Waikanae Kindergarten - 27/05/2016

1 Evaluation of Waikanae Kindergarten

How well placed is Waikanae 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.


Waikanae Kindergarten is located in Waikanae, north of Wellington on the Kapiti Coast. Since the March 2102 ERO report, hours of operation have changed and the service now offers six hour sessions, five days a week for children from two years to school age. All teachers at the kindergarten are qualified and registered.

Waikanae 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.

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 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.

The March 2012 ERO report for Waikanae Kindergarten, identified that planning and evaluation practices, self review and the promotion of children's independence during routines needed further development.

Areas for the association to strengthen its support for teachers were also identified. The alignment of individual kindergartens’ annual plans with the association’s strategic priorities has now been appropriately addressed.

This review was part of a cluster of 10 reviews in the He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Kindergartens.

The Review Findings

Children are well-supported to learn about the natural world and to care for their environment. They play amiably with their peers. Deliberate and well-considered teaching strategies support their growing independence.

Parents and whānau are warmly welcomed into the kindergarten. They frequently stay within the sessions to talk to teachers, to network with one another and to play alongside their children. Manaakitanga is highly evident.

Bicultural practices are strengthening and are evident in daily routines. Teachers are beginning to more purposefully respond to the cultures of Pacific children.

Māori children's language, identity and culture are fostered by their experiences at kindergarten. They show confidence and leadership as they share aspects of te ao Māori with their peers.

Assessment of children's learning has been a recent focus for teachers. They know where they want to make improvements. ERO's evaluation affirms this direction. Particular attention should be given to how assessment informs curriculum planning to support the next steps in children's learning.

A useful range of strategies assists children and their families as they move to school. Links with a number of local schools helps to promote experiences to encourage smooth transitions.

Children with special needs are well supported. Teachers work in collaboration with parents, whānau and outside agencies to encourage their participation in the programme alongside their peers.

Teachers use self review to identify aspects of their practice needing development. They have taken action and improvements are evident. The senior teacher, head teacher and staff recognise that the focus of internal evaluation should now develop from investigating if staff are doing something, to how well they are doing it.

The senior teacher provides termly written feedback that outlines agreed development priorities and progress in relation to the quality of teaching and learning. She completes an annual internal evaluation that supports strengthening of these termly reports. There is a deliberate focus on outcomes for children and teacher/leader performance.

The previous ERO report identified that the association needed to improve the appraisal processes. Managers undertook an internal review of the appraisal system. The revised model is being implemented across the kindergartens. The process includes focused goals that build teacher and leader capability and clearer links with the Practising Teacher Criteria. Teachers at Waikanae Kindergarten are successfully implementing this new process. Leaders foster a culture of reflection and constructive critique.

Key Next Steps

The senior teacher, head teacher, staff and ERO agree on the following key next steps for Waikanae Kindergarten:

  • continue to strengthen the evaluation of children’s learning to better inform future planning

  • further develop internal evaluation practices.

The association should continue to support the development of formal critique of teaching practice and strengthening responsiveness to Māori children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

27 May 2016

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


Waikanae, Wellington

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 years

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 39, Girls 36

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 2016

Date of this report

27 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

March 2012

Education Review

May 2008

Education Review

June 2005

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.