Waiouru Kindergarten and Care - 29/04/2019

1 Evaluation of Waiouru Kindergarten and Care

How well placed is Waiouru Kindergarten and Care to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Waiouru Kindergarten and Care is not well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


Waiouru Kindergarten and Care is located within the housing area of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) in Waiouru. Opening hours are Monday to Friday from 7:30am until 5:00pm, all year round. Full day places are available for children aged from birth to six years. A separate building and outdoor space is provided for children up to the age of two.

The philosophy statement emphasises that relationships are everything. This is currently under review.

The kindergarten serves an isolated, transient community, based on NZDF posting cycles. This impacts significantly on teachers and families. Substantial staff changes and reorganisation have occurred since the December 2015 ERO report.

That report identified teachers’ understanding and use of internal evaluation required improvement. This remains an area for further development.

Waiouru Kindergarten and Care is one of 15 kindergartens governed and managed by the Whanganui Kindergarten Association Incorporated (the association). The governing board is responsible for setting the overall strategic direction for the organisation. The day-to-day running of the association is the role of the general manager, who is responsible to the board.

Since April 2018, the association's programme of professional learning and development and curriculum implementation has been managed by He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Free Kindergarten Association Incorporated. An association senior teacher and two senior teachers from Whānau Manaaki provide regular support for teachers.

This review was part of a cluster of 15 reviews in the Whanganui Kindergarten Association Incorporated.

The Review Findings

Children move freely around the kindergarten and access a wide range of resources within their play. Priorities for children's learning have been developed in consultation with the community, however identified teaching strategies to promote these are yet to be consistently implemented. Strengthening of intentional teaching practices are required to fully engage children in their learning.

Teachers and leaders recognise that the bicultural curriculum requires further strengthening. ERO's external evaluation affirms this. The association is currently working with teachers to develop their knowledge and understanding of how to promote educational success for Māori children.

Infants and toddlers experience an unhurried and peaceful environment. Building consistency of teacher practices that contribute to positive learning outcomes for these children is an important next step.

Newly introduced planning is in the early stages. Individual plans, implemented for some children, use knowledge of their interests and whānau aspirations. Group planning provides a focus for learning across the kindergarten. Teachers are still evolving this process.

Children's profile books identify their participation in activities, interests over time and learning dispositions. Leaders acknowledge that improving teachers' knowledge and understanding of assessment for learning is an important next step. This should include how assessment:

  • connects to children's culture, language and identity

  • shows learning becoming deeper and more complex over time.

Teachers are working appropriately with external agencies and parents to support children with additional learning needs. Ongoing observations show these children's progress against identified goals.

Effective internal evaluation is not yet in place. Ongoing professional development is required to grow teachers' understanding and use of internal evaluation as a process to improve outcomes for children.

The association should provide further support to develop leadership. Increasing collaboration and growing teacher practice to promote positive outcomes for children is required.

Clearer expectations, processes and guidance for teaching practice are required to promote consistency across the kindergarten. This should include strengthening the induction process and introducing robust practices that are monitored over time.

The governing board is future-focused and has taken appropriate steps to strengthen opportunities for teachers’ professional learning and development. An association-wide appraisal process is in place to support teacher practice in promoting positive learning outcomes for children. Consistency of its implementation across all kindergartens requires strengthening.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Waiouru Kindergarten and Care 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.

Actions for compliance

ERO found significant areas of non-compliance in the service related to:

  • meaningful, positive interactions to enhance children's learning
  • supervision of children
  • implementation of suitable induction procedures
  • ongoing self review that helps maintain and improve the quality of education and care.
    [Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, C3, PF2, GMA6, GMA7]

In order to improve practice:

  • teachers should strengthen documentation in relation to excursions

  • the association should ensure that at least one of the toilets for use by children is designed to provide them with some sense of privacy.

Since the on-site stage of the review, association leaders have provided ERO with steps taken to address this area.

Recommendation to Ministry of Education

ERO recommends that the Ministry reassess the licence of Waiouru Kindergarten and Care. ERO will not undertake a further education review of this service until the Ministry of Education is satisfied that the service meets licensing requirements.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central Region

29 April 2019

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

65 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 26, Boys 26

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2019

Date of this report

29 April 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

December 2015

Education Review

October 2012

Supplementary Review

October 2009

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.