Kaipara Kids Early Learning Centre

Education institution number:
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Not Applicable
Total roll:

182 Hurndall Street, Maungaturoto

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1 Evaluation of Kaipara Kids Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Kaipara Kids Early Learning Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Kaipara Kids Early Learning Centre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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


Kaipara Kids Early Learning Centre is situated in Maungaturoto, a small rural township in Northland's Kaipara region. The service was established in 2015. It has operated under new ownership since March 2018, and was fully licensed in January 2019. The centre is managed by one of the owners, who is a qualified early childhood teacher. The majority of staff are qualified.

The centre is licensed to provide full-day education and care for up to 43 children, including up to 10 aged under 2 years. There is a designated area for up to 10 infants and toddlers. At the time of this review there were eight Māori children on the roll.

Teachers' philosophy and practice is underpinned by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. They value parent partnerships. The philosophy promotes children as "capable and confident explorers and problem solvers, with freedom to lead their own learning through play, in a caring and unhurried culture of support".

The manager has initiated comprehensive professional development to enhance the centre's leadership, curriculum, teaching and learning. A great deal of refurbishment has improved the premises. Renovations are also underway to create new indoor and outdoor areas for infants and toddlers. The service is also now a member of the Twin Coast Kāhui Ako | Community of Learning, with other local educators.

The Review Findings

Children show a strong sense of belonging. They demonstrate positive relationships with their peers. Trusting, caring relationships between children and teachers foster wellbeing for all. Use of te reo Māori in karakia and waiata is a feature of interactions and relationships, and embraces te ao Māori. As they investigate the environment, children are able to select and rearrange resources to suit their own play and creative ideas.

Children under two years of age are supported by a warm and respectful teaching team. Home routines are woven through individualised programmes. Teachers provide resources designed to intrigue and engage the youngest children. They recognise children's gestures and growing vocabulary. They also affirm and encourage children's choices and preferences in play and care routines. Positive interactions support self-esteem and confidence. Change is sensitively managed as older toddlers become ready to transition into the main play area.

The teaching team has worked collaboratively to grow a shared understanding of the valued learning outcomes that they want to foster through their curriculum and teaching practices. Learning stories capture key moments in individual children's development and inform further planning.

Various sensory experiences, and a growing focus on natural materials, are a deliberate curriculum focus to promote children's creativity and investigation. Teachers adjust resources to respond to children's strengths and emerging interests. They promote learning and sustained play. Centre leaders are keen to continue enhancing the range and complexity of resources to further support children's learning.

Teachers highly value their relationships with parents. Communication is open and positive. The teaching team has a genuine interest in supporting families and children to connect and contribute as part of a centre community. Teachers provide good opportunities for parents to discuss their children's learning and wellbeing at regular meetings, and at social and family events. The team plans to continue to develop its partnerships with whānau to promote Māori culture, language and identity.

Sound leadership by the new owners has prompted progress and improvement in a relatively brief time. Extensive refurbishment supports good provision for health and safety. The centre's vision is aligned with strategic and annual goals and plans. Sound policies and procedures guide all operations. Internal evaluation is used as a tool for improvement. Staff professional development, appraisal and inquiry align with key priorities, fostering positive outcomes for children and families.

Key Next Steps

The owners agree that the key next steps include:

  • providing further resources that promote complexity of play and physical challenge

  • continuing to build the centre's bicultural practices through a review of the philosophy and programme.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kaipara Kids Early Learning Centre 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.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

3 May 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


Maungaturoto, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

43 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 40 Girls 30

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā


Percentage of qualified teachers

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2019

Date of this report

3 May 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports

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.