Central Kids Kindergartens - Paraone - 21/02/2017

1 Evaluation of Central Kids Kindergartens - Paraone

How well placed is Central Kids Kindergartens - Paraone 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 - Paraone 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 proportion of children enrolled are identified as Māori. The kindergarten is open from 8.45 am to 2.45 pm, five days a week.

The kindergarten philosophy highlights the importance of children having their interests and strengths recognised and extended through play. Teachers believe it is important to work in partnership with children and whānau. They place an emphasis on children's learning dispositions and support them to be happy, creative problem solvers. The service encourages tamariki 'to be the change we wish to see in the world' (Ghandi).

Since the last ERO review the centre has reviewed its documentation to provide clarity about the implementation of the centre vision. There have been recent changes to the teaching team. An existing staff member was appointed as head teacher in January 2016, and new teachers were appointed to the team during the year.

The centre is well-supported by the CNIKT. The trust’s strategic direction sets out the service’s vision, values and expected educational outcomes. 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 to families by 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 and provide guidance, and mentor teachers as part of the appraisal process. Kindergarten teachers have appropriate opportunities to attend professional development and 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. The required changes to policies and practices for the protection of children have been completed and are being implemented.

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

The Review Findings

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

Children are highly settled, motivated learners. They have rich opportunities to explore in an environment that offers a wide range of activities and is equipped with open-ended, natural resources. Children's play is highly valued and benefits from the introduction of flexible routines that support responsible choices. Children are able to take time to explore freely and become fully involved in their learning. They enjoy creative and constructive activities, and benefit from sensory activities and experiences in the natural and physical world. Children are developing as competent, confident learners who are able to work individually or as members of a small group.

Teachers develop positive, sensitive and highly responsive relationships with children. They engage in intentional teaching as they join in play and co-construct learning experiences with children. Teachers have many sustained conversations with children, often using open-ended questions to challenge children to deepen their thinking, revisit earlier learning, and explain their ideas. Children are increasingly able to express themselves as they develop their competence in oral language. Literacy, numeracy and technology are integrated meaningfully in the programme, using a range of teaching practices and learning resources, including carefully selected digital technology programmes. Teachers are ensuring that they respond to children's interests and enquiries in ways that support them to experience success.

Teachers respond positively to children who have additional learning needs. They work in close consultation with their parents and whānau, researching and developing strategies that enable children to participate fully in the programme. Teachers' interactions with children promote their social skills and independence, empowering them to take increasing responsibility for themselves and others.

Teachers are committed to acknowledging the wairua of Māori children and helping them develop a strong sense of belonging. They use te reo Māori both incidentally and through the use of waiata, legends and experiences of papatūānuku in the playground. Teachers are developing the further inclusion of tikanga and te reo Māori with the help of a kaiako from Rural Educational Activities Programme (REAP). They have positive relationships with whānau, and have identified their next steps in developing relationships with local Māori communities. Teachers plan to build their contact with a local marae, give additional consideration to local legends, and develop, along with whānau, children's pepeha and whakapapa. Centre members agree that the centre will continue to strengthen bicultural practice and make this more visible in documentation and assessment practices. This approach will continue to support Māori children's wellbeing and their achievement of success. Māori children are well-settled, highly confident and positively engaged in playing and learning.

The centre's programme reflects Te Whāriki the early childhood curriculum, and strongly supports the centre's philosophy. Children's play is highly regarded, uninterrupted and unhurried. There is a strong emphasis on the learning environment with a focus on natural resources, varied lighting, and calming music. The indoor and outdoor areas include thoughtfully designed spaces that are safe for children and encourage their critical thought, wonderings and creativity. Teachers provide a curriculum that responds to children as individuals and equips them well to take responsibility for their ongoing participation and learning. Children's interests are well supported and challenged to explore new possibilities.

Teachers know children well, discuss their ongoing development at staff meetings and with their parents. They have strong, reciprocal relationships with each and every family. Parents' aspirations for their children are integrated into planning decisions, and information about children's growth and development is shared in individual portfolios and on-line assessments. Assessment processes make learning and development visible for parents and children, through individual books and online digital portfolios. Parents frequently comment on their children's experiences and appreciate opportunities to communicate with teachers about their learning. Strong parent partnerships with the centre support children's sense of wellbeing and belonging. This enables their learning to be recognised and valued in home and centre contexts.

The head teacher has worked purposefully with the staff team to develop a high level of relational trust and a collaborative way of working. Team members, including support staff, have shared values and priorities in tune with the centre vision and philosophy. This leadership has supported a culture in which children are first and foremost valued, celebrated and affirmed for who they are and what they bring to their learning.

The knowledgeable teachers have undertaken systematic, well-planned and evaluative self review. It identifies outcomes being achieved for children and areas for ongoing improvement and development. They access purposeful research and professional development to gain an up-to-date understanding of current theories of teaching and learning. Teachers are committed to strengthening their professional practice, and developing their skills in leadership and mentorship. The philosophy and vision is evident in practice and, as part of the upcoming review, teachers agree that it would be timely to gather in-depth responses to its values and beliefs from parents, whānau and the community.

CNIKT has provided teachers with relevant professional development. The day-to-day operation of the centre is guided by the trust's policies and procedures and by advice from trust office personnel. The introduction of the Annual Plan Workbook has facilitated the process of recording and monitoring the centre's compliance with regulation requirements and CNIKT expectations and strategic aims. The professional leader provides valued advice and support to the head teacher.

Key Next Steps

Teachers could identify appropriate strategies for strengthening bicultural practice by undertaking a review to recognise practices that most effectively support the identity and culture of Māori children and their achievement and successes.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

21 February 2017

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

Taumarunui

Ministry of Education profile number

5193

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, aged over 2

Service roll

30

Gender composition

Boys 16 Girls 14

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

African

Other

12

16

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

November 2016

Date of this report

21 February 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

July 2013

Education Review

July 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.