West End Kindergarten - 21/10/2019

1 Evaluation of West End Kindergarten

How well placed is West End Kindergarten to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

West End Kindergarten is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


West End Kindergarten is in Palmerston North. Opening hours are Monday to Friday from 8.30am until 2.30pm. Full day places are available to children from two to six years old. At the time of this review, there were 36 children enrolled and seven identify as Māori.

The kindergarten philosophy fosters an environment, where whānau and kaiako work collaboratively to develop respectful relationships. Children's social and emotional wellbeing is supported to build a positive learning culture that enhances the mana of all. There is a focus on sustainability and kaitiakitanga.

The kindergarten is administered by the Ruahine Kindergarten Association (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 chief executive office who is responsible to the board. An operations manager supports the service’s compliance and policy development. Two senior teachers provide educational leadership across the teaching teams.

The September 2016 ERO report identified that the service needed to strengthen practice in assessment and planning, understanding and use of internal evaluation and the bicultural curriculum. Progress to strengthen these areas is evident.

This review was part of a cluster of twelve kindergartens and one early learning service in the Ruahine Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Respectful and responsive relationships with children and whānau promote a sense of belonging and whanaungatanga. The philosophy, Te Whāriki and valued outcomes for children's learning are clearly visible in the environment, curriculum and documents. Children confidently lead their own learning within a calm well-resourced environment.

Predictable routines and rituals provide children with a sense of reassurance. Teachers are responsive to children's cues, interests and preferences. Meaningful opportunities to learn about science, numeracy, language and literacy are woven throughout daily activities. Children are highly engaged in their play.

Aspects of te ao Māori are visible in the environment. Daily hui provide opportunities for children, whānau and teachers to participate in familiar routines and tikanga of the kindergarten. Children's mana is fostered within a curriculum that supports them to experience success. Teachers have identified that strengthening the use of te reo Māori within daily interactions is a next step.

A range of strategies successfully acknowledge and respect the languages and cultures of children and their parents. Cultural artefacts enable children to see their culture reflected in the environment. Kaiako seek ways to maintain links between Māori whānau and the service. Teachers should continue to work alongside whānau Māori to extend ngā kaiako understanding of what success looks like for all Māori learners.

Attentive care by teachers fosters younger children's active involvement in the programme. Older children are encouraged to lead tuakana teina relationships. Teachers model effective strategies that assist children to enter play, negotiate and play alongside each other. Children's social and emotional skills are well supported and builds their confidence and sense of self as competent and confident learners.

Leaders and teachers successfully implement inclusive practices that enable all children to participate fully in the curriculum. A reciprocal relationship with a local school provides good support for children transitioning on to school.

A useful planning framework supports teachers to identify children's needs, interests and dispositions. Teachers seek out parent aspirations, culture, language and identity to extend this process. Children's portfolios show achievement of their individual goals, how teachers successfully plan for children's learning and progression of learning overtime.

Senior teachers work collaboratively to build teacher and leadership capability. There is a strong commitment to growing staff knowledge and skills through ongoing professional learning, research opportunities and the sharing of good practice.

A range of reviews, inquiry and action research successfully builds teacher capability. Teachers have extended their understanding of internal evaluation. Continuing to evaluate the effectiveness of newly implemented initiatives is a next step to see what is working well, and who for, to determine future actions for improvement.

Association leaders have a well-considered approach to progressing strategic objectives. Robust systems and processes are in place for reporting and evaluating the quality of operations. Information is used to inform decision making and to improve the quality of teaching and learning.

Key Next Steps

At kindergarten level, priorities are to continue to:

  • strengthen and make visible aspects of te ao Māori within children's portfolios and extend the use of te reo Māori

  • use of evaluation to identify the impact of initiatives on improving outcomes for children.

At the governance level, the Ruahine Kindergarten Association have identified that their priorities are to continue to:

  • strengthen and build their knowledge and understanding of tikanga Māori and seek engagement with local iwi, with kaumatua support

  • support the kindergarten to embed internal evaluation for improvement.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of West End 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.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

21 October 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


Palmerston North

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

Service roll


Gender composition

Female 19, Male 17

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


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2019

Date of this report

21 October 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2016

Education Review

October 2012

Education Review

May 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.