from a wide range of resources. They benefit from a learning environment that captures the bicultural spirit of Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Teachers provide children with a variety of learning opportunities and experiences. A strong focus on literacy and numeracy learning is evident throughout the programme. Teachers are skilled at listening and observing children. The programme is responsive to children’s interests, cultural identity, whānau aspirations and the natural environment. Teachers have established good processes around supporting children’s transition to school and have productive working relationships with the neighbouring school.

Shared leadership is evident in the kindergarten. Teachers work collaboratively and make good use of whole-team professional development. They are committed to providing positive outcomes for all children. A high trust model allows teachers to reflect on their practice and to share ideas. There is a strong focus on continual improvement. Self review is on-going, responsive and informs programme management and practices.

There is a strong sense of mutual respect and trust between the Association and its kindergartens. The Association is very well informed about each kindergarten’s curriculum and how it reflects the local community context. Decisions about staff appointments are strategically made. Teaching services managers (TSMs) visit kindergartens regularly and provide professional advice and support. They encourage teachers to be innovative, engage in professional learning, and share knowledge within and outside the Association.

The Association has a strong commitment to bicultural practice and to embracing diversity. Teachers contribute to the Association’s systematic policy review cycle. The teacher appraisal process is currently under review. The Association has high expectations that all kindergartens will use evidence based teaching practices, will undertake effective self review, and will promote positive outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

Teachers, management and ERO agree that next key priorities for the kindergarten are to further strengthen:

  • programme planning and documentation and make this more visible in the centre
  • teachers’ reflective practice in relation to programme planning and centre strategic direction
  • strategic planning and teacher appraisal to promote continuous improvement in the kindergarten’s performance.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Parakai Kindergarten completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they select ‘have’ or ‘have not’ 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 Parakai Kindergarten will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern Select Region

5 February 2015

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


Parakai, 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

Girls 24, Boys 23

Ethnic composition













Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2



Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2014

Date of this report

5 February 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2011


Education Review

July 2008


Education Review

June 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.