Taihape Kindergarten - 29/04/2019

1 Evaluation of Taihape Kindergarten

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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


Taihape Kindergarten is in the Rangitikei district of Manawatu-Whanganui. Opening hours are Monday to Friday from 8:30am until 2:30pm. Full day places are available for children aged from two to six years.

The kindergarten's valued outcomes for children promote manaakitanga, wairuatanga, rangatiratanga and whanaungatanga.

The area for review and development identified in the December 2015 ERO report has been suitably addressed.

Taihape is one of 15 kindergartens governed and managed by the Whanganui Kindergarten Association Incorporated (the association). The governing board is responsible for setting the overall strategic direction for the organisation. The day-to-day running of the association is the role of the general manager, who is responsible to the board.

Since April 2018, the association's programme of professional learning and development and curriculum implementation has been managed by He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Free Kindergarten Association Incorporated. An association senior teacher and two senior teachers from Whānau Manaaki provide regular support for teachers.

This review was part of a cluster of 15 in the Whanganui Kindergarten Association Incorporated.

The Review Findings

Children lead their own learning in an environment well organised to support their independence and exploration. They participate enthusiastically in a range of learning experiences. Parents and whānau are warmly welcomed into the kindergarten.

Priorities for children's learning are well-established and highly visible in the curriculum. Children are confident communicators and capable, independent learners.

An online assessment platform is improving information sharing between home and the kindergarten. Teachers value the knowledge and aspirations that parents and whānau hold for their children. Strong relationships with parents supports children's learning.

Children's learning stories show their engagement in activities and experiences. Teachers are continuing to strengthen their approach to reflect children's learning over time and the extent to which assessment is responsive to children's cultural identities.

Teachers work closely with whānau, and a range of external agencies, to meet the needs of children requiring additional learning support.

Te ao Māori is highly evident as an integral part of the kindergarten curriculum. Leaders and teachers are strengthening their approach to supporting Māori children's learning. Well-established relationships with iwi support kindergarten practices.

Transitions into the kindergarten are responsive to children's needs. A range of useful strategies supports older children and whānau as they prepare for their move to school.

Research effectively guides teacher practice. Leaders and teachers continue to refine their evaluative capability. A new framework is assisting them in inquiring more deeply into the curriculum and their teaching, leading to improved outcomes for children.

The governing board is future-focused and has taken appropriate steps to strengthen opportunities for teachers’ professional learning and development. An association-wide appraisal process is in place to support teacher practice in promoting positive learning outcomes for children. Consistency of its implementation across all kindergartens requires strengthening.

Key Next Steps

Association leaders and ERO agree that for ongoing and sustained improvement, staff at Taihape Kindergarten should continue to strengthen assessment practice.

The senior management team of Whanganui Kindergarten Association Incorporated should continue to strengthen the implementation of teacher appraisal.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Taihape 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.

ERO identified an area of non-compliance in the service related to health and safety. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following area:

  • when children leave the premises on an excursion, the excursion must be approved by the person responsible and an appropriate assessment and management of risk undertaken.
    [Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, HS17]

In order to improve practice the association and teachers should:

  • ensure that at least one of the toilets for use by children is designed to provide them with some sense of privacy
  • improve record keeping in relation to sleeping children.

Since the on-site stage of the review, association leaders have provided ERO with steps taken to address these areas.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central 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

40 children, aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 34, Girls 26

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2019

Date of this report

29 April 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

December 2015

Education Review

September 2012

Education Review

June 2008

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.