Kids Reserve - 17/10/2018

1 Evaluation of Kids Reserve

How well placed is Kids Reserve 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.


Kids Reserve is a not-for-profit incorporated society located in Thorndon, Wellington. It is licensed for 47 children, including 19 aged up to two years.

The service operates in four age-appropriate learning areas. Of the 59 children enrolled at the time of this ERO review, five are Māori.

The service has operated in inner-city Wellington for twenty-five years, moving to the current location in 2016. Prior to this, the service was in temporary premises for a short time. Staff turnover is low. Teachers are involved in a range of professional development opportunities.

The philosophy guiding teaching and learning emphasises the importance of: embracing the unique individuality of children and families; nurturing trusting and collaborative relationships; recognising children's play as important learning; embracing children as confident and competent learners; and valuing and using Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

The Review Findings

Children are respected as capable learners. Their communication is encouraged and valued. ERO observed examples of teachers responding meaningfully to children's language cues, both verbal and non-verbal. Teachers support and encourage children's language through a range of useful strategies.

Warm positive relationships between teachers and children are evident. Teachers affirm and support children's interests and encourage their development through dialogue. A settled tone prevails. Regular routines are well-established and children demonstrate a sense of belonging.

Considered decision making has enhanced opportunities for teaching and learning. An example is the emphasis on low child-to-teacher ratios and the small size of groups.

Centre values are clearly reflected in the curriculum experienced by infants and toddlers. This includes practices that support children to develop secure attachments such as the primary caregiver approach. Unhurried interactions are evident.

Older children are supported to develop their basic literacy and numeracy skills through play. Teachers appropriately access external support to respond to the needs of children with additional learning needs.

Teachers make good use of the local, inner-city environment to offer stimulating learning opportunities. 'Forest' sessions are a recent initiative that promotes place-based learning.

Parents' aspirations are sought and valued. An online programme sharing children's learning stories has increased the numerous ways teachers and families communicate and work in partnership.

Children's portfolios provide a useful record of their interests and involvement in the programme. Teachers plan for individuals and groups based on what they know about children. Portfolios include evidence of linking children's interests over time and examples of parent contributions.

Processes for monitoring assessment practices and providing feedback to teachers are well established. It is timely to revisit assessment and planning processes to:

  • strengthen the criteria to better reflect high quality assessment practice
  • build consistency of assessment records to more clearly show what teachers recognise about children's learning and how they specifically plan to extend this.

A strength of the service is the focus on developing teachers' knowledge of te ao Māori. Regular practice includes many opportunities for children to celebrate and value te reo and te ao Māori.

Processes for transitions into the centre, through the different rooms and to school have been strengthened. The assistant supervisor's inquiry, that includes feedback from families and children, has contributed to this ongoing development. Children's ideas and views are valued, sought and regularly responded to.

The appraisal process provides a sound platform for ongoing staff development. The process is well implemented and includes clear links to the Standards for the Teaching Profession and high quality feedback to teachers.

Leaders recognise that it is timely to revisit the centre philosophy to align it with Te Whāriki (2017). This should assist the centre to evaluate how well the philosophy is being enacted.

The future direction for the centre is clearly articulated in relation to four strategic statements. The annual plan includes timeframes to guide ongoing implementation of the strategic plan. Team culture and working cohesively across all teams is a current emphasis.

An important focus for the management committee has been property and finance. A useful next step is to continue demonstrating alignment with the strategic direction in documentation.

The supervisor has led an in-depth, well-considered evaluation of the quality of implementation of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Building a shared understanding of this internal evaluation process with staff and the management committee is an appropriate next step.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre leaders have identified that the next steps are to:

  • further develop assessment and planning processes
  • build a shared understanding of internal evaluation
  • review the philosophy.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kids Reserve 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.

In order to improve practice, monitoring of documentation related to accidents and excursion forms should be increased.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Kids Reserve will be in three years.

Alan Wynyard
Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

17 October 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 



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

47 children, including up to 19 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 32, Girls 27

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2018

Date of this report

17 October 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

July 2013

Education Review

June 2010

Education Review

September 2007

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.