Takaro Kindergarten - 01/09/2016

1 Evaluation of Takaro Kindergarten

How well placed is Takaro 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.


Takaro Kindergarten is one of 25 early childhood services administered by the Ruahine Kindergarten Association Incorporated (the association). A license change in 2016 allows for an increase in roll numbers to 35 children aged over two years. Of the 36 children enrolled, 28 are Māori.

All four teachers are qualified and registered. A teacher aide is employed part time to support with the increased roll and is in the first year of teacher training. A new head teacher was appointed in 2016 and the kindergarten’s licensed hours increased to 30 per week. Staffing was increased accordingly.

The kindergarten philosophy emphasises the importance of ako/ākonga, aroha, Treaty of Waitangi/Tikangarua, the virtues, boundaries and whānau involvement with a fun learning environment. Teachers plan to revisit the philosophy to more succinctly align statements to the learning community values and beliefs.

The January 2013 ERO report, identified that teachers needed to extend self-review practice to more clearly show the impact on improving teaching and learning and to embed planning processes. Progress is evident in the understanding of internal evaluation. A new framework for assessment, planning and evaluation is in the early stages of implementation.

Day-to-day management of the association's affairs is the responsibility of the general manager. A governing board sets the overall strategic direction. The senior teacher provides professional leadership for teaching and learning. An operations manager supports services’ compliance, policy development and leadership. A management restructure has been undertaken since the previous ERO review.

This review is one of a cluster of eight reviews of Ruahine Kindergarten Association early learning services. 

The Review Findings

Well-resourced and thoughtfully organised environments support a variety of learning experiences and provide challenges for children. Vibrant indoor displays celebrate what is valued. A carefully considered setting contributes significantly to children’s sense of belonging. Children learn about the natural world and sustainable practices in an interesting and stimulating environment. They actively contribute to caring for their surroundings.

The programme effectively responds to children's ideas and wonderings. Their emerging interests in literacy and numeracy are encouraged. Thoughtful conversations with parents, and teachers’ daily observations, help to decide the next steps to challenge children and enrich their experiences. An on-line programme records teachers and parents’ communication about children’s learning programmes, progress and achievements. Teachers view each family and its knowledge of their child as an important part of the kindergarten’s learning community.

A clear vision focused on realising the potential of children and their whānau, sets the direction for the kindergarten. Teachers' actions and responses positively encourage participation, attendance and engagement of Māori and Pacific children and their families. Promoting the wairua of whanaungatanga and aroha for whānau and the community, continues to be successfully embedded within teaching and learning. Inclusive practices are culturally responsive where whānau and families bring who they are, including their cultural identity into programmes.

Teachers effectively support children to settle into the kindergarten session. Transition into and out of the kindergarten is flexible and responsive to the needs and preferences of children and families. Positive relationships with the local school help to support children and families with the move to the new entrant classroom. Teachers agree they need to continue to focus on developing connections with more schools in the local area to further help children's transition.

The new head teacher provides capable professional leadership and welcomes initiative. Teachers are very reflective and improvement focused. Sound use is beginning to be made of current best practice to support developing internal evaluation processes.

The association agrees the continued development of its Wise Practice indicators should occur to support understanding about the quality and effectiveness of practice and operation at kindergarten through to board level.

The kindergarten's annual plan outlines priorities for the year, linked to the association's strategic goals of having high quality staff, coordinated services, effective partnerships and operation. Progress is recorded and reflected upon in collaboration with the senior teacher and operations manager. Quality indicators linked to outcomes for children are a useful addition to the annual plan. These should be further defined to enable more effective monitoring of progress. 

The association provides effective governance and management support for this service. This includes:

  • constructive and improvement-focused support from the senior teacher
  • suitable quality assurance processes and guidelines linked to compliance with regulations and association expectations
  • a variety of operational and administrative support
  • effective and targeted support for teacher and leadership development through appraisal and wide-ranging professional learning opportunities.

Key Next Steps

ERO and association leaders agree that teachers should be supported to continue to:

  • strengthen understanding and use of internal evaluation
  • embed assessment, planning and evaluation practices to guide future teaching and learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

1 September 2016

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 


Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

35 children, aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 20, Boys 16

Ethnic composition

Cook Island Māori


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2016

Date of this report

1 September 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

January 2013

Education Review

May 2009

Education Review

May 2005

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.