Puddleducks' Kindergarten - 28/11/2019

1 Evaluation of Puddleducks' Kindergarten

How well placed is Puddleducks' Kindergarten to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Puddleducks' Kindergarten is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Puddleducks' Kindergarten is located in Palmerston North. It is licensed to provide all day education and care five days a week, for 30 children over two years of age. The current roll is 24 and four identify as Māori. The service, previously Rewanui Private Kindergarten, was purchased by Aspiring Services Ltd in July 2018. It is one of seven services privately owned by this organisation.

A board of directors and an advisory board undertake the governance role. A managing director supported by a human resources and an educational leader have responsibility for overseeing strategic operation and professional practice. The centre leader is responsible for the day-to-day running of the service. Three of the five teaching staff have early childhood teaching qualifications and current practising certificates.

The philosophy is under review. It promotes the kindergarten as a home away from home, where each child is viewed as unique bringing with them their strengths and knowledge. Relationships with whānau are valued. Respect, kindness and honesty underpin teaching and learning.

Leaders have appropriately focused on building a culture of collaboration and the new teaching team's knowledge and understanding of Puddleducks' expectations for practice.

The Review Findings

Children enthusiastically explore and engage in a variety of well-considered planned and spontaneous play-based learning experiences at the kindergarten and in the wider community.

A positive tone permeates the centre and inclusive practices are evident. Children's developing social competence and emotional wellbeing are fostered by attentive teachers within a culture of care and respect.

Governance has significantly improved resource provision to better cater for the age range of children attending. This resourcing and refurbishment of the physical environment, indoors and out, has resulted in a highly conducive environment for learning.

The teaching team are building their knowledge of culturally responsive intentional teaching practice. They continue to embed assessment and planning practices that focus on responding to the aspiration's families and whānau hold for their children. As these developments progress and when the review of the philosophy is complete, teachers should design the service's local curriculum aligned to the valued learning outcomes in Te Whāriki. 

Puddleducks' managers and leaders have been supportive in building an organisational culture of improvement. Systems and practices that build teachers' and leaders' capability include appropriate external and internal professional learning. Efficient appraisal, induction and internal evaluation practices build individual's capability and the service's capacity to improve outcomes for children and their families and whānau.

Key Next Steps

To sustain the good practice occurring and to progress planned developments, leaders should continue to build the team's understanding and use of effective internal evaluation to know how well the service philosophy is enacted and the valued outcomes for children are achieved.

The team should document the developing culturally responsive, localised curriculum to guide practice. They also need to achieve consistent teacher understanding, implementation and documentation of the new assessment and planning procedure.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Puddleducks' 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.

To improve health and safety practice leaders must ensure all staff:

  • follow expected procedures when children experience education in the community, including carrying out a risk assessment for each excursion
  • ensure emergency drills carried out with children are recorded and this documentation is forwarded to managers.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

28 November 2019

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


Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Female 14, Male 10

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2019

Date of this report

28 November 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2017

Education Review

November 2014

Education Review

September 2011

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.