Waimataitai Kindergarten - 27/06/2018

1 Evaluation of Waimataitai Kindergarten

How well placed is Waimataitai 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.


Waimataitai Kindergarten is one of 12 kindergartens in the South Canterbury Free Kindergarten Association (SCK). It is located in Timaru. Due to community demand, the roll has grown. The kindergarten now provides education and care for up to 38 children from two to five years of age, for up to six hours each weekday.

A fulltime head teacher, and four teachers who share three full-time positions, are responsible for daily operations and the teaching programme in the kindergarten. A Senior Teacher (ST) supports teachers' professional practice. The SCK, including a general manager and board, oversees the governance and management of the kindergarten.

The kindergarten has sustained the effective practices noted in ERO's 2014 report and made very good progress against all the identified recommendations. This includes improved curriculum assessment, planning and evaluation practices, teacher appraisal and internal evaluation systems.

This review was part of a cluster of seven reviews in the South Canterbury Free Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children at Waimataitai Kindergarten are very well supported in their learning. Effective leadership, a rich and culturally responsive programme and intentional teaching practices are promoting positive outcomes for children's learning.

Teachers in consultation with whānau and children have developed a moemoeā/vision for the kindergarten. This is "for all our tamariki to turn their natural energy into skills for life - kia huri te wairua o ngā tamariki/mokopuna - ki te toi o te orangatanga".

The programme is based on the value of manaakitanga (integrity, trust, sincerity and equity) and the values of: relationships - Ngā Hononga, environment - Taiao and responsibilty - kawenga. These are highly evident in all aspects of the programme and practices and are the basis for decision making. Children's learning is enhanced by the wide range of authentic learning experiences and deliberate ways that teachers plan in response to children's strengths. There are many opportunities for children to:

  • explore their environment
  • learn early literacy and mathematics and science concepts
  • develop social skills
  • be curious and imaginative
  • tackle and persist with challenges they set themselves.

Teachers skilfully support children to make choices and be involved in decision making about their learning. They foster tuakana-teina relationships between the children (where more experienced/older children support younger/less experienced children). Teachers provide very good support for children with diverse learning needs. Children and their whānau are very well supported as they transition into the kindergarten and later as they move to school.

Teachers value and include children's language and culture in the programme. These practices contribute to children's sense of belonging and confidence in the kindergarten.

The curriculum reflects the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand. This enables children, and especially Māori children, to understand the significance of Māori as tangata whenua through the inclusion of te reo Māori and te ao Māori world views.

There are very strong leadership practices in the kindergarten. The head teacher and teachers work as a cohesive team. They deeply inquire into aspects of their practice to bring about improvements for the benefit of children. For example, they have strengthened learning partnerships with families through online communication. A key teacher has been assigned to each child and their family that has resulted in closer connections and authentic relationships. Teachers use internal evaluation processes effectively to know what is working well and what needs further development.

There is strong alignment between the SCK strategic priorities and the kindergarten's priorities and plans. The board is well informed about how well each kindergarten is progressing and contributing to the strategic direction of the SCK. However, the board could know more about how well the kindergartens are improving outcomes for children and how well children are achieving in relation to the association’s valued outcomes (purpose).

The board is strongly focused on improving outcomes for all children, including taking deliberate action to support Māori and Pacific children and children with diverse learning needs in the kindergartens. SCK leaders have developed strong networked relationships with community organisations to support children and their whānau. The next step for the board is to consider their culturally responsive practice as governors and to consult with whānau Māori to inform the future direction of SCK.

There are effective systems and processes to ensure that regulatory requirements are met within each kindergarten. Relevant professional learning, improved appraisal processes and effective ongoing coaching and mentoring by the senior teachers are building teacher capability.

Key Next Steps

Through ongoing monitoring and reflection the senior teacher and teaching team have identified their next steps for development.

ERO confirms their next step is for teachers to strengthen their evaluation practices to show the impact of planned strategies, experiences and actions on children's learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

27 June 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

38 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys: 27

Girls: 27

Ethnic composition







Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

27 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2014

Education Review

June 2011

Education Review

November 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.