Patea Kindergarten - 10/08/2018

1 Evaluation of Patea Kindergarten

How well placed is Patea 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.


Patea Kindergarten is licensed to provide education and care for up to 40 children aged over two years. At the time of this review, all children enrolled were aged over three years. One quarter of those enrolled identify as Māori.

The kindergarten philosophy emphasises inclusive, welcoming practice, and inspiring children's curiosity and exploration.

A parent committee supports the kindergarten with fundraising and events. The head teacher and permanent teacher are long-serving, and fully qualified. At the time of this review, the kindergarten was seeking to appoint a third teacher.

Patea Kindergarten is one of 24 kindergartens governed and managed by Kindergarten Taranaki - Te Putahi Kura Pūhou Taranaki (the organisation). Day-to-day management of the organisation is the responsibility of the chief executive. A governing board sets the overall strategic direction. A professional manager and two professional leaders provide regular support and a range of learning and development opportunities for teachers. An operations manager supports kindergartens' policy development and compliance.

In 2017, the board developed a strategic plan with the intention for individual kindergartens to align their strategic plans to the organisation's goals and measures. The Quality Evaluation Tool was introduced in late 2017. The purpose of this document is for teachers to self-assess teaching and learning practices to inform internal evaluation and improve outcomes for children.

The May 2015 ERO report identified that the kindergarten's evaluation, parent partnership and assessment practices required further development. Progress is ongoing.

ERO also identified areas for the organisation to strengthen. These included:

  • developing the annual plan

  • strengthening systems and processes for performance management

  • consistent implementation of appraisal

  • reviewing and clarifying the role of the professional leaders in building teachers’ capability.

Progress in these areas is evident.

This review was part of a cluster of five reviews in Kindergarten Taranaki - Te Putahi Kura Pūhou Taranaki.

The Review Findings

Children engage confidently in a busy, play-based learning programme. The spacious environment is welcoming and well-resourced. Natural materials and an emphasis on environmental sustainability are evident throughout the indoor and outdoor spaces. Children are encouraged to care for their kindergarten and work well with others. They display a strong sense of belonging and wellbeing.

Teachers use a range of strategies to encourage children's curiosity and creativity, particularly through science, arts and literacy learning opportunities. Interactions are positive and fun. Teachers prioritise relationships with parents and whānau. Manaakitanga and whanaungatanga are valued and evident. Staff are welcoming and inclusive. A strong sense of community is promoted. Teachers acknowledge that a next step for the kindergarten is to consult with families to review the kindergarten's philosophy.

Teachers know that the bicultural programme is an area requiring ongoing development. In addition, teachers should develop their understanding of specific strategies that promote the educational success of Māori learners.

Children with diverse learning needs are very well supported to engage with the curriculum through inclusive practices and initiatives. This is a kindergarten strength. Teachers proactively liaise with parents and whānau, as well as a number of outside agencies, to plan and monitor children's wellbeing, learning and progress.

New systems for group and individual assessment, planning and evaluation, driven by children’s interests, have been introduced. ERO and teachers agree that further development is required. Priority areas are to:

  • document evaluation that clearly links teaching strategies to improved children’s outcomes

  • establish children's learning goals and explicit teaching strategies, in partnership with parents and whānau

  • incorporate knowledge of children’s culture, language and identity into the assessment cycle.

Transitions into the kindergarten, and on to school, are supported through teachers' links with whānau and community. Teachers are growing their relationships with local schools, and recognise these processes could be developed further. ERO's evaluation confirms this direction.

The kindergarten's strategic plan has been aligned to the strategic intent of Kindergarten Taranaki. Teachers should now consider how to use annual planning to monitor the achievement of their strategic goals.

Teachers are increasingly responsive to the culture language and identity of Māori children. This is supported by the organisation's environmental focus, consideration of localised bicultural values, and teacher development goals and professional learning opportunities. A number of new initiatives and systems have been developed by the organisation that should further develop these aspects of practice.

The organisation generally provides useful governance and management support for this kindergarten. This includes:

  • purposeful support from the professional leaders to build teacher capability

  • effective and targeted teacher and leadership development through an appraisal process and a range of professional learning opportunities.

However, ERO's evaluation shows that in order to progress this kindergarten's areas for development and to better meet legislative requirements, increased oversight, challenge and guidance from the organisation is needed.

Organisation leaders are purposefully building teachers’ understanding of internal evaluation through ongoing mentoring. Teachers should continue to clearly measure the impact of practices on children’s learning.

Key Next Steps

ERO, the professional leader and kindergarten teachers agree the key next steps are to:

  • deepen assessment, planning and evaluation processes

  • develop culturally responsive teaching strategies

  • embed and consistently enact organisation systems, processes and policies.

ERO and Kindergarten Taranaki agree that the organisation should further develop:

  • quality assurance processes and guidelines linked to compliance with regulations and association expectations

  • a policy framework to support kindergartens.

Managers and leaders should consolidate newly introduced plans and processes and evaluate the effectiveness of practices and operation across all levels of the organisation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Patea 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.

ERO's evaluation identified areas of non-compliance. The organisation and teachers must ensure that Kindergarten Taranaki policies, as well as legislative requirements, are well understood and consistently enacted. In particular, teachers must:

  • record and evaluate emergency evacuation drills

  • analyse accident/incident records

  • document the assessment and management of risk when children leave the premises on an excursion

  • provide parents with opportunities to contribute to the development and review of the service's operational documents. [Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Services 2008, HS8, HS12, HS17, GMA3, GMA4]

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Patea Kindergarten will be in three years.

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

10 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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 23, Girls 22

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


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

10 August 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2015

Education Review

June 2012

Education Review

October 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.