Shalom Kindergarten - 17/02/2017

1 Evaluation of Shalom Kindergarten

How well placed is Shalom 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.


Shalom Kindergarten is located in the Tauranga suburb of Otumoetai. It was established in 1984 as a community-based early childhood service attached to City Church Tauranga. The service is governed by a trust board with close links to the church and provides education and care for children from a wide geographical area in and around Tauranga. The service is licensed for a maximum of 50 children from two years to school age. It operates from Monday to Friday and offers both all day and sessional services between 8am and 4.30pm.

Since the previous ERO review in 2013 there have been significant changes to the teaching team. The experienced manager continues to provide professional leadership for the staff and kindergarten community. The kindergarten philosophy documents the intent to provide education and care from a Christian world view. Children are encouraged to become 'all they have been gifted to be through play, guided activity and respectful relationships'.

The teaching team of six, includes four with early childhood and two with primary teaching qualifications. Teachers and children are supported by an administrator and two teacher aides.

The centre has made very good progress in addressing the areas for review and development identified in the 2013 ERO report. Very good progress has been made in developing the staff appraisal system. Teachers have also responded to the large number of boys enrolled by undertaking professional learning about play and activities targeted to meet the needs of this active group of learners. Given the significant number of staff changes, a more recent focus has been to build the new teaching team culture and develop shared expectations for kindergarten practice.

Leaders and trustees are continuing to revisit and rationalise the kindergarten policy framework.

The Review Findings

The service continues to provide education and care where children are valued and encouraged to learn through play. The approach to programme planning is based on children's preferences and is responsive to their interests. This approach enables children to choose from a wide range of activities and make decisions about their level of involvement with play. Teachers respect these choices and work closely alongside children to support each child's learning, and assist them to develop ideas. Leaders acknowledge that further development of centre planning processes is necessary to provide consistency of practice amongst the new team.

Teachers record significant learning in individual child portfolios. These documents provide a valuable record of children's engagement in play and exploration and of their level of involvement in the kindergarten programme. A useful next step for teachers and leaders is to review assessment processes to ensure narratives about learning include information about how teachers are building complexity into children's learning over time.

Teachers are highly responsive to children's need for support, encouragement, care and guidance in their learning. Relationships between teachers and children continue to be respectful, positive and strongly reflective of the centre philosophy. These relationships form the basis for the high levels of trust between children and adults that are evident in the kindergarten.

The organisation of the kindergarten environment enables children to experience early literacy and mathematical learning integrated throughout activities, interactions with teachers, daily routines and events. Literacy learning is focused on oral language development, good modelling by teachers, an abundance of print-based resources, and increasing opportunities for children to interact with text.

The service is strongly committed to providing inclusive education and care for children with identified high learning and developmental needs. The manager is knowledgeable about provision for these children, which includes external agency support when necessary.

The kindergarten continues to be very well resourced with equipment to support children's learning across all curriculum areas. The outdoor area, in particular, is extensive and provides many interesting places for children to explore, along with areas for active physical play.

Leaders continue to provide effective well-informed leadership and strong direction for the service. Leaders and teachers have a good understanding of the role of self review for ongoing improvement. Regular policy review and reviews of aspects of the environment have contributed to improvements for children and adults. A more detailed approach to strategic and annual planning is now needed to provide a stronger basis for ongoing strategic review and improvement.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre leaders agree that useful next steps for the kindergarten are to focus on further developing:

  • the approach to annual and strategic planning

  • shared understandings about programme planning

  • processes for individual assessment of children's learning and development

  • the way teachers include te reo and aspects of tikanga Māori naturally throughout the programme. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

17 February 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 



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children aged 2 years and over

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 34

Boys 34

Ethnic composition



South East Asian






Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratio of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2016

Date of this report

17 February 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

July 2013

Education Review

July 2010

Education Review

September 2007

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.