Central Kids Kindergartens - Strathmore - 28/06/2016

1 Evaluation of Central Kids Kindergartens - Strathmore

How well placed is Central Kids Kindergartens - Strathmore 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 - Strathmore operates under the umbrella of Central North Island Kindergarten Trust (CNIKT). The kindergarten is located in Whakatane, and is licensed to cater for 40 children from two years to school age. Twenty five out of thirty children are Māori.

Since the 2013 ERO review the head teacher and teachers have remained constant. Well-planned, self-review processes contribute to ongoing improvements. Children are at the forefront of teachers' decision making. The Pouāwhina provides teachers with appropriate support and guidance through the development and implementation of a curriculum that focuses on tamariki Māori experiencing success as Māori. A kaitiaki is also employed to model te reo and tikanga Māori practices for teachers and tamariki.

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 all families.

Professional leaders monitor the kindergarten’s compliance with policies and procedures to ensure it meets regulation requirements and management expectations. They work alongside head teachers and teachers, and their leadership provides guidance and mentoring as part of the staff appraisal process. Kindergarten teachers have generous opportunities to attend professional learning and development. As a result, teacher capability and skills are strengthened.

The trust has undertaken a long-term review of teacher appraisal in consultation with teachers. This has enabled them to increase the depth of teachers’ reflections about their practice and respond to the expectations of the Education Council. They have also responded to the Vulnerable Children’s Act, and the trust 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 kindergarten reviews in the Central North Island Kindergarten Trust umbrella organisation.

The Review Findings

Children and their whānau experience an environment that is inclusive and is underpinned by the values of whakawhanaungatanga and manaakitanga. A high priority is placed on establishing positive and trusting relationships with children and their whānau. Teachers know their families well and are highly responsive to children's individual circumstances, learning needs and interests. Whānau appreciate the caring and welcoming interactions they have with teachers. The family orientated environment promotes a strong sense of belonging for children and their whānau. They willingly spend time in the kindergarten, and contribute their time and expertise to their children's learning.

Children enjoy time spent at kindergarten. They access high quality resources that motivates them to actively explore and investigate. On arrival, children settle quickly into self-selected activities and confidently challenge themselves through making their own choices and decisions. They take informed risks, investigate and solve their own problems and think critically about what they are doing.

Teachers are strong advocates for children and their whānau. They implement a range of well thought out strategies to ensure all children receive equitable opportunities to participate and learn. Teachers are skilled at supporting children's learning through encouraging and extending their interests. They notice, recognise and respond to potential learning moments and use a wide range of intentional teaching strategies. They view children as capable learners and support them to achieve success.

Children benefit from ongoing positive reinforcement and encouragement from teachers who provide them with affirming feedback for their efforts and contributions. Transitions into the kindergarten and to school are sensitively managed.

The kindergarten's curriculum strongly reflects the principles of holistic development, family and community and relationships and empowerment. These are strongly promoted through the implementation of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Children learn through play, following their interests and strengths. Concepts around literacy, mathematics, science, and the arts are naturally integrated daily throughout the programme. Regular excursions to places of interest in the local community occur, and access to the beach and bush provides additional rich experiences. Children's learning is fostered in authentic settings.

Teachers have recently reviewed te reo and tikanga Māori practices. Language, culture and identity are supported through meaningful and relevant experiences. Teachers are continuing to develop their knowledge and understanding of experiences that incorporate Te Ao Māori concepts and teachings. This includes strengthening the use of te reo Māori with children and sharing local Māori history and stories. Teachers value and appreciate the support they receive from whānau and willingly incorporate their knowledge and expertise across the programme.

Children's social and communication skills are effectively supported. They have many opportunities to develop friendships, enjoy tuakana-teina relationships and learn alongside teachers, whānau helpers and members. Children are capable and confident learners.

Teachers have established high quality planning and assessment practices. Individual child profiles show their learning journey and celebrate their progress and achievements over time. These are shared with whānau who are well informed about their child's learning. They are also encouraged to contribute their aspirations and stories.

The head teacher provides strong leadership and is well supported by the professional leader. Teachers work as a collaborative team and share leadership roles and responsibilities. Their ongoing robust reflections about the quality of education and care children receive is well documented. Well-planned strategic self-review processes assist the kindergarten to continually improve all aspects of centre operations. Children's learning outcomes remain at the forefront of all decisions.

Key Next Steps

Kindergarten staff and management have identified through their robust self-review processes useful areas for future review and development.

  • continue to support teacher's to confidently integrate te reo and tikanga Māori practices throughout the programme

  • teachers to continue to conduct and build on their inquiries for professional growth such as transitions and implementing a forest and beach programme.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

28 June 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

Whakatane

Ministry of Education profile number

5200

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 19 Girls 11

Ethnic composition

Māori

Other European

South East Asian

Pākehā

25

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

April 2016

Date of this report

28 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

February 2013

Education Review

March 2010

Education Review

April 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.