Parakai Kindergarten - 17/08/2018

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 is one of 15 services including 13 kindergartens and two early learning centres that operate under the umbrella of the Northern Auckland Free Kindergarten Association (NAKA). The kindergarten is situated in a rural community northwest of Auckland and is sited adjacent to Parakai Primary School. It is licensed for up to 40 children, two years of age and over. It offers sessional and full-day options for children and their families in a mixed aged group programme.

Over recent years there has been an increase in the number of families waiting to enrol their children. Families and children come from the surrounding rural areas including Helensville, South Head, and Kaukapakapa.

There have been staffing changes in the past year. A new head teacher has been appointed, and the teaching team has been in the process of redevelopment.

The kindergarten's teaching philosophy is based on whanaungatanga and manaakitanga. It emphasises fostering trusting relationships with children and their whānau through positive relationships. Teachers respect and value the learning community and their work is guided by the newly revised Te Whāriki, early childhood curriculum. Teachers acknowledge the Treaty of Waitangi partnership and this is a strong part of the programme.

The positive features identified in the 2015 ERO report have been maintained. These include children having a strong sense of belonging, developing a programme that enhances te reo and te ao Māori, and the establishment of sustainable practices. Teachers have worked purposefully to address ERO's recommendations regarding planning, documentation, and evaluation.

At the Kindergarten Association level, there has been some significant change. An acting general manager has been appointed and there is a new governing board. In the coming months they will work together to review and update all relevant documentation and operating frameworks for the Association.

This review was part of ERO's review of a group of three kindergartens in the Northern Auckland Free Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children and parents are welcomed into a supportive and well-resourced environment that is attractively presented to invite exploration and play. The calm and positive tone helps children to settle quickly into the programme. They move between clearly defined areas of play participating in sustained, cooperative play with each other. Children demonstrate confidence and competence.

Teachers provide a learning programme that is child-centred, inclusive, and supports children's diverse needs and emerging interests. They encourage positive relationships, social interactions, and tuakana teina relationships. Teachers foster and promote children's oral language development, and their independence and self-management skills as part of daily learning. There are sound transition to school procedures in place for children.

Children with additional needs and their families are well supported in a programme that reinforces appropriate and relevant learning for children to be successful. Centre leaders work effectively with external agencies and these children are well served.

Teachers implement a bicultural curriculum with a strong focus in te reo and te ao Māori. This is evident in all centre documentation and builds on parents' understanding of their children's dual cultural heritage. Te reo Māori is a living language in the kindergarten. Teachers have identified that strengthening Pacific languages, values and cultures within the learning programme is their next priority.

Teachers have established respectful relationships with whānau. These positive relationships result in high levels of trust, and a strong sense of community within the kindergarten.

Association leaders continue to provide ongoing assistance to kindergartens. There is good provision for teachers' continued professional development and management support. Each kindergarten is supported with administration and property management. The board recognises the need to re-establish open and transparent communication with teachers, parents and the community in planned developments.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps for teachers include:

  • strengthening records of learning for children in portfolios to clearly and consistently identify children's progress, dispositions and continuity of learning

  • making more use of the information and aspirations shared by parents in assessment, planning, and evaluation practices.

In order to strengthen the kindergarten's strategic direction, leaders should develop a strategic plan aligned to an annual action plan with clear links to appraisal goals and NAKA strategic direction.

The governing board have identified next steps and priorities for future developments. These include re-establishment of strategic planning, operational frameworks, evaluation processes and policy redevelopment to reflect current legislative requirements.

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 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 Parakai Kindergarten will be in three years.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

17 August 2018

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 aged two years and over

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 42 Girls 34

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2018

Date of this report

17 August 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2015

Education Review

September 2011

Education Review

July 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.