TopKids Mangere East 1 - 25/03/2015

1 Evaluation of Kiwicare Tennessee 1

How well placed is Kiwicare Tennessee 1 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.


Kiwicare Tennessee 1 provides full day and sessional care and education in Mangere East for up to 150 children. This includes up to 40 children under two years old. Children are accommodated in four age-related groups in adjoining rooms known as houses. The centre operates in conjunction with a preschool on the same site (Kiwicare Tennessee 2) which is licensed for 100 children over two years old.

The centres were previously part of the Kiwicare group that was purchased by the Kidicorp organisation in July 2013. Kidicorp is in the process of implementing philosophical, physical, operational and personnel changes to the service and the environment. Teachers have extensively reviewed the centre philosophy to ensure it incorporates their shared beliefs about culturally responsive teaching and learning programmes.

In late 2014 Kidicorp intensified its support for the centre. A business manager has guided the restructuring of centre management and resource development, while a newly appointed professional services manager (PSM) is beginning reviews of programme management in each house. The centre manager has had less than a year in the position, but has worked hard to implement Kidicorp systems and documentation, and build a collaborative teaching team. Fourteen of the teaching team of twenty are registered teachers. They reflect the cultural diversity of this multicultural Mangere East community.

This is the first ERO review of the centre under Kidicorp management. Current development and proposed changes indicate positive improvements to the programme and systems ERO reported on in 2012.

The Review Findings

Most children are content and find activities of interest in the centre. They have respectful relationships with adults and enjoy the resources teachers provide. Children respond well to teachers’ support for their play, frequently engaging in conversations and answering their questions. Older children often work cooperatively in small groups, sharing resources and interacting with each other. Infants benefit from being in smaller groups that enable close attention from teachers and a more gentle pace to their play.

Teachers work collaboratively to support children’s play. They work in calm and gentle ways to engage children in discussion about their play, often using children’s first languages and integrating te reo Māori. Within teaching teams there are good examples of teachers who notice children’s interests and respond with ideas that extend children’s thinking and encourage complex play. The challenge for centre leaders is to develop the consistency of these good practices so that all teachers recognise opportunities to extend learning and exploration, and use effective strategies to settle unhappy children.

The centre is an extensive environment that staff manage carefully to maintain appropriate supervision of children. Shared use of a large ‘café’ for most children’s meals and snacks results in many routines that at times interrupt play and creates a very early eating timetable for some children. Centre leaders agree that a review of the use of the café is warranted.

Learning programmes are managed by teachers in each house. Each team meets regularly to plan activities and resources that reflect children’s current interests or developmental stages. These strategies are not yet effectively guiding many teachers to engage in deliberate teaching that will enhance children’s learning. The new PSM plans to lead teachers in a review of their programme planning and assessment. This support should increase the focus on children’s individual learning and improve the quality of assessment in portfolios and learning stories published electronically.

Parents and whānau support the centre very well. Many participate in centre cultural events, share celebrations with food and music and attend meetings to know more about children's learning. Some parents are beginning to use the on-line access to their child’s portfolio and give feedback on learning experiences. Centre leaders know they need to further extend their efforts to enhance partnerships with families in relation to children's learning.

The centre manager is well supported by Kidicorp to lead the centre. The organisation has made a considerable investment to guide change in a sensitive and meaningful way. Kidicorp advisors have a focused vision for improvement that will empower staff through self review. Current restructuring is likely to result in leaders taking responsibility in each house and enable more autonomous decision making for each team of teachers. The centre manager will now work closely with the business manager and PSM to establish and embed appropriate management planning and personnel systems to guide the operation of the centre.

Key Next Steps

The centre manager and Kidicorp advisors agree that key next steps for the centre should include:

  • focused professional development for teachers to develop their capacity to extend children's learning, their engagement in play and the quality of their interactions
  • continued development of the environment to improve the organisation of indoor areas and especially to enhance the outdoor spaces with better shade, natural surfaces and storage, improved sandpits and more opportunities for exploration, discovery and challenge
  • the development of centre strategic and annual plans to guide the direction of the centre
  • building the capacity of staff to use self review as a mechanism for change and improvement
  • fully implementing the revised appraisal process to promote a more meaningful approach to teachers’ performance management.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kiwicare Tennessee 1 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 Kiwicare Tennessee 1 will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

25 March 2015

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


Mangere East, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

150 children, including up to 40 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 52%

Girls 48%

Ethnic composition






Cook Island Māori











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

January 2015

Date of this report

25 March 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2012

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.