Taupo Kids Community - 04/04/2019

1 Evaluation of Taupo Kids Community

How well placed is Taupo Kids Community to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Taupo Kids Community is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Taupo Kids Community is a community-based service located in the Taupō central business area. The centre offers education and care for children from birth to five years of age. It is licensed for 45 children, including 15 aged up to two years, within a mixed-aged group setting. Of the 57 children enrolled in the service, 16 identify as Māori.

The service is governed by a community trust made up of elected parents who are committed to maintaining an accessible community-based service. A centre manager oversees the day-to-day operation of the service and works alongside the board.

The philosophy aims to provide a mixed-age programme that fosters an enjoyment of learning through active exploration, child-initiated play experiences and interactions with each other. Currently, the trust is developing a recreation area alongside the current outdoor area to include a pump track, soccer field and basketball court.

Since the March 2016 ERO report, the service has experienced significant changes that have had an impact on sustaining the good progress identified at the time of this review. A new centre manager was appointed in late 2018, to improve systems and processes to maintain licensing conditions. This report highlights that although sufficient progress has been made, ongoing work is required to sustain good practices.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from a well-resourced environment that provides appropriate challenges for them within the mixed-age group setting. A focus on supporting children's physical development within an expansive outdoor area, is highly evident. Regular outings into the community and external expertise are used to extend their learning experiences.

Strong, respectful relationships promote a sense of belonging for children and their families, within a supportive community environment. Teachers know children and their whānau well. Parents are encouraged to contribute to their children's learning. Children play amicably alongside each other and engage in a range of teacher and child-led activities.

Aspects of te ao Māori are evident within the environment. Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are meaningfully incorporated throughout the daily programme. Children have opportunities to participate in kapa haka at the annual Ngāti Tuwharetoa Taiopenga. Strategies to further support teachers' understanding of local iwi knowledge and use of te reo Māori continues to be an ongoing focus.

Leaders and teachers are currently reviewing the service philosophy to grow their understanding of Te Whāriki and establish the service's priorities for learning. As part of this process, planned consultation will occur with parents and whānau to promote a shared understanding of the valued outcomes for children. Developing these learning partnerships should enable parents to define what educational success looks like for their children.

Learning stories, as the centre's assessment approach, provide a useful record of children’s participation in the programme. Children's individual interests are identified and responded to. Teachers appropriately extend their exploration. Leaders have identified that the process needs to be improved to capture individual children's progression of learning, their language, culture and identity.

The needs and desires of infants and toddlers are effectively responded to by teachers. Young children have attentive primary caregivers who work with parents to provide practice that is responsive to their care routines. Young learners have a newly developed physical space to explore, within a mixed-age group setting. Their wellbeing is promoted.

The centre manager provides strong direction and has developed robust systems and processes. To support children's learning and development, teachers work collaboratively and reflect on their practice. A newly developed appraisal system promotes leadership opportunities aligned to the strengths and passions of individual staff. Embedding the process is now a priority to meet Teaching Council legislative appraisal requirements.

The trust has engaged external support to improve overall governance capability. A newly developed strategic plan is in place. This is in the early stages. The board is actively participating in professional learning opportunities, alongside teachers, to support their understanding of Te Whāriki. The introduction of more robust reporting frameworks should ensure that legislative requirements are consistently met.

A useful self-review framework supports leaders to identify areas that require improving. A next step is for leaders and teachers to develop shared understanding and use of internal evaluation to know how effectively systems and processes improve outcomes for children and achieve strategic goals, the vision and philosophy.

Key Next Steps

The trust and leaders have identified a number of areas that require further strengthening. Newly implemented systems and processes require time to be embedded. Key priorities for the service are to continue to develop and strengthen:

  • assessment, planning and evaluation practice, to guide teaching and learning and to promote the expressed outcomes of the service and Te Whāriki

  • learning-focused partnerships with whānau, to respond to their aspirations and the culture, language and identity of their children

  • internal evaluation for knowing effectiveness of practice, focused on outcomes for children

  • the localised curriculum, to be inclusive of local iwi history and stories and te reo me ngā tikanga Māori.

The trust should:

  • monitor progress toward the strategic goals and ensure all legislative requirements are consistently met as set out in the annual plan

  • ensure the appraisal process is rigorously implemented. Goals and development actions should be responsive to the needs of leaders and individual teachers. Practices for endorsing and renewing Teacher Practising Certificates must meet all the requirements of the Teaching Council.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Taupo Kids Community 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 areas of non-compliance relating to the implementation of a system of regular appraisal and the practices of adults carrying out relevant emergency drills. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following areas:

  • implement an appraisal system to improve teaching practices and leadership, including appraisal for the centre manager

  • that adults providing education and care be familiar with relevant emergency drills and carry these out with children on an at least three-monthly basis.
    [Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA7, HS8]

To improve compliance practice:

Leaders and teachers should ensure that heavy furniture, fixtures and equipment that could fall, or topple and cause serious injury or damage, are secured inclusive of adult only areas.

Phil Cowie Director

Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

4 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

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

45 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 30 Girls 27

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2019

Date of this report

4 April 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2016

Education Review

February 2013

Education Review

February 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.