Central Kids Kindergartens - Edgecumbe - 15/08/2016

1 Evaluation of Central Kids Kindergartens- Edgecumbe

How well placed is Central Kids Kindergartens- Edgecumbe 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

Edgecumbe Kindergarten operates under the umbrella of Central North Island Kindergarten Trust (CNIK). It is located in Edgecumbe, a small rural town 20 kilometres west of Whakatane. The centre operates from 8.45am to 2.45pm on week days. It is licensed to provide education and care for 40 children between two years and school age. The roll of 52 includes 20 Māori children. The majority of these tamariki whakapapa to Ngāti Awa. Children of Fijian and Indian ethnicity are also enrolled, reflecting some of the diverse cultures living in the Edgecumbe community.

As indicated in the kindergarten philosophy, teachers work in partnership with parents, whānau, children and the wider community. This is recognised as one of the guiding principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. The kindergarten’s inclusive practice and nurturing environment recognises that all children:

  • have the right to high quality early childhood experiences
  • are to be recognised as leaders, explorers, and competent learners, who ask questions and make discoveries.

'Nā te atuatanga o te tamaiti hei whakarahi – Let the uniqueness of the child guide our work'.

Since the 2013 ERO review, the kindergarten has retained the experienced and long-serving head teacher and two of the teaching staff. This team, together with a more recently appointed teacher, continues to design and implement the education and care programme, and takes responsibility for the day-to-day management of the centre's operation. A new professional leader has been appointed by the trust to provide continuing support and guidance for the centre, and to undertake the head teacher's appraisal. The trust has also worked with its teachers to redevelop the appraisal system to reflect the requirements of the Education Council. 

The kindergarten has a positive reporting history. It has responded positively to a finding of the 2013 ERO review by improving the quality of assessment. The collection and use of information about children's interests and achievements are now used more effectively to strengthen and focus teaching interactions. 

Central North Island Kindergarten Trust retains responsibility for governance matters, and has oversight of key centre-wide operations. Since the 2013 ERO Review, the trust has worked with the kindergarten to extensively improve and extend the facilities for staff and children. The outdoor area and garden upgrade took place in 2015, and is continuing to develop and enhance learning opportunities for children. The outdoor area at the rear of the kindergarten has also been remodelled to provide an attractive area for children to visit and observe aspects of the natural world. 

This review was part of a cluster of three kindergarten reviews in the Central North Island Kindergarten Trust.

The Review Findings

Central Kids Kindergartens - Edgecumbe is very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

The centre is welcoming to children, parents and whānau. Positive, sensitive and responsive relationships are evident throughout the centre. These conditions support the kindergarten's calm, friendly and secure environment where children develop a sense of belonging and ownership. A strength of the kindergarten is the skilled use of strategies based on the Incredible Years (IY) programme to support and develop children's social and emotional skills. This culture ensures that children and their families from diverse cultures are included as valued and contributing members of the kindergarten community.

The centre has well-developed transition systems and procedures. Newly-enrolled children and their families/whānau are well-supported as they settle into the life of the kindergarten. Older children are encouraged and expected to include and care for younger children. Teachers have established and maintain ongoing relationships with local schools which support children as they make their transition from kindergarten. Parents appreciate the care for their children's wellbeing and happiness as they develop trusting relationships and learn to adjust to change.

The curriculum is child-centred and emergent. Children are able to initiate and follow their ideas and interests. The well-developed learning environments offer children immediate, ongoing access to a wide range of interesting and challenging equipment, allowing them to lead their own learning. Flexible and familiar routines allow children to engage in uninterrupted play, while learning self-management and care skills. Children are confident, competent learners who are empowered to make choices and solve problems.

Effective teaching interactions are challenging children and focusing their learning. Teachers engage in respectful conversations with children, by listening and responding to children's ideas so they can meaningfully support their oral language and communication skills. Books and stories including those featuring Māori myths and legends are read and enjoyed. Children frequently engage in drawing and painting, learning to use symbols to express their creative ideas. Mathematics, problem solving and a range of motor skills are naturally included in the programme as children explore and experiment with construction, carpentry and puzzles. Teachers work with children to develop and extend activities that support and deepen their learning through play.

Teachers display a strong and sustained commitment to ensuring that the kindergarten community experiences the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand. Children's language, culture and identity are highly valued. Teachers are increasing their confidence in using te reo Māori in the programme. They explore children's whakapapa and seek a partnership with whānau that enables parents and whānau to share their aspirations for their children. Respect for, and connection with, whenua is illustrated by a conservation project undertaken during Matariki. Teachers use whakatauki to recognise Māori learning in a Māori context. They have developed a climate where the kindergarten responds to Māori children's language, culture and identity and successfully engages them in learning.

Teachers display a high level of professional knowledge about current good practice in early childhood education. They have a shared and well-informed approach to implementing the centre philosophy in conjunction with a curriculum based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Teachers are reflective practitioners who regularly share good practice and relevant professional readings. These practices are supported by a thorough appraisal process which supports teachers' reflections about their practice. They critically evaluate the quality of the programme and monitor how well it fulfils the intentions of their philosophy and results in positive learning outcomes for children. 

Teachers' planning and assessment supports intentional teaching and the preparation of a learning environment that provokes ongoing exploration. Teachers use their in-depth understanding of children's development and learning to advocate for and support children who need additional external intervention to succeed alongside their peers. The recent introduction of Storypark digital portfolios has resulted in increased communication with parents about their children's learning. The kindergarten has continued to provide individual portfolios to assist children to revisit and share their experiences with parents, teachers and peers. Assessment processes provide rich information for reviewing and improving the quality and relevance of the curriculum for the children attending.  

The head teacher establishes a culture in which children are first and foremost valued, celebrated and affirmed for who they are and what they bring to their learning. She has successfully established high levels of relational trust with all parts of the kindergarten community. The head teacher actively seeks, for the teaching team and herself, professional development that is focused effectively on continuing improvements to teaching practice and outcomes for children. In addition she makes extensive and increasing contributions to a variety of educational initiatives and networks. Children, parents and whānau benefit from an effective leader and a teaching team that is well-informed and motivated to continually build their capability to achieve positive outcomes for all.            

Key Next Steps

The kindergarten and ERO agree that the next steps are to continue to:

  • further their current review of the kindergarten philosophy, with a particular emphases on reflecting the views and aspirations of the kindergarten community consistent with Ngāti Awatanga
  • investigate how the kindergarten can progress its collaboration with schools by exploring ways to further support children and whānau to make successful transitions to new environments.  

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Central Kids Kindergartens- Edgecumbe 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 Central Kids Kindergartens- Edgecumbe will be in four years. 

Lynda Pura-Watson
Deputy Chief Review Officer Waikato/Bay of Plenty

15 August 2016 

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service 

Location

Edgecumbe, Bay of Plenty

Ministry of Education profile number

5169

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

52

Gender composition

Girls       27
Boys      25

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Fijian
Indian
Other European

20
27
  2
  2
  1

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2016

Date of this report

15 August 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

May 2013

Education Review

July 2010

Education Review

April 2007

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.

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.