Tawhiti Kindergarten - 15/08/2018

1 Evaluation of Tawhiti Kindergarten

How well placed is Tawhiti 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.


Tawhiti Kindergarten is located in Hawera. The service provides flexible sessions for children aged over two and of the 41 children enrolled, 10 are Māori. All teachers are fully qualified.

The kindergarten philosophy emphasises promoting an inclusive environment where children and whānau are valued and respected. The teaching team are planning to review the philosophy during 2018, in consultation with parents.

A parent committee supports the kindergarten with fundraising. The kindergarten is an enviroschool and is a member of the South Taranaki Kāhui Ako.

Tawhiti Kindergarten is one of 24 kindergartens governed and managed by Kindergarten Taranaki -  Te Putahi Kura Pūhou Taranaki (the organisation). Day-to-day management of the organisation is the responsibility of the chief executive. A governing board sets the overall strategic direction. A professional manager and two professional leaders provide regular support and a range of learning and development opportunities for teachers. An operations manager supports kindergartens' policy development and compliance.

In 2017, the board developed a strategic plan with the intention for individual kindergartens to align their strategic plans to the organisation's goals and measures. The Quality Evaluation Tool was introduced in late 2017. The purpose of this document is for teachers to self-assess teaching and learning practices to inform internal evaluation and improve outcomes for children.

The May 2015 ERO report identified that the kindergarten's internal evaluation and parent partnership practices needed development. Progress is ongoing.

ERO also identified areas for the organisation to strengthen. These included:

  • developing the annual plan

  • strengthening systems and processes for performance management

  • consistent implementation of appraisal

  • reviewing and clarifying the role of the professional leaders in building teachers’ capability.

Progress in these areas is evident.

This review was part of a cluster of five reviews in Kindergarten Taranaki - Te Putahi Kura Pūhou Taranaki.

The Review Findings

Teachers work collaboratively to provide a welcoming, inclusive learning environment for all children and parents. They continue to focus on seeking ways to invite families to share the aspirations they have for their child. Staff encourage and offer opportunities for families to contribute to their child’s learning.

The outdoor environment is thoughtfully organised, offers physical challenge and supports imaginative play. Inviting gardens extend on the sustainability and natural science learning that are a positive feature of the kindergarten.

Children enthusiastically engage in a range of child-initiated learning. Support from the professional leader helps teachers to develop and refine systems for programme planning. Staff provide inviting experiences across a range of curriculum areas. At times children revisit their previous activities and learning captured in their assessment portfolios. Teachers continue to strengthen how they notice and record immediate and emerging ideas and passions of individual learners.

The philosophy is due for review in 2018. Teachers agree that this work should include consideration of how their practices can be tailored to build on the special characteristics of two-year-old children.

Children's transition into the kindergarten is sensitively managed. Teachers use a good range of strategies to build and maintain relationships with local schools. They should continue to investigate ways to share information with new entrant teachers, so that children’s confidence and capability at the service is supported as they move on to school.

Teachers are increasingly responsive to the culture, language and identity of Māori children. This is supported by the organisation's environmental focus, consideration of localised bicultural values, and teacher development goals and professional learning opportunities. A number of new initiatives and systems have been developed by the organisation that should further develop these aspects of practice.

The kindergarten's strategic planning continues to require strengthening. Further consideration should be given to ensuring the plan identifies priorities and associated goals more closely aligned to the organisation's strategic plan and the service's annual plan.

The organisation generally provides useful governance and management support for this kindergarten. This includes:

  • purposeful support from the professional leaders to build teacher capability

  • effective and targeted teacher and leadership development through an appraisal process and a range of professional learning opportunities.

Organisation leaders are purposefully building teachers’ understanding of internal evaluation through ongoing mentoring. They should continue to support teachers to clearly measure the impact of practices on children’s learning.

Key Next Steps

ERO, the professional leader and kindergarten teachers agree the key next steps are to:

  • build their partnerships with parents and whānau

  • embed assessment, planning and evaluation practices to guide teacher practice

  • strengthen internal evaluation, teacher inquiry and strategic and annual planning.

ERO and Kindergarten Taranaki agree that the organisation should further develop:

  • quality assurance processes and guidelines linked to compliance with regulations and association expectations

  • a policy framework to support kindergartens.

Managers and leaders should consolidate newly introduced plans and processes and evaluate the effectiveness of practices and operation across all levels of the organisation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review & Improvement Services Central

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

15 August 2018

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 23, Girls 18

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

June 2018

Date of this report

15 August 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2015

Education Review

July 2012

Education Review

September 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 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.