Patoka Rural Kindergarten - 16/11/2016

1 Evaluation of Patoka Rural Kindergarten

How well placed is Patoka Rural Kindergarten to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Patoka Rural Kindergarten needs to develop leadership for sustainable systems, processes and practices that contribute to improved teaching and learning, and outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


Patoka Rural Kindergarten is situated in the rural community of Patoka, 40 kilometres north-west of Napier. It operates three days per week. Education and care is provided for 20 children. Children up to two years of age attend with their parents.

The service is governed by a parent committee. Day-to-day management is delegated to the newly appointed supervisor. Parents are rostered to assist the teaching team.

The philosophy emphasises the importance of working in partnership with parents, supporting children to be capable and confident learners and providing a stimulating environment.

The September 2013 ERO evaluation identified the need to strengthen programme planning, teaching and learning practices, including assessment to promote learning and self review. Some progress has been made to improve these areas.

The Review Findings

Children participate enthusiastically in a range of learning experiences. They work well together problem solving, taking risks and having fun. The environment, resources and planned activities reflect the rural community. Routines provide a useful framework for the day and give children a sense of security. Children and their families demonstrate a strong sense of belonging.

Teachers have warm, responsive and respectful relationships with children and parents. They know children and their families well. The kindergarten is a valuable point of contact for families in this rural community. Parents contribute to the programme and participate in a range of activities. Committee members and teachers should review the kindergarten philosophy to ensure it fully reflects the community and current teaching and learning practices.

Children's learning and success are celebrated. Individual profile books are attractive records of their participation in the programme and life at the kindergarten. Monthly planning reflects children's interests and current events. The supervisor has identified, and ERO agrees that there is a need to strengthen assessment, planning and evaluation systems and practices to better promote learning. This should support teachers to:

  • notice, recognise and respond to children's interests, strengths and needs

  • strengthen the writing of learning stories to show development over time

  • evaluate the impact of their teaching.

A bicultural programme is developing. Aspects of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are evident. Teachers are continuing to seek and act upon opportunities to further extend their knowledge and understanding of educational success for Māori.

Children's language, culture and identity is promoted through inclusive practices. Literacy is evident in the programme and teachers support children's language development. Flexible decision-making provides responsive provision for children requiring additional support.

Transitions into the kindergarten and onto school respond to the needs of children and their parents. Good relationships with the local school continue to build ongoing and familiar connections for children.

Collaborative ways of working are fostered with all involved in the kindergarten. The supervisor acknowledges the importance of growing collective leadership capability to support professional growth. Teachers set useful goals focused on improving outcomes for children and access relevant professional development. The supervisor has sought assistance to develop a framework to guide appraisal. Ongoing strengthening of appraisal processes and practices has been identified as a key next step. ERO agrees and recommends that this should include:

  • observations of teaching practice where useful feedback and next steps are given

  • ensuring teachers are collecting evidence to meet the Practising Teacher Criteria.

Teachers and committee members are improvement-focused. Strengthening strategic and annual planning should better support kindergarten systems, processes and practices.

A shared understanding about the purpose of internal evaluation is in the early stages of development. Teachers should continue to strengthen their understanding of inquiry and evaluation. This should help monitor the effectiveness of centre operations and practice and guide decision-making.

Although a regular cycle of policy review is evident, there is a lack of clarity about policies that are required to guide the centre. Leaders should ensure they have a clear understanding of what policies are necessary to meet the requirements of the licensing criteria and other regulations.

Since the onsite phase of the review, committee members, the supervisor and teachers have been proactive in taking steps to address the areas for improvement, including the actions for compliance identified in this report.

Key Next Steps

The parent committee, supervisor, teachers and ERO agree on the following key next steps. Kindergarten personnel should develop sustainable systems, processes and practices that support improved outcomes for children. This should include:

  • reviewing philosophy to reflect the community and current teaching and learning practices
  • developing assessment, planning and evaluation
  • strengthening the bicultural curriculum and teachers' knowledge and understanding of educational success for Māori
  • improving appraisal systems, processes and practices
  • ensuring they have the required policies for an early childhood service.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Patoka Rural 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.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to governance and management, and health and safety. The service provider must ensure that:

  • a robust a system of regular appraisal is developed and implemented, including a system to manage issuing and renewing teachers' practising certificates
  • all vetting and safety checks are undertaken and results obtained before the worker has access to children
  • whenever children leave the premises on an outing or excursion, adult and child ratios are determined and assessment and management of risks is sufficiently undertaken
  • there is a written child protection policy that meets the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.
    [Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA7, GMA7A, HS17 and HS31, Vulnerable Children Act 2014.]

To improve practice, the parent committee and teachers should strengthen policy review to ensure they are meeting current legislative requirements.

Recommendation to Ministry of Education

ERO recommends that the Ministry reassess the licence of Patoka Rural Kindergarten. ERO will not undertake a further education review of this service until the Ministry of Education is satisfied that the service meets licensing requirements.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Patoka Rural Kindergarten will be in consultation with the Ministry of Education.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

16 November 2016

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

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

20 children, aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 9, Boys 9

Ethnic composition







Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children



Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2016

Date of this report

16 November 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

September 2013

Education Review

August 2010

Education Review

July 2007

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.