Ranui Free Kindergarten (Timaru) - 07/10/2014

1. Evaluation of Ranui Free Kindergarten (Timaru)

How well placed is Ranui Free Kindergarten (Timaru) 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.


Ranui Free Kindergarten is in Timaru beside a local school. The kindergarten is licensed for 45 children including five children up to the age of two. Since July 2014, only children over two years of age attend. A number of children need additional support in the programme.

The kindergarten serves a diverse community. The kindergarten takes part in some local initiatives for the wellbeing of children and families, such as the WAVE programme (Wellbeing and Vitality in Education).

The kindergarten has had recent upgrades to the indoor areas.

There have been many staff changes within the teaching team. The teachers continue to work on the areas for development and review identified in the 2011 ERO report.

This review was part of a cluster of 11 kindergarten reviews in the South Canterbury Free Kindergarten Association (SCFKA).

The Review Findings

Children at the kindergarten develop strong friendships and are pleased to see each other when they arrive in the morning. They share laughter and the enjoyment of being together. Teachers deliberately teach children strategies to care for each other and how to play well together. They help children to develop skills to resolve conflict positively.

ERO observed children quickly settling to play. Teachers sensitively support those children who need extra help to settle into the day. They have clear expectations for children and guide them in a calm and unhurried way. Children confidently approach their teachers and are eager to share their news.

Teachers know children’s interests. They respond by bringing these into the programme and have useful conversations to help children express their ideas, and learn new things. Teachers use an electronic tablet as a stimulus for conversations to extend children’s thinking. They plan a range of interesting experiences to help children develop ways to solve problems.

Parents are welcomed to the kindergarten and feel comfortable to stay and talk to the teachers. The parent committee is growing in strength and responsibility. The teachers promote the wellbeing of families through providing a programme about healthy eating within the kindergarten and at home. This involves children regularly baking and growing their own food at the kindergarten. Families can also access healthy food and recipes to use at home.

Children play in large indoor and outdoor areas with many interesting spaces for them to explore.

Teachers plan a range of experiences that:

  • involve learning in small groups

  • focus on literacy and verbal communication

  • include Māori legends, te reo Māori, waiata and tikanga Māori

  • foster children’s listening and expression through music and movement

  • help children transition to local schools.

As part of the review, ERO investigated how well the programme supported children to develop early mathematics concepts. The programme supports children’s mathematics learning through everyday experiences.

Key Next Steps

The leaders and team need to continue to find ways to work together to ensure shared understandings and consistency of practice.

Leaders and teachers should clarify the purpose of the vision and philosophy statements and describe what these mean in practice for the kindergarten.

They must also refine the systems to support purposeful planning, assessment and evaluation. These practices should include:

  • a clear analysis of children’s learning

  • incorporating parents’ wishes for their children’s learning

  • evaluating group planning against the intended learning outcomes.

They need to consistently implement and embed these systems and develop a shared understanding of robust self review and use this to monitor the effectiveness of the programme and their practices.Teachers should develop a planned approach to partnerships with Māori whānau and better include Māori perspectives in the kindergarten.


The SCFKA is governed by a board and managed by a newly appointed general manager. The board:

  • has a strong commitment to teaching and learning

  • seeks parents views about important matters in the association

  • has made changes to the roll size and opening hours of the kindergartens to be more responsive to community needs and maintain the financial viability of the association

  • is very responsive to important government initiatives such as ensuring educational success for all children.

Next steps for the board are to:

  • know more about their roles and responsibilities as governors

  • develop strategic planning

  • ensure that reporting is more evaluative to show how the goals of the association are being met and used to inform future planning

  • refine appraisal systems to ensure that staff and teachers more formally receive critical feedback about their work.

The senior teachers provide useful ongoing professional development and a strong focus on teaching and learning to the kindergartens within the association. They have shared with the teachers at Ranui Free Kindergarten the expectations they have for teaching and learning and how well they think the team is meeting those expectations.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Ranui Free Kindergarten (Timaru) 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 Ranui Free Kindergarten (Timaru) will be in three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

7 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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

45 children, including up to 5 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys: 34 Girls: 22

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā







Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements


Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2014

Date of this report

7 October 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

These are available at www.ero.govt.nz

Education Review

June 2011


Education Review

November 2007


Education Review

November 2004

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.