Tahunanui Kindergarten - 29/04/2019

1 Evaluation of Tahunanui Kindergarten

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


Tahunanui Kindergarten provides all-day education and care for up to 45 children, aged over two years. The kindergarten's roll is very diverse. At the time of this review there are 7 Māori children. All teachers are qualified.

The kindergarten philosophy emphasises personalised learning pathways for children where belonging, wellbeing and learning are valued. Working collaboratively with parents to support children to be motivated, respectful, resourceful, resilient and reflective underpins the philosophy.

Tahunanui Kindergarten is governed and managed by the Nelson Tasman Kindergarten Association (the association). Since the August 2013 ERO reviews, a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) has been appointed. The CEO and a board of trustees are responsible for the governance of the kindergarten. A team of senior education advisors (SEA) oversees and supports professional practice.

The association provides a range of external expertise to help all children succeed in their learning. This includes te ao Māori expertise, teacher aides, a speech language therapist, whānau support and parent education opportunities.

ERO's previous report identified some key next steps for the kindergarten. These included teachers extending children's learning through interactions, reflecting this in documentation and building their knowledge of internal evaluation. Progress is evident. Since the previous review there has been significant changes to staffing.

The ERO reviews undertaken in 2018 identified key next steps for the board. These included, improving their planning to support the achievement of the board’s strategic objectives, and ensuring that reporting is evaluative and focuses on outcomes for children. These remain priority areas for development.

This review was one of five in the Nelson Tasman Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children participate in a child-led curriculum, where they have fun and learn. They engage in their self-selected learning experiences for sustained periods of time. Teachers work alongside children using a range of strategies to further enhance their learning.

The outdoor space is well resourced with a range of activities for children to develop their physical skills. Resources are flexible and children have opportunities to redesign this space for further challenge.

Teachers take a well-considered approach to curriculum developments. This measured approach has built teacher capability and is leading to improved outcomes for children. The focus on oral language is a strength of the kindergarten. Rich, descriptive language is used well to support children’s developing oral language. Teachers use a range of effective strategies to build children’s knowledge of language, including supporting children with English as a second language. These opportunities enrich the learning programme.

Bicultural practices are well established, integrated and highly valued within the kindergarten. Tuakana teina practice is encouraged and children support one another to further their learning in te reo Māori.

It is timely for leaders and teachers to review the kindergarten philosophy in consultation with parents and whānau to determine what learning is valued and what educational success looks like for Māori in this context. Once completed, indicators of high quality practice should be developed. These should be used to guide the implementation of the philosophy and to measure the effectiveness over time of the curriculum in action through internal evaluation.

Children with additional learning needs are identified and effectively supported in the programme. Leaders and teachers work alongside their family and whānau to access the external agencies when required.

Assessment documentation shows teachers noticing children’s interests and recognising the significant learning evident. Learning goals are developed in consultation with parents and whānau and over time children’s progress is highlighted and celebrated. Next steps should include:

  • teachers documenting how they will be more intentional in their approach to supporting each child to meet their learning outcome

  • celebrating children’s culture, language and identity.

Relationships are welcoming and respectful between teachers, children and parents. Parents have opportunities to share their expertise with children which extends the curriculum. Strengthening opportunities for parents to be involved in their child's learning is an area for further development.

A well-considered approach to supporting children and their whānau as they transition to school is in place. This includes a focus on supporting children to be "ready, willing and able to learn" in the school context. Older children are offered an enrichment programme prior to school entry which includes purposeful visits to the local school.

A recent parent survey has provided useful feedback for leaders and teachers. As a result the kindergarten has identified some areas for ongoing improvement. A next step is for leaders and teachers to develop an appropriate communication strategy to share the findings from this survey, and the kindergartens' response, with parents.

Leaders and teachers are improvement focused. The team uses internal evaluation to inform next steps for ongoing improvement. Teachers acknowledge that a deeper analysis of the information gathered should guide them to make judgements about the effectiveness of the curriculum and teaching practice on children’s learning.

Collaborative leadership is fostered in the teaching team. Individual strengths and areas of interest are maximised to build teacher practice and enhance the curriculum.

The board is well informed about outcomes from association-wide strategic reviews and the progress being made to achieve strategic goals.

The board and association are taking deliberate action to support Māori and Pacific children and children with diverse learning needs. The association has developed strong relationships with community organisations to support children and their whānau.

Appraisal is supporting growth in teacher capability. The association should update the performance management policy and the appraisal procedure. In addition, the association should introduce the Teaching Council appraisal summary annual report as part of the endorsement process.

Key Next Steps

The key next steps for teachers are to:

  • consult with parents, whānau Māori and their Pacific community about the kindergartens' philosophy and educational success for their children

  • strengthen assessment, planning and evaluation and draw on a wider range of strategies to further develop learning partnerships with parents

  • continue to develop their understanding of internal evaluation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Tahunanui 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.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

29 April 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

45 children, over two years

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 32, Girls 18

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

February 2019

Date of this report

29 April 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2013

Education Review

March 2010

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.