Central Kids Kindergartens – Rewi Street - 17/10/2016

1 Evaluation of Central Kids Kindergartens - Rewi Street

How well placed is Central Kids Kindergartens - Rewi Street 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 Kindergarten - Rewi Street, Te Awamutu operates under the umbrella of Central North Island Kindergarten Trust (CNIKT). The kindergarten is licensed for 40 children from two years to school age. There are 9 children of Māori descent and a number of children from other nationalities. The kindergarten has all day sessions from 8.30 am to 2.30 pm, five days a week.

Since the last ERO review the kindergarten has had stable leadership, some changes to the teaching team and a new administrator has been appointed. Teachers have developed and enhanced a wilderness area for children to explore in small groups alongside a teacher.

Some progress has been made with the areas for development identified in the 2013 ERO report related to strategic and annual planning, and the use of teaching strategies that support children's problem solving skills. There continues to be a need to strengthen leadership, appraisal systems and processes, culturally responsive practices, and assessment and planning.

The kindergarten philosophy expresses the intention to provide high quality early childhood education through a programme that encourages children to think, ask questions, take risks, discover and grow through following their interests. The kindergarten whakataukī expresses the aspiration to:

Te mana o Papa hei whakamiharotanga, Let the beauty of the earth lift your heart in wonder.

The kindergarten is well supported by 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 by extending its hours of opening.

The professional leader provides effective professional leadership. Compliance and regulatory requirements are monitored by professional leaders. Policies and procedures support the kindergarten to meet regulation requirements and management expectations. Teachers have generous opportunities to attend professional development opportunities to grow their teaching and leadership skills.

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 six reviews in the Central North Island Kindergarten Trust.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from exploring and experimenting in extensive and well-designed indoor and outdoor environments. They follow their interests, make choices about working in groups or independently, and are able to sustain their play for extended periods of time. The outdoor environment provides interest, physical challenge and promotes children's ongoing confidence to take risks and build their skills across a range of activities. A particular strength of the programme is the emphasis on learning to respect and care for Papatuanuku and the natural world through a planned approach to exploring the wilderness area. This approach has been beneficial for physically active learners and boys. These opportunities are resulting in a calm and settled atmosphere for children's learning and care.

Flexible routines enhance children's opportunities to be self-managing learners. Some children demonstrate high levels of independence and self care. There are inclusive opportunities for children who have special needs to learn these skills with tuakana support from older children. Children readily access high quality materials for drawing, painting and writing. Some children are writing and illustrating their own stories to share with their friends, whānau and families. Their work is highly valued and well displayed by teachers, who document the rich language and descriptions children share about their work. There are many opportunities throughout the day for children to participate in story telling, sharing books, singing and waiata, and dramatic play. Children are building their early concepts of number and literacy. They are increasing their understanding of the wider world through rich conversations with teachers.

Aspects of Māori cultural values are evident in kindergarten displays and resources, the whakataukī, mohiotanga and the respect for tikanga Māori practices. Teachers are participating in current professional learning to build their confidence and competence in implementing culturally responsive practices that promote success for Māori as Māori, and to embed these in the culture of the kindergarten. The language, culture and identity of all children needs to be more clearly evident in the environment, learning experiences and individual profile books. This is likely to enhance the sense of belonging and contribution of all families, and particularly for families for whom English is a second language.

Teachers and teacher aides are a collegial team working collaboratively with a focus on positive outcomes for children. They maintain longstanding and meaningful relationships with families. Through ongoing professional development, teachers have developed a consistent approach to positively guiding children's behaviour. Teacher inquiries are supporting them to build and share their strengths and practices together. The teaching team consistently demonstrate:

  • unhurried, gentle and affirming practice

  • manaaki for children, whānau and manuhiri

  • advocating for children's rights

  • inclusive practice for children with special needs

  • giving children time to solve problems and take risks safely.

Parents make a significant contribution to the life of the kindergarten through the whānau group, Friends of Rewi Street. They expressed appreciation for the digital learning stories, the ways they are able to communicate with teachers who share their children's learning through a portal and regular informal conversations. Special events and celebrations provide families with opportunities to celebrate children's successes and to socialise together. The kindergarten actively encourages parents to work alongside their children, assisting as teacher aides and training as teachers. The whānau group, Friends of Rewi Street provide valued fundraising and support for the kindergarten.

Key Next Steps

Key areas for ongoing development are to improve leadership for learning, with a particular focus on self-review systems and processes that support quality assurance across all kindergarten operations. The current professional leader is working effectively to improve the quality of leadership practices in the kindergarten. Particular attention should be given to:

  • implementing robust appraisal for teachers with clear evidence aligned to NZ Education Council, the practicing teacher criteria, and documented feedback from the head teacher about their practice

  • strengthening assessment, planning and evaluation of children's learning and development by teachers developing shared and agreed understandings about ways to document this process

  • giving children ready access to a wider range of equipment and materials for learning, particularly resources that enhance literacy and mathematics learning in the outdoor environment

  • effectively monitoring that regulatory requirements are being met.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Central Kids Kindergartens - Rewi Street 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.

ERO identified some areas of non-compliance.

The service provider must ensure that:

  • appraisals meet the expectations of the Central North Island Kindergarten Trust and the NZ Education Council
  • emergency drills (earthquake) with children are documented.
    [Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA7, HS8.]

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Central Kids Kindergartens - Rewi Street will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

17 October 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

Te Awamutu

Ministry of Education profile number

5197

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, aged over 2

Service roll

47

Gender composition

Boys 27 Girls 20

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other European

Indian

Middle Eastern

9

32

4

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

August 2016

Date of this report

17 October 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2013

Education Review

January 2010

Education Review

June 2006

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.