Raglan Kindergarten - 16/02/2018

1 Evaluation of Raglan Kindergarten

How well placed is Raglan 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.


Raglan kindergarten is located in the small coastal town of Raglan, 48 km west of Hamilton. It is one of 29 kindergartens situated in the Waikato region and is licensed for 40 children from two years to school age. At the time of this ERO review 62 children were enrolled, including ten who identify as Māori. The kindergarten also caters for families from a diverse range of ethnic backgrounds. The kindergarten offers full-day education and care and flexible attendance hours to meet the needs of families. All teachers are qualified and registered. The organisation provides 20 free hours for all children.

The kindergarten operates under the umbrella of the Waikato Kindergarten Association (WKA), which is a charitable trust, and does not operate for profit. The strategic direction of the association is guided by the overarching statement, ‘Every child reaching their full potential’. The WKA has a commitment to providing quality, inclusive services that effectively meet the diverse educational needs of all children attending.

All kindergartens in Waikato Kindergarten Association are involved in sustainable programmes promoting the care of people and the environment. These programmes include Enviroschools, Sport Waikato Under 5 Energise and a ‘Cool for School’ transition programme. A kaumātua from Tainui provides advice, guidance and support to the organisation. The kindergarten's educational, operational and administrative responsibilities are well supported by association specialist personnel.

The core values of the kindergarten philosophy empower children to become confident, competent learners, within a stimulating, nurturing and challenging environment. The philosophy states that teachers respect and acknowledge each child as an individual and develop a programme where the goals of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, are embedded and children are extended through their interests.

Since the last ERO review in 2015, the kindergarten has responded to all the identified areas for development. Teachers have participated in a local school and early childhood education cluster group. This has enabled them to share their expertise and knowledge, supporting the development of shared understanding about children's transitions and learning pathways.

This review was part of a cluster of five reviews in the Waikato Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

The kindergarten curriculum is highly responsive to the emerging interests of children. The principles of Te Whāriki are well embedded in the programme. The use of flexible routines provide opportunities for children's engagement in sustained learning. Children lead their own learning. They have choice and are able to set their own challenges and extend their learning.

A strength of the kindergarten is its localised curriculum. Children's learning is enhanced by their engagement with local people, and in community events and initiatives. A special feature of the programme is the focus on environmentally sustainable practices within the kindergarten and wider community, including regular visits to a local permaculture farm. Children's mathematical and literacy learning are well supported through meaningful play. Children benefit from participating in a rich programme that supports their strengths and interests.

Teaching practices effectively promote positive outcomes for children. Highly skilled intentional teaching includes:

  • emotional and social coaching

  • providing children with ongoing feedback and feed forward that acknowledges their efforts and achievements

  • the use of learning conversations to provoke curiosity, critical thinking and problem solving.

Māori children's language, culture and identity are affirmed by teachers' frequent use of te reo Māori, inclusion of kaitiakitanga and incorporation of Māori world views. Teachers implement practices that are inclusive of children with additional learning and behaviour needs. Children are well supported to become capable, competent learners.

Teachers have established strong partnerships with parents and whānau. Open communication processes promote parent participation in their child's learning. Attractively presented individual portfolios, that are also available in electronic format, celebrate children's success with parents and whānau. Parents' aspirations for their child's learning are shared with teachers who use them to support children's transitions into the kindergarten.

Children's transitions to school are well supported. Reciprocal visits to the local schools support familiarity with the school environment. The Cool 4 School programme is skilfully woven into children's play. Learning summaries are written in collaboration with parents and highlight children's life-long dispositions, which they can transfer to other learning environments. Teachers' participation in the community cluster contributes to a shared understanding of successful transition to school.

Kindergarten leadership is highly effective. Leaders provide quality professional guidance and direction for the teaching team. A collaborative culture is underpinned by the shared values and beliefs of teachers, parents, whānau and the community. A shared leadership approach maximises the strengths of the teaching team focused on growing their capability.

Highly effective internal evaluation practices are well embedded and strongly aligned to annual and strategic goals. The newly introduced individualised planning, assessment and evaluation process should help teachers further strengthen productive learning partnerships with whānau. Robust internal evaluation practices lead to ongoing improvements and positive outcomes for children.

The WKA provides sound, comprehensive systems, policies and procedures to guide kindergarten practice. Teachers have access to ongoing and targeted professional development to support improved practices and lead to positive outcomes for children. Education Support Managers work closely with the head teacher and provide well-informed professional leadership to support kindergarten operations. Effective governance by the WKA contributes to high-quality, inclusive and equitable services for children.

Key Next Steps

As identified through the kindergarten internal evaluation process, there is a need to continue to strengthen assessment, planning and evaluation, in order to enhance children's individual learning pathways.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Raglan 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 Raglan Kindergarten will be in four years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

16 February 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, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 36 Girls 26

Ethnic composition



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

November 2017

Date of this report

16 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2015

Education Review

March 2012

Education Review

December 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.