Waitakere Kindergarten - 08/02/2018

1 Evaluation of Waitakere Kindergarten

How well placed is Waitakere 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.


Waitakere Kindergarten provides education and care for up to 40 children over two years of age. It is staffed by four qualified teachers, mainly from the local area. The new head teacher and a new teacher were appointed in late 2016. The kindergarten is well supported and represented by a long-established parent committee.

The kindergarten’s recently reviewed philosophy places priority on developing strong partnerships between teachers, children, families and the community. Children are viewed as capable and competent learners. Teachers are committed to practices that make the philosophy a living document.

The 2015 ERO report noted strengths in curriculum. Teachers have worked to address ERO's recommendations relating to internal evaluation and planning.

The Kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA), which provides a governance and management framework. Professional support personnel assist teachers with curriculum, management and property matters. There continues to be a period of transition for staff as they adapt to shifts in AKA operational practices.

This review was part of a cluster of 10 reviews in the Auckland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children play collaboratively in a rich, stimulating and well-resourced environment. They are capable negotiators, engage in sustained play, and show independence. Children pursue their emerging interests through play, try things out, problem solve, and look for challenge.

Teachers know children well. Respectful relationships between teachers, children and their parents are valued and underpin kindergarten operations. Teachers foster strong partnerships with children, parents and whānau. The kindergarten listens to its community and strives to meet its needs.

Teachers allow children to lead their learning and give time for children to process and learn. Timely and respectful interventions support children to persevere and take risks in their learning. Teachers support children in their play and promote challenge and complexity.

Teachers are supportive of each other and share leadership. They are encouraged to follow their strengths and provide a high quality programme in which children are actively engaged in learning. Teachers have high expectations of children as learners. Literacy, numeracy and science are integrated well into the programme along with a focus on environmental sustainability and nature study.

Teachers value and are committed to a bicultural curriculum, using te reo and tikanga Māori as part of their daily practice. They intend to continue to develop their knowledge, confidence and understanding so that cultural responsiveness is at the forefront of their practice.

Processes for supporting children's transition to school are well established. Teachers maintain and promote a very good relationship with the local school.

Teachers use an online portal to communicate with parents about their children's learning. A priority for teachers is to ensure that each child's portfolio shows their learning journey and development over time, and that children's interests and strengths are being enhanced.

The parent committee strongly supports the teaching team and is committed to the wellbeing of children and their families. Parents work collaboratively with teachers to ensure that improvements to the kindergarten are ongoing and well aligned to the teaching team's strategic plan. Parents take active roles in supporting the operation of the kindergarten.

AKA is reviewing the appraisal process to align to the new Educational Council requirements. As part of this development, leaders should ensure that there is depth and an improvement focus in teachers’ reflection and professional goals.

Key Next Steps

Teachers and the AKA curriculum specialist have recognised that in order to enhance current practices in the kindergarten, the teaching team should:

  • continue to strengthen planning, assessment and evaluation so that individual children's interests are explicit
  • strengthen documentation so that children's learning pathways are clearly evident
  • further develop internal evaluation to continuously improve kindergarten practices and programmes and the impact that they have on children's learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Waitakere 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 Waitakere 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 


Waitakere, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children over 2 years of age

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls       30
Boys      27

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

March 2015

Education Review

August 2011

Education Review

October 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.