Central Kids Kindergartens - Paeroa - 05/09/2016

1 Evaluation of Central Kids Kindergartens - Paeroa

How well placed is Central Kids Kindergartens - Paeroa 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

Central Kids Kindergartens - Paeroa operates under the umbrella of Central North Island Kindergarten Trust (CNIKT). The kindergarten is licensed to cater for 40 children from two years to school age. A high percentage of children enrolled are Māori. The kindergarten is open from 8.45 a.m. to 2.45 p.m., five days a week.

There has been significant changes to the environment since the 2013 ERO review. A devastating fire resulted in the loss of the kindergarten building in July 2014. CNIKT and teachers have been humbled by the kindness and generosity of so many people from the local community and Aotearoa. Support has been provided by local businesses, community groups, other early childhood services and schools. The new building facilities are purpose built and provide the community with a new and modern learning environment.

The kindergarten philosophy statement places priority on creating a culture where learning dispositions are recognised, nurtured and explored. Children develop behaviours and attitudes that support social development and a desire to learn. Te Ao Māori is woven throughout the curriculum and children learn literacy and mathematics through familiar contexts.

The head teacher and all but one teacher have remained together as a team since the previous ERO review. Teachers have continued to undertake professional development to keep up to date with current theory and best practice. Self-review processes continue to lead to improvements that benefit children's learning.

The kindergarten is well supported by the CNIKT. The trust’s strategic direction sets out the service’s vision, expected educational outcomes, and values. It also defines the strategies for delivering the principles and strands of the early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki, and for respecting te Tiriti o Waitangi. The trust works positively to provide equitable opportunities for families, including extending its hours of opening.

Compliance and regulatory requirements are well monitored by professional leaders. Policies and procedures ensure the kindergarten meets regulation requirements and management expectations. The professional leaders work alongside head teachers to support their leadership roles, provide guidance, and mentor teachers as part of the appraisal process. Kindergarten teachers have generous opportunities to attend professional development opportunities to grow their teaching and leadership skills.

Personnel matters are well managed. The trust has undertaken a long-term review of teacher appraisal in consultation with teachers. This is enabling them to respond to the expectations of the Education Council, and increase the depth of teachers’ reflections about their practice. The trust has also responded effectively to the Vulnerable Children’s Act, and is well placed to complete required changes to policies and practices for the protection of children.

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

The Review Findings

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

Children and their whānau are warmly welcomed into an inclusive and friendly environment. Teachers have long-standing connections with many families/whānau and the community. Open communication among teachers and adults are underpinned by mutual respect, honesty and trust. Reciprocal and positive communication promotes a strong foundation for working in partnership, and having a shared focus on the best possible outcomes for children.

The head teacher and teachers have established a kindergarten culture that embraces the values of manaakitanga and whanaungatanga. Teachers view children in the context of their family and life experiences, valuing the knowledge children bring with them to their learning. Children and their families enjoy the strong sense of belonging they have and an environment where their wellbeing is nurtured.

Educationally powerful relationships encourage Whānau/families and teachers to work collaboratively together to provide authentic and contextually relevant learning experiences for children. This collaborative approach is both in the kindergarten and the Ngahere programme, where children are able to investigate the local bush environment, learning about kaitiakitanga, being caretakers of the land. Learning in the local bush is also supporting children to explore the wonders of nature, make new discoveries, develop their physical skills, exercise their imagination and connect with others and Papatuanuku (Mother Earth).

Children benefit from the unrushed time they have to engage in self-initiated, sustained, complex learning and pursue their interests. They are trusted by teachers to be capable, and learn through hands on exploration, research and inquiry. Children are confident to try new experiences, lead their own learning, and share their strengths with peers who support them in learning. There are many opportunities for children to build on their existing knowledge, and develop new understandings.

Teachers are highly skilled at encouraging children to solve problems and think critically. Children are capable, self-managing learners who are viewed as competent by teachers. Teachers foster children's language and communication skills through positive guidance and coaching. Children are encouraged to take responsibility for themselves and the wellbeing of others.

Teachers use extensive and intentional teaching strategies and techniques. These support children to develop dispositions, behaviours and attitudes. Children develop a comprehensive range of strategies and approaches they can use in other learning environments and contexts, such as in their transition to school.

The head teacher with the support of her teaching team and the CNIKT professional leader continue to provide the community with high quality education and care. Well-established processes for self-review result in ongoing improvements to the programme and learning experiences that benefit children and families/whānau.

Key Next Steps

ERO, teachers and kindergarten leaders agree that the key next step is to continue:

  • working with local schools to share knowledge and develop seamless pathways for transitions to school

  • building on the teaching team and tangata whenua shared knowledge base about assessment strategies and whānau, hapū and iwi histories.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

5 September 2016

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

Location

Paeroa

Ministry of Education profile number

5760

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, aged over 2

Service roll

58

Gender composition

Boys 29 Girls 29

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

African

Cook Island

34

22

1

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

July 2016

Date of this report

5 September 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2013

Education Review

June 2010

Education Review

February 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.