Upper Hutt Kindergarten - 22/05/2017

1 Evaluation of Upper Hutt Kindergarten

How well placed is Upper Hutt 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.


Upper Hutt Kindergarten operates from 8:30am until 2:30pm, Monday to Friday. Daily sessional places are available for children aged two to five years.

The kindergarten philosophy stresses the importance of children's holistic development, cultural partnerships, manaakitanga, and tuakana teina.

Upper Hutt Kindergarten is one of 85 kindergartens and three home-based education and care networks governed and managed by He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Free Kindergarten Association Incorporated (the association). This is a new kindergarten association created from joining the Rimutaka and Wellington Kindergarten Associations in 2014. This is the first review for this kindergarten since the merger.

The board and managers provide governance for the organisation. Senior teachers have delegated kindergartens. Their role is to provide regular support and a range of professional learning and development opportunities for teachers.

In 2012, the Wellington association developed a framework to guide the implementation of its curriculum, Te Manawa. This document outlines criteria for curriculum delivery, including expectations for assessment and planning for children’s learning. Its introduction within this and other ex-Rimutaka Kindergartens occurred during 2015, with each kindergarten adapting it to respond to their community. 

The November 2013 ERO report for Upper Hutt Kindergarten identified areas for review and development in relation to success for Māori and Pacific children and self review.

This review was part of a cluster of nine reviews in the He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Free Kindergarten Association Incorporated. 

The Review Findings

The curriculum is highly responsive to the interests, strengths and abilities of all children. Robust systems and processes contribute to sustaining and improving kindergarten practices. Teachers have responded successfully to the key next steps identified in the previous ERO report.

Children benefit from a curriculum that places relationships at the heart of the programme. They are empowered to lead their own learning and to take responsibility for the wellbeing and learning of others.

Teachers have a strong understanding of the purpose and use of assessment and evaluation for children's learning. Purposeful and regular use of whānau aspirations for their children contributes effectively to curriculum design.

The incorporation of te ao Māori perspectives are a significant feature of the kindergarten. The culture, language and identity of Māori children are cherished. Teachers recognise whakapapa as integral to the development of children's sense of self and belonging. It is effectively woven throughout all aspects of the programme.

Inclusive practice is highly evident. Children requiring additional learning support play and learn alongside their peers. Teachers work in partnership with parents and external agencies to successfully meet individual learning needs.

There is an ongoing focus on improving teachers' response to Pacific learners. This has led to positive changes in the environment and teacher practice. As a result, participation by Pacific fanau and children has increased.

Leaders and teachers are focused on improving outcomes for children through ongoing, systematic internal evaluation. This is valued, championed and effectively led. It successfully informs decision making in all aspects of the programme.

The senior teacher provides termly written feedback on agreed development priorities and the quality of teaching and learning. Annual internal evaluation supports strengthening of these termly reports. There is a deliberate focus on outcomes for children and teacher/leader performance.

A strengthened appraisal model is being implemented across the kindergartens. This includes focused goals that build teacher and leader capability and clearer links with the Practising Teacher Criteria. Leaders and teachers at Upper Hutt Kindergarten are continuing to strengthen their appraisal practice. 

Leaders and teachers are improvement focused. Teamwork is highly evident. A shared vision sets a clear direction for the kindergarten and reflects a commitment to high quality early childhood education.

Key Next Steps

Through their effective internal evaluation, the senior teacher, head teacher and teachers should continue to identify contributing factors and establish priorities to enhance children's wellbeing and learning.

The association should continue to support the development of formal critique of teaching practice.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Upper Hutt 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 Upper Hutt Kindergarten will be in four years. 

Patricia Davey
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

22 May 2017 

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


Upper Hutt

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

Girls 23, Boys 20

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


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

March 2017

Date of this report

22 May 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

November 2013

Education Review

May 2010

Education Review

January 2007

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.