Care 4 Kidz Home Education - 28/06/2018

1 Evaluation of Care 4 Kidz Home Education

How well placed is Care 4 Kidz Home Education 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.

Background

Care 4 Kidz Home Education is one of two homebased networks established by Kinder Park Limited. In total the Care 4 Kidz networks are licensed to provide for 160 children.

Care 4 Kidz Home Education is licensed for up to 80 children, from birth to six years of age. Half of the roll is Chinese, a quarter Korean and six children are of Pacific heritage. Families live across Auckland suburbs. Educators are mostly grandparents or family members who provide education and care in the child's home. Many of the children and educators have home languages other than English. Staff reflect the predominant cultures of the families they serve. This is the first ERO report for this network since it was established in 2015, and fully licensed in 2016.

The service's philosophy promotes the home, quality care and play as key factors in children's development. The philosophy values New Zealand's bicultural heritage, culturally inclusive practices and Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Staff express commitment to practices and processes that affirm Māori as tangata whenua.

The manager is a foundation staff member. In recent months she has appointed an administrator, and one full time and one part-time coordinator. Two additional coordinators, one full-time and one part-time have this year shifted from this network to help establish the newer second network. The team of four coordinators, who are qualified teachers, develop the learning programme in both networks.

This review was part of a cluster of two home-based education and care service reviews in the Care 4 Kidz organisation.

The Review Findings

Documentation shows that coordinators are aware of culturally responsive practices for their Chinese and Korean families. Where possible, they use the home languages of parents and children to communicate and build respectful relationships. Some key documents, including parts of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and health and safety records, have been translated into Mandarin for educators' use. Staff have yet to consider culturally responsive practices for their Pacific children and families.

Staff acknowledge the challenge in supporting educators to record and maintain key documentation including children's learning, and health and safety records. Coordinators should take greater responsibility for ensuring that these records are up-to-date and sufficiently adequate.

Coordinators communicate with educators through digital platforms and monthly visits. They have provided a few workshops to support educators' work with children. The service maintains a toy library and educational resources which are available for educators. More regular training and planned opportunities to share play ideas, resources and activities, and the expectations in meeting licensing criteria, would benefit educators' work with children.

Coordinators should establish regularly planned playgroups for the service's children, educators and families to provide children with learning opportunities in a social environment. Bi-monthly excursions provide children with opportunities to explore and interact together outside of the home environment. Coordinators should plan a variety of learning experiences for children that respond to their interests, dispositions and developmental stages. They could also share useful educational ideas with educators.

Coordinators maintain records of their conversations with educators through educator appraisals, visit reports and checklists. Coordinators should improve these appraisals by documenting how they support educators to develop their practice in relation to children's health, wellbeing and learning. Coordinator visit reports could explicitly identify discussion points about each educator's practice and the next steps for their development.

Coordinators have yet to document internal evaluation of the service's operations. The organisation's coordinator team could consider the philosophy, priorities for children's learning and the service's strategic direction to guide further internal evaluations. This would help to develop coordinators' shared understanding of internal evaluation as a tool for improvement.

The manager has worked with external professional support to develop the service's philosophy and strategic plan. Staff do not have shared understanding of these. The manager and co-ordinators should collaboratively review these documents, and develop an annual plan to ensure that the guiding principles are evident in management and teaching practices.

This year coordinators' appraisals have been improved to align with the Education Council's Standards. The service manager is yet to be appraised. External professional support with appraisals would help to build manager and coordinator confidence, professional knowledge and leadership capacity.

Ongoing staff turnover and reorganisation of roles and responsibilities have hampered improvement in the service. While some policies and processes have been established, the manager needs to update personnel management systems, including ensuring that police vetting requirements are met. There is an urgent need to improve both accountability and practice to ensure robust information is available about how the service is performing and keeping up-to-date with legislative requirements. Recent growth in the service and employment of new coordinators makes it critical that this improvement includes an up-to-date and well implemented policy framework.

Key Next Steps

Managers acknowledge that external support will be necessary to develop shared staff understanding of the priorities for improvement including:

  • refining strategic goals and developing an annual action plan to guide ongoing improvement

  • ensuring that internal evaluation relates purposefully and explicitly to making a positive difference for children

  • establishing ongoing policy review and development to ensure a complete and compliant policy framework

  • implementing a child-centred programme that extends children's learning, and is more responsive to infants and toddlers

  • improving processes for monitoring children's health and safety in homes

  • improving planning, assessment and evaluation of children's learning and development

  • strengthening coordinators' coaching and mentoring conversations with educators.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Care 4 Kidz Home Education completed an ERO Home-based Education and Care 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

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to management, health and safety, curriculum and capacity building. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following areas:

  • provide a programme that reflects an understanding of learning and development, relevant theories and practices, and Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum

  • establish a process for evaluating operations and strengthen records, systems and processes to evidence that criteria are met and regularly monitored

  • implement child protection, safety checking and police vetting that align with the Vulnerable Children Act, 2014

  • implement robust risk analysis management for excursions

  • provide adults who administer medicine to children with information and/or training relevant to the task

  • implement annual appraisals for all staff and ensure that appraisal systems for coordinators meet the requirements of the Education Council.

Licensing Criteria for Home-based Education and Care Services 2008, GMAe, GMA5,6,6a, HS14, HS26, HS29, HS30, HS31, C1, C4, PF, Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008, Reg 43(1)ai,iii, Reg 45, Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service, in consultation with the Ministry of Education, develops a plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Care 4 Kidz Home Education will be within two years.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

28 June 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 Home-based Education and Care Service

Location

Royal Oak, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

46779

Institution type

Homebased Network

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

80 children, including up to 80 aged under 2

Service roll

63

Standard or Quality Funded

Standard

Gender composition

Boys 39 Girls 24

Ethnic composition

Pākehā
Chinese
Korean
Thai
Tuvalu
other

4
32
16
4
4
3

Number of qualified coordinators in the network

2

Required ratios of educators to children

Under 2

1:2

Over 2

1:4

Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

28 June 2018

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 the draft methodology for ERO reviews in Home-based Education and Care Services: July 2008

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.