Rainbow Cottage Kindergarten - 08/10/2014

1 Evaluation of Rainbow Cottage Kindergarten

How well placed is Rainbow Cottage Kindergarten to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Rainbow Cottage Kindergarten needs support to develop the quality of the curriculum and the effectiveness of centre management systems and processes.

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


Rainbow Cottage Kindergarten is a well established kindergarten. It offers affordable education and care for children over two years of age. The kindergarten operates from a converted house. The kindergarten owners share management roles. They work closely with a team of three teachers to provide for children in their community. Parents can choose to have children attend either sessions or all day.

The kindergarten’s philosophy recognises New Zealand’s dual heritage with Māori as tangata whenua. It also values children’s different cultural backgrounds, supports children with special learning needs and promotes the importance of family values.

The 2011 ERO report made several recommendations for centre improvements. Some progress has been made towards addressing these. However, further progress is necessary to promote a child-centred programme and improve the quality of teaching and learning.

The Review Findings

The Rainbow Cottage Kindergarten provides an activity based curriculum. It is well resourced and homely and has a spacious outdoor environment.

Children settle quickly, and play with the variety of activities provided for them. Children show respect for routines and experience.

Teachers are welcoming and meet children’s care needs. They support each other and work well together. Teachers reflect the ethnic and cultural diversity of the children. Teachers encourage parents and whānau to participate in activities.

Parents report that they are happy with the programme, and appreciate teachers’ efforts to prepare their children for school. However, greater focus is needed on ensuring teaching approaches reflect Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and current theory and practice for early childhood education.

In order to increase the focus on promoting children’s individual learning ERO recommends that a robust, teacher appraisal system is developed. The focus of appraisal should be on strengthening and improving outcomes for children.

Leaders and teachers are building their capacity to provide a bicultural curriculum. A high priority should be given to developing more effective strategies to promote children’s language, culture and identity. This could help to improve the centre’s cultural responsiveness for Māori and Pacific children. By building more productive partnerships with parents and whānau, leaders and teachers could enhance their understanding of the diverse needs of the multi ethnic group of children who they serve.

The owners share the management of the centre. They work closely with the team of teachers to ensure its smooth running. The owners’ help teachers identify personal goals and support them to attend professional development courses.

Key Next Steps

In order to more effectively promote positive outcomes for children, the owners agree with ERO that they should:

  • develop a more robust appraisal system to strengthen and build teacher capacity
  • continue to use current early childhood theories to develop a shared understanding of quality outcomes for children
  • continue to strengthen the curriculum to better reflect Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum
  • strengthen the centre’s bicultural curriculum and extend te Ao Māori practices throughout the programme.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Rainbow Cottage 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.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance. To meet agreed accountabilities the service provider must ensure that:

  • the centre has adequate provision for protection against earthquake damage, and for dealing with the consequences of an earthquake
  • the curriculum provided responds to children's learning interests, strengths, and capabilities and reflects an understanding of learning and development that is consistent with current research, theory, and practices in early childhood education
  • a system of regular appraisal for all staff is implemented

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008: HS6 ; C4; GMA7.

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service consult with the Ministry of Education and plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Rainbow Cottage Kindergarten will be within two years.

Dale Bailey National Manager Review Services Northern Region

8 October 2014

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 Lynn, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 34 Girls 29

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā





Cook Island Māori








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

August 2014

Date of this report

8 October 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2011


Education Review

August 2008


Education Review

August 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.