PART 6: ERO’s Evaluation Indicators for Education Reviews in Early Childhood Services

Indicators are statements that indicate whether a goal has been achieved. In this document, ERO’s evaluation indicators are about the factors in an early childhood service that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children.

The indicators provide a framework that allow for judgements to be made about what is being practised and the difference between what is enacted and high quality practice.

ERO’s evaluation indicators for early childhood services:

  • help to determine if high quality is being achieved
  • are indicative of quality –they do not represent quality practice on their own
  • are statements that can be verified through data collection and analysis.

They are not requirements and early childhood services are not expected to demonstrate that they have achieved all practices outlined in the indicators.

Indicator development

ERO’s evaluation indicators for education reviews in early childhood services are based on current national and international evaluation and research, ERO’s national evaluations, and many years of reviewing experience within ERO.

ERO conducted a wide ranging literature search on research related to early childhood education over the past ten years. The search was broad enough to encompass diverse theoretical and methodological perspectives. Priority was given to New Zealand research in order to provide localised perspectives on best practice in early childhood education.

Research ranged in size, scope and focus. Studies that had been subject to peer review or accepted for publication, and reports of major studies were given priority. Research ranged from action-research and small-scale research projects through to larger projects and longitudinal studies. Where a lack of research was found the scope of the search was expanded or deepened. In some instances opinion pieces, articles or other material were used if they communicated ideas or aspects of best practice not well explored in research.

The indicators as a resource

The evaluation indicators are a resource to inform the judgements that ERO reviewers make about different aspects of the performance of early childhood services. They are also intended to clarify the basis on which ERO evaluates early childhood performance, and to assist in the early childhood services’ self review.

Cross-checking across several indicators strengthens the evidence base for answering evaluative questions.

For ERO, the evaluation indicators:

  • support the implementation of Ngā Pou Here, the review framework
  • keep the reviews focused on the factors that contribute to successful outcomes
  • keep the importance of success for Māori children to the fore
  • assist ERO reviewers to consider what is significant when making judgements about how well placed the service is to promote positive learning outcomes for all children
  • promote consistency by providing guidance for reviewers
  • provide a basis for discussion with service personnel about what they know about the quality of education and associated outcomes for children who attend their service.

For early childhood services, the evaluation indicators:

  • make the review process transparent
  • help them to understand the basis on which ERO makes its judgements
  • focus them on factors that contribute to positive outcomes for children
  • support their focus on diverse groups of children and their families
  • provide a tool to assist them with their own self review
  • help to build their evaluation capacity by modelling evaluative questions and evidence-based judgments.

How the indicators are organised

The indicators are organised within each of the four Pou of Ngā Pou Here.

At the beginning of each set of Pou indicators there are indicators for partnership with parents (Haere Kōtui) and sustainability through self review (Arotake). These elements weave through and connect each Pou. As a result there is some overlap across the different sections.

The evaluation indicators for each Pou are preceded by questions to guide evaluation and review of that Pou.

The evaluation questions and prompts

Priority questions

These questions ask what the service knows through its self review about its priority learners. They also ask about the effectiveness of partnerships and self review in relation to each Pou.

Supporting evaluation questions

These are the key evaluative questions that highlight the main aspects of each Pou.

Investigative prompts

These prompts further unpack the priority questions and the supporting evaluation questions. They are examples rather than a definitive list.

The indicators

Connecting elements

These refer to indicators related to Haere Kōtui (partnerships with parents and whānau) and Arotake (sustainability through self review). Because Haere Kōtui and Arotake are woven across each Pou there is a Connecting elements indicator section for each Pou.

Contributing elements

This is a way of grouping the indicators according to particular aspects of practice or common themes for particular indicators.

Using the indicators as part of self review

  • The indicators can be used: to foster greater depth of understanding about an element or area for development
  • as a tool for exploring an aspect of high quality practice
  • as a measure to evaluate whether high quality is being achieved.
  • The investigative questions are a good starting point to reflect on an aspect of practice.
  • By answering one of ERO’s priority questions an early childhood service will be asking itself a challenging question that is likely to generate in-depth review and evaluation.

Pou Whakahaere - evaluation framework and indicators

How effectively do the service’s philosophy, vision, goals and systems promote positive learning outcomes for all children?

Priority questions

What does the service know about the effectiveness of its philosophy, vision, goals and systems in:

  • supporting Māori children to achieve success as Māori?
  • supporting Pacific children to achieve success?
  • responding to the interests, strengths and capabilities of diverse groups of children who attend the service and supporting them to achieve success?

How effectively do the governors and managers of the service promote partnerships with parents and whānau?

How effectively does self review guide decision-making and lead to improvements in the provision of high quality education and care?

SUPPORTING EVALUATION QUESTIONS

To what extent does this service:

  • value and implement Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles through its policies and practices?
  • include diverse parent and whānau aspirations and expectations for their children’s learning in the vision and associated goals and plans?
  • have a philosophy that reflects the values and beliefs of teachers, parents, whānau and community?
  • plan (long and short term) and implement strategies that focus on improvement and children’s learning?
  • have policies that guide practice?
  • effectively manage finances, resourcing, health and safety?
  • appoint staff with relevant knowledge and expertise?
  • provide for ongoing staff development?
  • involve parents and whānau in self review?
  • use robust processes in self review?
  • use self review in guiding decision-making and improving quality?
EXAMPLES OF PROMPTS FOR INVESTIGATION
  • In what ways do plans, policies and practices demonstrate evidence of a commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles?
  • What processes are used to consult with parents, whānau, iwi, hapū and the wider community?
  • Are the processes used to communicate with whānau Māori appropriate, for example kanohi ki te kanohi?
  • How does the service find out what aspirations and expectations parents and whānau have for their children?
  • How is this information used?
  • What informs this service’s long and short term planning? Does it include a strong focus on children’s learning?
  • How has the statement of philosophy been developed? Has it been reviewed? Who was involved? Whose values and beliefs does it reflect?
  • How does the service ensure alignment between policy and practice?
  • In what ways does self review link to the service’s vision and associated goals?
  • What self review is undertaken of governance and management practices?
  • What self review is planned? What self review is undertaken in a spontaneous way?
  • What processes are used to carry out self review?
  • How are the outcomes of self review used by those responsible for governing and managing this service?
  • What is the impact of self review for this service? What difference does it make for all children and their families?
Indicators for Pou Whakahaere

ELEMENTS

EXAMPLES OF INDICATORS

Connecting elements

Pou Whakahaere and partnerships with parents and whānau

  • The service acknowledges Māori as tangata whenua and is committed to Tiriti-based partnerships.
  • The importance of Te Tiriti o Waitangi is acknowledged through partnerships, policies and practices.
  • Parents and whānau are consulted and have opportunities to contribute to self review.
  • The service demonstrates a strong commitment to consulting whānau of Māori children and involving them in decision-making.
  • The philosophy, vision and associated goals and plans are influenced by the aspirations parents and whānau have for their children.
  • Management recognises the importance of providing appropriate physical spaces for conversations with and among teachers, parents and whānau.

Pou Whakahaere and sustainability through self review

  • There is compelling evidence that self review leads to improved outcomes for children.
  • The dual purposes of self review for improvement and accountability are well understood.
  • Expectations/guidelines/procedures are documented to effectively guide self review.
  • Self review:
    • is ongoing and responsive to identified priorities.
    • includes all aspects of the operation of the service over time
    • focuses on the effectiveness of processes and practices
    • includes a focus on progress towards the vision, goals and outcomes.
  • Self review informs:
    • decision-making at a governance level
    • professional learning and development (PLD) programmes
    • priorities, plans, policies and actions.
  • The impact of change made as a result of self review is well monitored over time.

Contributing elements

Vision

  • A clear vision sets direction for the service. This vision:
    • seeks to realise the potential of Māori children and their whānau
    • includes reference to the bicultural nature of Aotearoa New Zealand
    • is responsive to the aspirations and expectations that parents and whānau have for their children.
    • guides long and short term planning
    • reflects a commitment to high quality early childhood education for all children.

Philosophy

The service’s philosophy:
  • was developed collaboratively by management, teachers, parents and whānau, and children
  • is clearly documented and shared with all who are involved in the service
  • is regularly reviewed
  • is underpinned by shared values and beliefs
  • reflects a commitment to the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand
  • outlines the service’s desired outcomes for children
  • is evident in practice.

Strategic direction

  • Planning (long and short term) clearly identifies the service’s priorities and associated goals towards achieving its vision.
  • The service’s priorities and goals are strongly linked to positive learning outcomes for children.
  • Goals are supported by appropriate actions and resources to enable them to be achieved.
  • Progress towards identified goals is systematically monitored.
  • The service has evidence to demonstrate the achievement of its vision and goals

Policy framework and guidance

(could be condensed)

  • Policies acknowledge Te Tiriti o Waitangi and Māori as tangata whenua.
  • Policies set out explicit expectations and guidance for teachers to implement a Te Tiriti-based/bicultural curriculum.
  • Policies and procedures guide inclusive practice at all levels of the service.
  • Policies usefully underpin high quality practice in all aspects of the service.
  • Policies are based on principles of advocacy, equity and social justice.
  • Policies reflect the rights of all children to a quality, inclusive early childhood education.

Performance management

  • The service has up-to-date policies and procedures that support the recruitment, management and professional learning and development (PLD) of competent managers and teachers.
  • Performance management successfully contributes to the service achieving its vision and goals.

Financial management

  • An annual budget is well aligned to the service’s goals and priorities.
  • The budget reflects the priorities the service has for promoting positive outcomes for children.
  • Spending is monitored through regular reporting.

Health and safety management

  • The service has effective systems to monitor physical and emotional health and safety for all involved in the service.

Note: The Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008 set the requirements for health and safety.

Capacity building

  • There is a strong focus on continual improvement.
  • New members into governance and management roles are well supported through induction and ongoing training processes.
  • Those responsible for governing and managing the service have a good understanding of and capability to carry out their roles and responsibilities.
  • Management supports ongoing PLD for teachers according to their specific needs.
  • Managers undertake PLD and training to ensure they have current knowledge and skills necessary to provide high quality early childhood education.
  • Management advocates for bicultural development and Tiriti-based practices.
  • Management promotes equity and social justice for children and their families through cross-cultural development and understanding.
  • Management is committed to and has the capability to recruit, manage and develop competent teachers.

Pou Ārahi - evaluation framework and indicators

How effectively do leaders build capability within the service to promote positive learning outcomes for all children?

PRIORITY QUESTIONS

What does the service know about the effectiveness of its leaders in relation to:

  • supporting Māori children to achieve success as Māori?
  • supporting Pacific children to achieve success?
  • responding to the interests, strengths and capabilities of diverse groups of children who attend the service and supporting them to achieve success?

How effectively do leaders work in partnership with parents and whānau to achieve positive outcomes for all children?

How effective is the educational (pedagogical and curriculum) leadership of the service?

To what extent do leaders promote and implement effective self review as a means to improve the quality of education and care for all children?

SUPPORTING EVALUATION QUESTIONS

How effectively do leaders:

  • promote the vision and its associated goals?
  • promote quality learning and teaching?
  • build and support professional practice?
  • develop relationships and collaborative ways of working?
  • provide opportunities for leadership at all levels? (teachers, parents and whānau, children, the wider community)
EXAMPLES OF PROMPTS FOR INVESTIGATION
  • How is leadership defined and enacted in this service?
  • Who gets to lead and in relation to what?
  • What understanding do leaders have about the service’s philosophy, vision and goals?
  • How do leaders promote the service’s philosophy?
  • What do leaders do to promote strong partnerships with whānau Māori?
  • How do leaders work in a responsive way with families of diverse groups of children?
  • What role do educational leaders have in self review?
  • How does professional learning and development (PLD) contribute to the implementation of bicultural and Te Tiriti-based practice?
  • How do leaders support teachers to develop their professional teaching practice for infants, toddlers and young children?
  • What PLD are leaders involved in?
  • What PLD is planned for teachers? Why? What determines this planning?
  • What PLD have leaders and teachers undertaken recently? What impact has this had?
  • How do leaders encourage and support teachers to increase their cultural competencies?
INDICATORS FOR POU ĀRAHI

ELEMENTS

EXAMPLES OF INDICATORS

Connecting elements

Pou Ārahi and partnerships with parents and whānau

  • Leaders base relationships on respect, trust and reciprocity.
  • Leaders and teachers respectfully validate te ao Māori, and create opportunities for whānau Māori to voice their views.
  • Leaders understand parent and whānau aspirations and expectations, and work collaboratively and responsively to achieve them.
  • Leaders ensure effective communication with families who are bi- or multilingual.
  • Leaders encourage and invite parents and whānau to take an active role in their children’s learning.
  • Leaders are responsive to issues, concerns and questions from parents and whānau.
  • Parents, whānau and children are encouraged to take on leadership roles and responsibilities in the service.
  • Leaders strongly advocate for infants, toddlers and young children and their whānau.

Pou Ārahi and sustainability through self review

  • Leaders are focused on improving the quality of education and care through ongoing systematic self review.
  • Self review is valued, championed and effectively led.
  • Self review includes the gathering and analysis of useful information from a range of sources.
  • Leaders ensure teachers have time to critically reflect on their practice.
  • Leaders use evidence to reflect on and improve practice.
  • Good use is made of resources and research to support self review.
  • Leaders access professional learning and development to increase their individual and collective capability in self review.
  • Leaders ensure that all members of the service have opportunities to be involved in self review.
  • Reviews are documented and leaders ensure that outcomes are shared with those involved in the service.

Contributing elements

Realising the vision and philosophy

  • Leaders show a strong commitment to the philosophy, vision and goals of the service.
  • Leaders promote a shared understanding among teachers of the service’s philosophy, vision and goals.
  • A high level of commitment to bicultural practice is apparent.
  • Leaders ensure the service’s vision and goals are focused on learning.
  • Leaders give priority to equitable outcomes for all children.

Establishing and developing the organisational culture of the service

  • Leaders establish a culture in which children are first and foremost valued, celebrated and affirmed for who they are and what they bring to their learning.
  • A high level of relational trust is evident among all who are involved in the service and is conducive to debate, negotiation, problem solving and critical reflection.
  • Collaborative ways of working are fostered with everyone involved in the service.

Building and supporting professional practice

  • Leaders have a strong commitment to teaching and learning that contributes to positive outcomes for all children.
  • Leaders and teachers are aware of their responsibility to advocate for infants, toddlers and young children.
  • Leaders and teachers ensure their practices reflect the rights of all to a quality, inclusive early childhood education.
  • Curriculum design and implementation is underpinned by Te Whāriki (the principles, strands, goals and learning outcomes)
  • Curriculum design and implementation are effectively led.
  • Leaders encourage and support Māori teachers to build their leadership capabilities.
  • Leaders advocate for the development and implementation of a Tiriti-based curriculum.Emergent leadership among teachers is encouraged.
  • Leaders plan for PLD.
  • Leaders seek appropriate PLD to strengthen bicultural practice.

Mātauranga - evaluation framework and indicators

How effectively is this service’s curriculum designed to promote positive learning outcomes for all children?

Priority questions

 

What does the service know about the effectiveness of its curriculum (design and planning) in:

  • supporting Māori children to achieve success as Māori?
  • supporting Pacific children to achieve success?
  • responding to the interests, strengths and capabilities of diverse groups of children who attend the service and supporting them to achieve success?

To what extent does this service’s curriculum recognise and build on the knowledge and expertise that children and their parents and whānau bring to the service?

How effective is self review in evaluating the impact of the service’s curriculum in promoting positive learning outcomes for all children?

SUPPORTING EVALUATION QUESTIONS
  • How well do teachers know infants, toddlers and young children (and their parents and whānau)?
  • How well are the aspirations and goals of parents and whānau understood by teachers and reflected in the curriculum?
  • To what extent are teachers involved in curriculum decisions?
  • To what extent does the curriculum reflect the interests and knowledge of teachers?
  • How well placed are teachers to implement a curriculum that effectively responds to the interests and strengths of infants, toddlers and young children?
  • How effective are assessment and planning processes in enabling teachers to notice, recognise and respond to the strengths, interests and capabilities of infants, toddlers and young children?
  • To what extent is the curriculum based on teachers’:
    • professional knowledge, curriculum and subject knowledge, and knowledge of learners?
    • understanding of te ao Māori perspectives?
    • knowledge of the diverse cultural identities of the service’s families and community?
EXAMPLES OF PROMPTS FOR INVESTIGATION
  • How do teachers get to know children and their parents and whānau?
  • What informs curriculum decisions in this service?
  • How are emphases and priorities for the curriculum determined? Who is involved?
  • What processes are in place to involve children and parents and whānau in curriculum decisions?
  • How do whānau Māori contribute to curriculum decisions? Hapū and iwi?
  • What role do whānau Māori play in reviewing the curriculum?
  • How does this service value and draw on the expertise of parents, whānau and the wider community in planning and reviewing its curriculum?
  • What assessment processes enable teachers to notice, recognise and respond to the strengths, interests and capabilities of infants, toddlers and young children and document continuity of progress and learning for all children?
  • What processes are in place to plan a responsive curriculum?
  • How does the service evaluate the responsiveness of its curriculum?
INDICATORS FOR MĀTAURANGA

ELEMENTS

EXAMPLES OF INDICATORS

Connecting elements

Mātauranga and partnerships with parents and whānau

  • Strong, responsive, reciprocal and respectful relationships are formed with each family, supporting children’s sense of belonging.
  • Teachers value and acknowledge:
    • parents’ and whānau aspirations for their children and take account of these in assessment and planning processes.
    • the knowledge, skill and expertise that whānau Māori bring to the service 
    • children’s place as part of a wider whānau and iwi.
  • Teachers value and seek the contribution of infants, toddlers and young children, parents and whānau to the programmes.
  • Teachers provide opportunities for parents and whānau to contribute their perspectives to the design of the service’s curriculum.
  • Parents, whānau and children are involved in leading and contributing to the service’s curriculum.
  • Leaders and teachers work in partnership with parents of children with special needs to improve and enhance their learning.

Mātauranga and sustainability through self review

  • Leaders and teachers:
    • question whose knowledge is valued and reflected in the service’s curriculum as part of self review.
    • evaluate the impact of curriculum decisions on infants, toddlers and young children
    • use Te Whāriki as a basis for evaluating the service’s curriculum

Contributing elements

Professional knowledge

  • Teachers work in-depth with the goals, dispositions and learning outcomes of Te Whāriki
  • Teachers:
    • know about current theories of learning, teaching and development and use this knowledge to design the curriculum and decide how they structure time and space and use of resources
    • learn about Māori theories and philosophies to assist in the development of a culturally appropriate curriculum
    • reflect on their personal values, beliefs, attitudes and philosophy when making decisions about curriculum
    • recognise and value the importance of children learning through play.
  • Teachers:
    • are able to explain and discuss their pedagogy.
    • articulate and share the rationale for curriculum decisions with parents and whānau.
  • Teachers take personal responsibility for learning:
    • te reo Māori, using correct pronunciation and integrating this te reo meaningfully into the programme
    • about the languages, cultures and identities of all children attending.

Curriculum and subject content knowledge

  • Teachers can explain how their curriculum aligns to the principles and strands of Te Whāriki.
  • Teachers’ knowledge of waiata, haka, pūrakau, pakiwaitara, karakia and whānau helps them to extend children’s thinking and foster new understandings.
  • Teachers have:
    • an understanding of te ao Māori perspectives across all aspects of the curriculum
    • sufficient knowledge, including subject and general knowledge, to build on children’s existing understandings, working theories and dispositions
    • a depth of subject knowledge that enables them to respond meaningfully to infants’, toddlers’ and young children’s interests and enquiries.
  • Where teachers do not have the necessary content knowledge to support children’s interests and enquiries they access information with children (e.g. through books, the Internet, or by asking community specialists and family elders, tangata whenua, kaumātua, kuia, whānau).

Knowledge of learning and of children as learners

  • The ‘funds of knowledge’ infants, toddlers and young children bring with them to the early childhood service are acknowledged and provide a basis for decisions about curriculum.
  • Teachers understand the child in the context of family/whānau and wider community.
  • Teachers value Māori children’s identities as Māori as the foundation for, and key to, their success as Māori.
  • Teachers recognise and acknowledge the whakapapa of Māori children.
  • Children contribute to the development of a curriculum that is responsive to their culture, languages and identities.
  • Teachers provide a curriculum that is responsive to infants’, toddlers’ and young children’s deep interests.
  • Teachers have an understanding of each child as a unique learner including their ‘working theories’ (knowledge, skills and dispositions).
  • Teachers carefully listen to, recognise and document infants’, toddlers’ and young children’s working theories, and encourage their development through dialogue and providing further relevant experiences.

Knowledge of children’s rights

  • The curriculum provides opportunities for children to discuss and negotiate rights, fairness and justice with adults.
  • The curriculum empowers children with the knowledge that they have the power to affect conditions that impact on them.
  • Children are supported to develop the characteristics of a global and local citizen, including collective responsibility for problem solving in a changing world.
  • Assessment practices support children to understand and contribute to decisions about their learning.

Knowledge of culture and context

  • Leaders and teachers acknowledge whakapapa as integral to the development of a sense of self, belonging and connectedness.
  • Teachers learn about local hapu and iwi, their history, sites of significance and kawa, and incorporating this into the programme in a meaningful and respectful manner.
  • Teachers are aware of indigenous knowledge unique to Aotearoa New Zealand and what this means for the service’s curriculum.
  • Kaupapa Māori concepts such as manaakitanga, wairuatanga, whanaungatanga and kaitiakitanga are integral to curriculum decisions.
  • Teachers recognise the diversity within children of Pacific heritage (ie. they are not a homogenous group) and
    • understand that language and culture are key to Pacific children’s identity and a positive, confident sense of self
    • seek ways to maintain the children’s connections to and fluency in their first language
  • Teachers seek ways to maintain children’s connections to their cultural identity.

Knowledge of family and community

  • Teachers recognise that Māori have a unique culture and history based on strong genealogical links and relationships.
  • Teachers engage with children and their parents’ language and culture to make the setting more meaningful for their wider community of learners.
  • Teachers view each family and its knowledge of their child as an integral part of the service’s learning community.

Assessment and identity

  • Assessment builds children’s identity as a successful learner.
  • Assessment acknowledges the social and cultural worlds, and ways of learning of all children.
  • Assessment supports the development of a strong Māori identity in Māori children, through reflecting Māori perspectives of the child, their world and their place in the world.
  • Māori children’s cultural capital is acknowledged and valued and their learning achievements are celebrated.
  • Assessment practices value and respond to Pacific cultures, knowledge and ways of learning.

Assessment processes

  • Assessment information:

~ focuses on enhancing dispositional learning, as well as skills and ways of knowing

~ shows deepening and the increasing complexity of children’s learning

~ reflects the complexity of children’s relationships with people, places and things

~ reflects a credit-based approach that pays attention to children’s strengths, interests and dispositions

~ is available to the children so that they can revisit and share their learning with others.

  • Ongoing observation of children in everyday activities builds a picture of what children know, understand, feel, are interested in, and can do.
  • Assessment includes multiple perspectives that enhance the interpretation and analysis of learning.

Assessment purpose

  • Teachers use a range of approaches for different assessment purposes; including:

~ to understand and support children’s learning and development

~ to identify progress and achievement

~ to identify and diagnose children’s capabilities and where additional support may be needed

~ to evaluate how well the curriculum is helping the service to achieve its outcomes.

  • Assessments illustrate and support continuity in learning and demonstrate children’s progress in a range of contexts.
  • Assessment practices provide parents and whānau with a way of contributing to their children’s learning.

Curriculum planning

  • Teachers analyse assessment information to understand children’s learning pathways and then plan to continue and strengthen them.
  • Information from individual and group assessment is used to plan the curriculum.
  • Planning is driven by evidence-based formative assessment, for individual and groups of children.

Tikanga Whakaako - evaluation framework and indicators

How well do teaching and learning practices promote positive learning outcomes for all children?

Priority questions

 

What does the service know (through its self review) about the effectiveness of tikanga whakaako in:

  • supporting Māori children to achieve success as Māori?
  • supporting Pacific children to achieve success?
  • responding to the interests, strengths and capabilities of diverse groups of children who attend the service and supporting them to achieve success?

To what extent do teaching and learning practices promote partnerships with parents and whānau?

How effective is self review in improving teaching and learning practices to promote positive learning outcomes for all children in this service?

SUPPORTING EVALUATION QUESTIONS

How effectively do teachers:

  • use teaching practices that contribute to positive learning outcomes for infants, toddlers and young children?
  • use teaching practices that enhance children’s sense of themselves as successful learners?
  • engage in respectful, reciprocal and responsive relationships with all children?
  • respond to strengths, interests and capabilities of all children?
  • use teaching practices that are responsive to children with special needs and capabilities?
  • interact with children to extend and challenge their thinking?
  • establish a learning environment that contributes to positive learning outcomes for infants, toddlers and young children?
  • use teaching strategies and resources that support children to become confident in Aotearoa New Zealand’s dual cultural heritage?
  • engage in reflective practice that leads them to question and modify their practice?
  • How well are transitions managed for children when they are: settling into the service; moving within the service; preparing to start school?
EXAMPLES OF PROMPTS FOR INVESTIGATION
  • What do teachers know about the effectiveness of their teaching practice and strategies in promoting positive learning outcomes for infants and toddlers?
  • What do teachers know about the effectiveness of their teaching practice and strategies in promoting positive learning outcomes for all young children, including diverse groups?
  • In what ways do teaching and learning practices engage, extend and deepen children’s knowledge, skills and dispositions?
  • In what ways are teachers intentional and deliberate in their teaching?
  • What opportunities do teachers have to reflect on and discuss their practice with other teachers and leaders?
  • How do teachers respond to children’s strengths, interests and capabilities?
  • How do teaching practices and strategies promote the language, culture and identity of Māori children, Pacific children and children with other cultural heritages?
  • How do teachers respond to diverse groups of children, including those with special needs and capabilities?
  • In what ways does the learning environment reflect and support the learning of all infants, toddlers and young children at this service?
  • How do transition processes support children as they transition into, within and from the service to school?
INDICATORS FOR TIKANGA WHAKAAKO

ELEMENTS

EXAMPLES OF INDICATORS

Note: There are separate indicators specifically for children up to two years of age at the end of this section

Connecting elements

Tikanga Whakaako and partnerships with parents and whānau

  • The service is welcoming to all children and their parents and whānau.
  • Partnerships are based on genuine attitudes of acceptance, respect and willingness to listen and change.
  • Teachers incorporate the skills and expertise (cultural advantage) that whānau Māori bring to the service and into the programmes.
  • Teachers ensure that interactions with Pacific parents and communities are culturally responsive.
  • Teachers ensure that any planned early intervention is culturally responsive, where family/whānau can bring ‘who they are’ to the process.

Tikanga Whakaako and sustainability through self review

  • Teachers:

~ systematically evaluate their teaching practices and the impact of these on outcomes for children

~ are reflective practitioners who critique their own practices through a process that is ongoing and intentional

~ engage in discussion and debate that challenges and informs improvement of their practice.

  • Self review includes a focus on the impact of the service’s bicultural curriculum for all children.
  • Self review leads to improved practices that are ‘enabling’ and based on principles of advocacy, equity and social justice.

Contributing elements

Relationships and interactions with children

  • Teachers:

~ have positive, sensitive and responsive relationships with children

~ take time to genuinely listen to children and explore the deeper meanings in their learning

~ foster children’s language development

~ provide for authentic dialogue in meaningful contexts

~ ask open questions of children to allow their interests to lead learning

~ actively promote peer interactions to support learning

~ use te reo Maori in ways that recognise it as a living language, indigenous to Aotearoa New Zealand.

  • Children’s talk is encouraged, accepted and respected.

Children’s rights

  • Teachers:

~ talk with children about decisions that affect them

~ respect children’s rights to express a point of view and be involved in decisions that affect them.

  • Children are empowered to take increased responsibility for

~ the wellbeing of themselves, others and the group

~ their immediate and wider environments.

Effective teaching practice

  • Teachers:

~ are attuned to the variety of ways children express and explore their working theories, and they use a range of strategies to encourage the development of these theories

~ use a range of teaching strategies and practices to respond to the cultures, languages and identities of all children

~ are intentional in the way they recognise and respond to all opportunities to engage in, and extend, children’s learning.

  • Intentional teaching includes:

~ co-construction between children and teachers

~ joint involvement in child and adult-initiated activities

~ teacher involvement in children’s self-initiated play activities.

  • Sustained, shared teaching episodes extend children’s thinking and value their contribution to the learning experience.
  • Teaching practice reflects an understanding of the essence of the Māori child such as mana, wairua and mauri.
  • Teachers :

~ support children’s problem-solving and experimentation

~ make links across time and activities by revisiting children’s ideas, interests and deepening understanding

  • Children are provided with feedback that acknowledges their effort and success.
  • Teachers and children have fun as part of the learning process.
  • Children are supported to change roles between teacher and learner.
  • Routines are consistently implemented giving children a sense of security in being able to predict what will happen next.
  • Teachers make links to and provide opportunities for children to learn about the local and wider community
  • Teaching practice includes a focus on sustainable environmental practice

Literacy and mathematics

Links to the school curriculum

Domains

  • Teachers provide a repertoire of literacy practices that enable children to: observe, listen and play with language
  • use literacy for a purpose
  • critically question.
  • Teachers provide good quality language resources to support children’s first languages including Maōri and Pacific.
  • Teachers provide meaningful learning contexts for children to develop print awareness and alphabet knowledge.
  • Children’s mathematical learning is enhanced through meaningful and interesting opportunities to:

~ use mathematics in everyday life

~ use open-ended resources for mathematical exploration

~ engage in games in which children can vary the level of challenge.

  • Teachers extend children’s understanding of literacy and mathematical concepts from a te ao Māori perspective. Teachers provide opportunities for children to:

~ make sense of the natural, social, physical and material worlds

~ be creative and imaginative

~ use information communication technologies (ICT) meaningfully

Te Tiriti-based practice

Bicultural curriculum

  • Teachers are open to ‘listening to culture’, allowing space and time for whānau Māori to tell their stories, create their own images, and listen to their own voices.
  • Teacher practice incorporates the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi (partnership, participation and protection).
  • Programmes include Māori concepts, knowledge, skills, attitudes, reo, practices, customs, values and beliefs.
  • Teachers use te reo Māori.
  • Teacher practice reflects the competencies in Tātaiako 1

Inclusive practices

  • Teachers:

~ share a philosophy and commitment to inclusive education that includes particular beliefs and values based on social justice, fairness and human rights

~ take full responsibility for the education and care of children with special needs, ensuring that they participate fully in all aspects of the programme alongside their peers

~ identify and remove barriers to a child’s full acceptance, participation, and learning

~ help all children and families to celebrate their differences by reinforcing the rights of individuals and groups to be different

~ provide children with positive ways of thinking about and understanding disability and the place of children with disabilities in early childhood settings and communities.

~ enable children to explore gender and gender roles in ways that are non-stereotypical and open-ended.

Learning environment

  • The physical environment is safe, while offering challenges and interest that invite children to explore and become fully involved in a wide variety of activities.
  • The environment encourages critical thought, wondering and creativity.
  • Teachers provide resources and environments that encourage exploration that is meaningful and enjoyable for children.
  • The level of resourcing supports children to choose, experience challenges and revisit prior learning
  • The languages and symbols of children’s cultural backgrounds, including the diversity of Pacific heritages, are visible.
  • Teachers use Māori symbols and natural resources to contribute to the richness of a vibrant learning environment.
  • The environment includes a wide range of natural materials and cultural artefacts that reflect the cultural backgrounds of children and their families and whānau.
  • Teachers include children in decisions about the resources and space in the learning environment.
  • Teachers organise and manage the learning environment so that challenging behaviour is minimised or less likely to occur

Transition into and within the service and to school

  • Children’s sense of belonging is nurtured during and after transitions into and within the service, and when moving to school.
  • Transition practices honour the cultural uniqueness that Māori and other children bring with them and nurture their sense of belonging.
  • Teachers foster children’s friendships and engagement in a group to enhance their security and confidence at settling-in and transition times.
  • Successful transitions are supported by effective partnerships between families, services, and schools.

Children up to two years of age - indicators

These indicators focus on factors that contribute to high quality provision for children up to two years of age. They are particularly focused on Tikanga Whakaako and Mātauranga.

ELEMENTS

EXAMPLES OF INDICATORS

Contributing elements

 

Positive, sensitive and responsive interactions

  • Secure, child-teacher-family relationships promote the development of children’s positive sense of self.
  • Responsive caregiving supports infants’ and toddlers’ need for strong and secure attachments.
  • Consistent caregiving enables teachers to respond sensitively to each child’s changing needs and preferences.
  • The social and emotional climate created by a responsive curriculum supports children’s engagement and learning.
  • Teachers’ practice reflects a commitment to a pedagogy of care.
  • Teachers learn about te ao Māori perspectives to support their care of Māori infants and toddlers.
  • Teachers understand the concept of aroha: including compassion, respect, connectedness and obligation to whānau to help them provide appropriate care and education for Māori babies.
  • Teachers:

~ engage in one-to-one responsive interactions (where teachers follow the child’s lead)

~ recognise that consistency and continuity are important in establishing a secure foundation for young children’s care and education.

  • Teachers respect children’s rights to be informed and consulted about decisions that affect them. Teachers:

~ know the narrative style (language development) of the children they care for and the level of communication and language used by each child

~ are responsive to children’s temperaments, preferences and interests

~ interpret and respond to the subtle cues offered by infants and toddlers including body language, for example gaze, pointing

~ are flexible and respond to the needs and rhythms of children up to two years of age

~ offer infants and toddlers choices about what is to happen to them and wait for them to respond to the choices offered

~ are available to infants and toddlers, supporting them in their learning, but resisting the urge to intervene unnecessarily in their problem-solving efforts and mastery of their own physical development

~ are sensitive and responsive to differences in children's social and cultural backgrounds.

  • The importance of play as a vehicle for learning is respected and valued.
  • Teachers recognise and use learning opportunities within routines.
  • Teachers maintain a calm, slow pace in which younger children have space and time to lead their learning.

Learning environment

  • The physical environment provides for the safety, physical and emotional wellbeing, intellectual stimulation and social support of very young children.
  • Children have easy access to an environment that is well resourced and encourages exploration.
  • There is sufficient space to prevent overcrowding and to minimise children’s exposure to infectious diseases and excessive noise.
  • Infants and toddlers experience a low-stress environment that actively avoids placing them in situations where they are exposed to stress that they cannot control and where there is no support from an adult who can soothe and comfort them (toxic stress).
  • There are comfortable, safe spaces that cater for children who are not yet mobile, able to sit by themselves, and for those who are crawling and learning to walk.

Structural aspects of quality for infants and toddlers

Responsibility for these aspects lies mainly with Pou Whakahaere and Pou Ārahi.

  • Policies and procedures maximise children’s sense of security and provide them with continuity of connection with teachers.
  • Structures and systems ensure teachers are available and have the time to develop positive relationships with infants and toddlers and their parents and whānau.
  • Adult to child ratios of 1:3 are considered necessary to promote high quality. (minimum required by regulations is 1:5)
  • Group size of no more than 6-8 children (research-based high quality provision).
  • A positive working environment facilitates low turnover of teachers and is conducive to their relationships with infants and toddlers.
  • Teachers have:

~ relevant qualifications, knowledge and skills to support infants and toddlers to experience positive outcomes

~ professional knowledge of quality care and education practices for infants and toddlers.