Whangaparaoa Kindergarten - 17/08/2018

1 Evaluation of Whangaparaoa Kindergarten

How well placed is Whangaparaoa 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.


Whangaparaoa Kindergarten is one of 15 services including 13 kindergartens and two early learning centres that operate under the umbrella of the Northern Auckland Free Kindergarten Association (NAKA). This well-established kindergarten is situated adjacent to Whangaparaoa Primary School. The centre has achieved silver status in Enviroschools, a programme built on Māori values of sustainability.

The kindergarten serves a multicultural community providing a mixed age, play- based programme for 40 children between two and five years of age. Children attend on the weekdays that parents select. New parents are invited to attend for short periods with their children before the formal enrolment. The teaching team is led by a long-serving head teacher. All teachers are fully qualified. The kindergarten is supported by a parent volunteer group that organises family events and fundraising.

The 2015 ERO report highlighted positive practices and support for children's learning. Next steps identified in the report, to do with reviewing and updating the philosophy, monitoring progress with strategic goals and providing challenge for older children, have all been successfully addressed.

The head teacher is one of two early childhood teachers elected as representatives to the Whangaparaoa Peninsula Kahui Ako Community of Learning (COL).

At the Kindergarten Association level, there has been some significant change. An acting general manager has been appointed and there is a new governing board. In the coming months they will work together to review and update all relevant documentation and operating frameworks for the Association.

This review was part of ERO's review of a group of three kindergartens in the Northern Auckland Free Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children settle quickly at the start of the day. They are confident and competent in making decisions about their play. Children readily engage in conversations together and with adults. Teachers provide many opportunities for children to solve problems as part of their play and learning. Skilled teaching supports all children to benefit from their time at the kindergarten.

The programme reflects teachers' commitment to bicultural practices and language. Te ao Māori underpins the presentation and content of the programme. Children are familiar with te reo Māori and demonstrate some understanding of the dual cultural heritage of New Zealand. Teachers support children's interest in kapa haka and encourage children to perform. The programme also reflects the other cultural groups represented in the kindergarten.

Children demonstrate the positive values that teachers promote. For example, they care for others, and tuakana/teina relationships are strong. Children are respectful in their interactions with each other and play in collaborative and sustained ways. Teachers' prompts encourage children's deeper thinking and support their leadership in planning their play. Relationships between the kindergarten and the school support transitions for children.

Children with diverse needs are included and supported by teachers and helpers to benefit from the planned learning programme. The Association provides extra support when external agencies are unable to assist.

Relationships with parents are strong. Parents are encouraged to contribute information about their goals for their child and their satisfaction with the programme. Recent changes to recording what teachers know about children and their learning has led to better and more intentional planning of the programme.

Teachers' new initiatives have generated positive outcomes in the community. They have established a sharing box for surplus fruit and vegetables on the roadside and this is well used by local residents. Another new initiative has been providing older children with regular visits to the local beach and bush to create opportunities for them to build resilience, independence and a love of nature.

Teachers have been highly motivated to use the knowledge gained through professional development opportunities. The team works collaboratively. Shared leadership opportunities promote teachers' confidence and satisfaction in their work.

Teachers' deep reflection has prompted them to consider the most effective ways to develop and maintain high standards in their teaching. Through internal evaluation, teachers have grown their understanding of the positive effect that their work is having on children's learning.

Key Next Steps

ERO supports leaders and teachers' aspirations to build on and embed the practices they have developed. These include continuing to:

  • use internal evaluation to further strengthen the planning cycle

  • develop portfolios to include information about children's language and culture, and integrate the use of te reo Māori into learning stories.

Association leaders continue to provide ongoing assistance to kindergartens. There is good provision for teachers' continued professional development and management support. Each kindergarten is supported with administration and property management. The board recognises the need to re-establish open and transparent communication with teachers, parents and the community in planned developments.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

17 August 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


Whangaparaoa, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children aged 2 years and over

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 41 Girls 29

Ethnic composition

other European


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2018

Date of this report

17 August 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 2015

Education Review

February 2012

Education Review

June 2008

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.