Pukekura Kindergarten - 11/05/2017

1 Evaluation of Pukekura Kindergarten

How well placed is Pukekura 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.


Pukekura Kindergarten provides education and care for children from two to five years of age. The kindergarten is open for six hours daily, five days a week and is licenced for up to 34 children. Within these hours, sessional care and education is also provided. Of the roll of 51 children, four identify as Māori.    

The teaching team is fully qualified. There have been staff changes, including leadership, since the August 2013 ERO report.

The kindergarten is one of 24 governed by the newly established Kindergarten Taranaki (the association), formerly North and South Taranaki Kindergarten Associations. A chief executive was appointed to lead the association in 2014.

Two professional leaders (PLs) are employed by the association to provide professional support and guidance to teachers. Since the 2016 reviews a programme manager and a human resource generalist have been appointed.

ERO's previous report identified areas requiring further development. These included teachers continuing to develop their evaluative capacity, review of the philosophy and enhancing teaching strategies to promote educational success for Māori and Pacific children. Progress is evident. In addition, the association was asked to strengthen appraisal and progress is ongoing.

This review was part of a cluster of eight in the Kindergarten Taranaki Association. 

The Review Findings

A calm, unhurried environment supports children's play and learning. A wide range of resources are readily accessible for children. Activities provided support children to choose, experience challenge and revisit prior learning.

Participation in creative arts is highly evident. Music, dramatic play and visual arts are particularly enjoyed by children. Photographs, art work, cultural artefacts and visual displays are used purposefully to enhance children's sense of belonging. Children know routines well and are provided with leadership opportunities.

Teachers draw on sound professional knowledge to provide a well-considered, varied curriculum.  The environment effectively stimulates children's exploration, curiosity and promotes their developing interests. Children with diverse needs are well supported to engage with the kindergarten programme. Teachers liaise with outside agencies where appropriate.

A useful process for assessment, planning and evaluation has been recently implemented. Whānau are active participants in planning for their child's learning programme. The planned curriculum is closely aligned to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and the Pukekura Kindergarten's philosophy. As this process develops it should be strengthened by:

  • gathering and documenting information about children's cultural contexts
  • explicitly identifying and implementing teaching strategies that support children's ongoing progress
  • making the child's voice evident in assessment.

Te ao Māori and tikanga Māori are valued and visible in the environment. This should be strengthened through regular and meaningful integration of te reo Māori throughout the programme.

Teachers implement a range of useful strategies to support children and their families into the kindergarten. Leaders have indicated that strengthening relationships with local schools is an area in development.

The kindergartens strategic plan 2017-2021 has appropriately identified a focus on priority learners. Association guidance should support ongoing educational success for these learners. A comprehensive system of review of all aspects of policies and procedures is in place.

A useful appraisal process is in place to support teachers' ongoing improvement. Teachers are highly reflective and review evidence collected to show the impact on their teaching practice.  A recently revised appraisal procedure, includes the use of formal observation of teaching practice. Once fully established this should assist leaders to strengthen the process. PLs should then undertake regular monitoring of how well appraisal is being implemented in each kindergarten.

A self-review framework guides improvements to practice, and the environment, and enhances learning opportunities for children. A recent shift to have a stronger more evaluative focus to determine how well practices impact on children's learning and development has been implemented. PLs should support teachers to continue to deepen their understanding of internal evaluation.

The board works collaboratively with its community to establish its vision, values and strategic priorities. Establishing clearer measures of success should enable the board to measure progress and evaluate how well practices support the realisation of its goals and vision.

The board's ongoing commitment to biculturalism is reflected by initiatives to support teachers to promote te ao Māori in the curriculum and to develop culturally appropriate practices. Senior leaders are developing initiatives to better determine the impact of curriculum delivery and teaching and learning in each kindergarten.  

The association should establish clear expectations of the purpose and use of assessment, planning and evaluation in kindergartens. Professional leaders in partnership with teaching teams should then monitor the effective implementation of:

  • assessment, planning and evaluation
  • review and internal evaluation.

In addition, the association should establish a system for the ongoing monitoring of compliance with legislative requirements, including those related to health and safety.

Key Next Steps

ERO and kindergarten teachers agree that the key next steps are to continue to strengthen:

  • assessment, planning and evaluation
  • the integration of te reo Māori throughout the programme
  • its focus on priority learners.

The association should:

  • strengthen the processes used to evaluate the progress of the strategic plan
  • provide effective guidance and monitoring of association expectations related to assessment, planning and evaluation, review and internal evaluation and health and safety practices. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Pukekura 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 Pukekura Kindergarten will be in three years. 

Patricia Davey
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

11 May 2017 

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


New Plymouth

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

34 children aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 27, Boys 24

Ethnic composition

Other ethnicities


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

11 May 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

August 2013

Education Review

June 2010

Education Review

December 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.