Waitara Central Kindergarten - 05/08/2013

1 Evaluation of Waitara Central Kindergarten

How well placed is Waitara Central 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.


Waitara Central Kindergarten is one of sixteen kindergartens that operate under the umbrella of the North Taranaki Kindergarten Association (the association). The association provides clear strategic vision and overarching policies and procedures to guide centre operations. Senior teachers support staff through regular visits that include observations, meetings and written reports.

The kindergarten draws children from a large geographical area and diverse backgrounds. It offers whānau groupings for 30 children (siblings attend together and ages are mixed) in six hour daily sessions. These are led by three fully qualified and registered teachers, and one who is provisionally registered.

The relationship-based philosophy guides practice that is welcoming and acknowledges the strengths of children and families.

In response to the June 2010 ERO report, teachers, with the support of an external facilitator, have further developed assessment documentation and self review. They have considered the ways they work with whānau to support children’s learning. Group times have been reviewed and changed so children experience fewer interruptions to their engagement in self-directed learning.

This review was part of a cluster of eight kindergarten reviews in the North Taranaki Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children participate enthusiastically in a child-initiated curriculum that provides for their exploration and investigation. Children pursue their interests, access materials and problem solve. Planning is based on the identification and response to the interests of individuals. Portfolios contain learning stories that include the perspectives of other people involved in children’s lives. This documentation celebrates children’s progress and recognises whānau aspirations and values.

Relationships between children, staff, parents and whānau are based on respect, trust and reciprocity. Children’s sense of belonging and well-being is nurtured and promoted by staff. Teachers work alongside children in calm and unhurried ways. They promote opportunities for learners to support each other and to share their knowledge.

Teachers and other adults effectively support children with additional needs. These children participate in all aspects of the programme alongside their peers.

Parents, whānau, staff, and children are encouraged to take on leadership roles and responsibilities in the kindergarten. There are many opportunities for parents to know about how the kindergarten operates. Parents, whānau and others contribute to aspects of the programme that add to children’s learning experiences.

Children access a wide range of literacy and numeracy resources and experiences. A variety of books, puzzles, writing and drawing tools is available and easily accessed by children. Teachers successfully model for and support children’s language development.

Learning areas are spacious, inviting and stimulating. Children have many opportunities to make choices and access useful and high quality resources. The integration of a bicultural perspective is strongly evident throughout the environment. Resources and displays enable children to develop a positive understanding of their heritage. Children enthusiastically lead and participate in karakia before food.

Key Next Steps

Teachers should continue building their evaluative self-review capacity to inquire into and consider the effectiveness of teaching and learning including:

  • further developing teaching strategies to provide opportunities for Māori children to enjoy success as Māori.

The association should continue to review appraisal and consider formal critique of teaching practice and feedback processes to improve teaching and learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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


Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region (Acting)

5 August 2013

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

34 children, aged over 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 23

Girls 22

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā


Other ethnic groups





Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Choose an item.


Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2013

Date of this report

5 August 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2010


Education Review

December 2005


Accountability Review

October 2002

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.