Takaro Kindergarten - 11/12/2019

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

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

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


Takaro Kindergarten is located in Palmerston North. The opening hours are Monday to Friday from 8.30am until 2.30pm. Full day places are available to children from two to six years old. At the time of this review, there were 35 children enrolled and 19 identify as Māori.

The kindergarten philosophy emphasises whanaungatanga (family relationships), manaakitanga (kindness and generosity), wairuatanga (balance and harmony), kaitiakitanga (guardianship of knowledge), rangatiratanga (leadership that inspires) and kotahitanga (unity and mana).

The kindergarten is administered by the Ruahine Kindergarten Association (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 chief executive officer who is responsible to the board. An operations manager supports the service’s compliance and policy development. Two senior teachers provide educational leadership across the teaching teams.

Since the September 2016 ERO report, most teachers are new. The previous ERO report identified strengthening of internal evaluation and the assessment, planning and evaluation process was required. Although some progress has been made to address these areas, they remain key next steps.

This kindergarten is part of Te Oro Karaka Rua Kāhui Ako.

This review was part of a cluster of eight kindergarten reviews and one early learning service review in the Ruahine Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children and families are warmly welcomed into the service. Teachers value the relationships they have with whānau and provide support to meet their individual needs and preferences. A sense of wellbeing and belonging is well promoted within an inclusive learning environment. The philosophy is evident in practice.

Ministry of Education equity funding is effectively used to support children with diverse learning needs to experience success. Teachers work collaboratively with external agencies, whānau, schools and the wider community to facilitate wrap-around services to promote the wellbeing of children and their families.

A strengths-based approach to learning and teaching promotes children's growing confidence and independence. The curriculum is responsive to children's interests and builds on their prior knowledge to foster individual learning dispositions. Adults take the time to engage children in meaningful conversations. Children are encouraged to take on leadership roles during hui and enjoy revisiting their learning.

Aspects of te ao Māori are woven throughout daily routines and visible within the environment. Teachers are committed to strengthening their use of te reo Māori. Strong relationships with Māori whānau and connections within the wider community are valued and integral to their children's learning. Extending these relationships into learning partnerships should further support whānau to contribute their understanding of what educational success looks like for their children.

Learning assessment portfolios of children who require additional learning support, show a range of successful teaching strategies promoting their progression of learning. Leaders have identified that the newly implemented planning process requires further development for a more consistent approach to planning and evaluation of the curriculum for all children.

Senior teachers work collaboratively to build teacher and leadership capability. There is a strong commitment to growing staff knowledge and skills through ongoing professional learning, research opportunities and sharing of good practice.

The kindergarten is well supported by senior teachers to improve their understanding of internal evaluation for improvement. As a new team, the next step is to evaluate the effectiveness of initiatives and the impact these have on improving outcomes for children. This should support teachers to identify what is working well and who for, to inform future decision making.

Association leaders have a well-considered approach to progressing strategic objectives. Robust systems and processes are in place for monitoring, reporting and evaluating the quality of operations. Information is used to inform decision making and to improve the quality of teaching and learning.

Key Next Steps

At kindergarten level, priorities are to:

  • strengthen the assessment, planning and evaluation process

  • develop learning partnerships with whānau Māori and mana whenua to further support Māori children's educational success

  • continue to strengthen teachers' knowledge, understanding and use of effective internal evaluation to inform further decision making.

At the governance level, the Ruahine Kindergarten Association have identified that the priorities are to continue to:

  • strengthen and build their knowledge and understanding of tikanga Māori and seek engagement with local iwi, with kaumatua support

  • support Takaro Kindergarten to implement internal evaluation for improvement.

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.

To improve compliance practice the service is reviewing their lockdown procedure.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)

Central Region - Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

11 December 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


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

Male 21, Female 14

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
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

November 2019

Date of this report

11 December 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2016

Education Review

January 2013

Education Review

May 2009

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.