Waiau Pa Kindergarten - 08/02/2018

1 Evaluation of Waiau Pa Kindergarten

How well placed is Waiau Pa 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.


Waiau Pa Kindergarten is a well-established service that is licensed for 30 children over two years of age. It operates a kindergarten day model, which allows children to attend sessions that match the hours of Waiau Pa School, which is located next door to the centre. Parents are able to choose whether children stay for full days or attend sessions.

Waiau Pa Kindergarten provides education and care for children from the surrounding rural communities. The teaching team is new, and is supported by an administrator and a teacher aide.

The 2014 ERO report noted good practices and identified some areas for improvement. The new teaching team have worked together to address the improvements recommended in the 2014 report. These included strengthening partnerships with whānau, reflecting the commitment to bicultural practice and using self review to determine the effectiveness of teaching practices.

Waiau Pa Kindergarten is part of the Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association and operates within the policies and management framework of this organisation. An education manager (EM) visits and provides leadership and curriculum support for teachers.

This review was part of a cluster of six reviews in the Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Relationships between children and teachers are positive and cheerful. Teachers know children and their families well and are welcoming and inclusive. Teachers and children have friendly conversations and teachers provide effective provocations to attract and interest children.

Teachers recognise and celebrate the diverse cultural mix of children and families, and as a result whānau and children feel supported and included. A 'key teacher' approach is used in the kindergarten where a teacher is assigned to meet each new whānau and support them to settle into the centre. This approach helps to provide teachers with good information about children and their interests, which they can use to begin generating conversations and supporting children's play.

Children have periods of uninterrupted play and enjoy friendships and opportunities to collaborate with others. The roll currently includes a high percentage of boys. Teachers have evaluated their provision for boys and have increased opportunities for them to engage in more robust play. This is an example of teachers using evaluation to help develop programmes that increasingly reflect children's interests.

Teachers have strengthened relationships with the school. Regular, reciprocal visits between the new entrant room children and the older kindergarten children are contributing to more seamless transitions for children from the centre to school.

Bicultural practice is well established. Teachers have a strong commitment to incorporating te reo, tikanga and te ao Māori concepts in the programme in as many contexts as possible. Children have learnt about ngā Atua through legends, are learning about Māori values, and display some understanding of te reo Māori. Teachers' planning includes their work towards contact with a local marae and developing further knowledge of the Māori history of Waiau Pa.

The Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association (CMKA) continues to provide very good support for the kindergarten. The systems and personnel in place for supporting centre operations, ongoing review and association monitoring contribute to efficient management of the service. Leaders establish overarching long-term goals that enable teachers to align their annual plan with the strategic direction of the association.

Teachers are supported to meet the programming needs of the younger children attending, and to provide variable and often longer hours of operation. The teaching team appreciates the professional support and guidance from CMKA personnel. Leaders continue to adapt personnel systems to meet legislative changes, including refinement of the appraisal process to meet Education Council expectations.

The association has a strong commitment to equity and continually improving educational outcomes for children. They have high expectations for teachers to use evidence based and reflective practices. The association has a strong commitment to biculturalism and working in partnership with Māori whānau and community. They are focusing on strategies to promote success for Pacific learners and value cultural diversity. Resources and personnel such as whānau workers and a Play Truck, are targeted to ensure that the specific learning needs of children are met.

Key Next Steps

Centre managers and teachers agree that their key next steps are to continue to:

  • challenge children to take some responsibility for setting their own learning goals and monitoring their own learning
  • set behavioural boundaries in collaboration with children
  • strengthen assessment and planning processes to include more detailed discussion of what children might learn from the programme
  • build reflective practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Julie Foley
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

8 February 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

30 children over 2 years of age

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys      35
Girls       20

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

8 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2014

Education Review

April 2011

Education Review

May 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.