Sunshine Kindergarten - 17/10/2019

1 Evaluation of Sunshine Kindergarten

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Sunshine Kindergarten is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Sunshine Kindergarten, located in Karori, provides whānau-based all-day education and care for up to 42 children aged over two years. Sessions run daily through the week from 8.30 am to 2.30pm. There are 66 children on the roll. The kindergarten serves a culturally diverse community.

The kindergarten philosophy, underpinned by respectful, reciprocal relationships, focuses on kaiako working collaboratively with families and whānau to empower tamariki to be competent, confident learners and citizens of their community. The values of manaakitanga, whanaungatanga, kaitiakitanga and tuākana teina are woven through the curriculum.

Sunshine Kindergarten is governed and managed by He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Kindergarten Association (the association). A team of senior teachers oversee and support the professional practice of the teaching team. The association governs 102 kindergartens which includes three Pacific kindergartens and a Pacific home-based service with two networks.

The June 2015 ERO evaluation identified key next steps for improvement. Good progress has been made in strengthening assessment and evaluation of children's learning, and developing reciprocal and responsive approaches to support Pacific learners. Teachers continue to strengthen internal evaluation.

Practices requiring development were also identified for the association. These included improvements to the quality and monitoring of processes to support individual kindergartens, and regular implementation of a robust appraisal system. Good progress has been made in these areas.

Since the 2015 ERO review teachers and children have continued to develop and plant the outdoor learning environment including Ngahere Ako, the bush classroom. Staffing has remained stable. All teachers are fully qualified.

This review was one of nine in the He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children make decisions about their learning through a thoughtfully developed curriculum that fosters strong connections with nature. Planting, nurturing, and harvesting fruit and vegetables teaches them about sustainable environmental practices. Ngahere Ako, the bush classroom, promotes respect for the living things and kaitiakitanga, guardianship of the land.

Teachers work alongside children using a range of intentional teaching strategies to support and add complexity to learning. Children have opportunities to explore, experiment and have fun. Literacy, mathematics and science are woven skillfully into the programme. Positive, respectful interactions are highly evident. Younger children have many opportunities to learn and play alongside their older peers. Promoting tuakana teina is a centre strength.

Kaupapa Māori practices are effectively integrated into the programme. Leaders and teachers are learning te reo Māori and they engage in meaningful conversations with children. Tikanga Māori is highly valued and well understood by teachers and children.

A rich inclusive culture values, celebrates and affirms each child and what they bring to their learning. Parents and children are encouraged to share and speak their home languages. Teachers are using and integrating these into the programme. Meaningful learning partnerships with whānau promote each child’s sense of belonging.

Children with additional learning needs are identified and effectively supported. Their learning and developmental progress is regularly tracked and monitored, enabling teachers to plan for each child’s needs. Leaders and teachers work alongside family and whānau to access external agencies when required.

A useful planning for learning framework based on children’s emerging interests prompts and guides curriculum development. Teachers recognise what is important for learning and respond by creating authentic experiences. Continuing to use Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, to support the teaching team to identify and link valued outcomes to meaningful learning experiences should support them to measure the impact of their teaching on children's learning.

Learning stories effectively document children’s friendships, discoveries and progress, and celebrate their cultures, languages and identities. An online assessment tool enables whānau to learn about their child’s progress and achievement through videos, pictures and written descriptions.

Children's transitions into and out of the service are carefully planned in collaboration with parents and whānau. Their wellbeing is prioritised. Teachers positive and purposeful relationships with local schools provide a good basis for promoting continuity of children's learning.

Leaders and teachers are developing their understanding of effective internal evaluation to inform decision making about change and improvement.

A well-considered appraisal process has recently been enhanced to grow and develop teacher practice. Teachers are expected to inquire into their teaching. Purposeful appraisal goals focus on improving aspects of their leadership or practice and support children’s learning and wellbeing.

The senior teaching team are reflective and highly improvement focused. They are successfully fostering a collective sense of responsibility for the vision, values and mission of the association. Systems and processes have been well developed to guide and grow teacher capability and positively impact on children’s learning.

The senior leadership team work effectively together with a shared commitment to meeting strategic goals and objectives for the benefit of children, whānau and community. Well-considered resource allocation supports and enhances children’s learning and wellbeing.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps for the teaching team are to continue to:

  • strengthen internal evaluation
  • identify valued learning outcomes to support programme development and review.

ERO and senior leaders agree that the association's next steps are to:

  • continue to follow the strategic direction set through Tūmanako, Te Tiriti o Waitangi based Strategic Priority Framework.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Sunshine 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.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

17 October 2019

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

42 children aged over 2 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Females 36, Males 30

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2019

Date of this report

17 October 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2015

Education Review

January 2012

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.