Community Kindy Jones - 13/10/2017

1 Evaluation of Community Kindy Jones

How well placed is Community Kindy Jones 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

Community Kindy Jones is a full-day education and care service operated by BestStart, a not-for-profit trust. It is located in a converted house and extensive garden in the Hamilton suburb of Melville. The centre is licenced for 30 children from two years to school age. The current roll is 32, of whom eight children are identified as Māori. A feature of the roll is the diversity of ethnicities represented in both the children and staff at the kindergarten. Children's access to this education and care service is supported by the kindergarten van which provides a daily collection and drop-off service.

BestStart provides the overall vision, values and strategic priorities for Community Kindy Jones. They provide professional and business support managers, policy framework, human resource advice and the coordination of professional development opportunities for teachers. The centre manager is responsible for professional leadership of staff and daily operations. The service has a high proportion of qualified teachers.

The philosophy statement places emphasis on children learning through play, developing a sense of wellbeing and belonging, and the importance of partnerships with parents and whānau. There is a clear commitment to culturally responsive operations and practices.

The service responded positively to recommendations in the 2014 ERO report in relation to engaging parents and whānau in partnership for children's learning, and developing relationships with iwi.

The Review Findings

Children are settled, happy and engaged in learning though play. Positive and responsive relationships are evident amongst teachers and children, and this builds a strong sense of belonging. Teachers make effective use of positive guidance principles to encourage children's social competencies and self-management skills. Routines are kept to a minimum and seen as worthwhile learning experiences. Children have many opportunities for extended periods of uninterrupted play, and this allows for an appropriate balance between child-initiated open-ended play and teacher-supported learning. Transitions into and from the kindergarten are carefully planned in partnerships with parents and whānau to provide any necessary additional support. Children with diverse needs, especially those with English as a second language, are well supported and fully included. High levels of fun and engagement are evident throughout the centre.

Children benefit from a personalised, inclusive and responsive curriculum. The prior knowledge and experiences children bring from their own home and culture are valued, built on and celebrated. Teacher interactions for learning are warm and affirming. The inside and outdoor environments are well resourced, and thoughtfully presented to invite children's interaction and exploration. The orchard area provides a range of natural world experiences.

Aspects of literacy and mathematics are integrated into the current programme, especially in the inside environments. A next step is to consider ways to maximise the learning opportunities provided for children in the outside play areas. This should include reviewing children's ongoing access to equipment and further extending learning opportunities in literacy, mathematics and the living world.

The centre manager is leading and modelling a commitment to culturally responsive practice for staff. Te reo Māori and tikanga Māori are evident in practice, and the Ministry of Education document Tātaiako is used for staff reflection on their practice. The diversity of culture in the kindergarten is embraced and celebrated. All children, including Māori, have their language, culture and identity affirmed and respected. This good practice can be extended further through relevant and significant local elements in the curriculum.

Each child’s learning journey is well planned, assessed and evaluated. Teachers meet regularly to share observations of children and their current interests, and to carefully evaluate the effectiveness of the programme. Individual and small group goals are set for children and these are shared with parents and whānau for their input and comment. Assessments are made available to whānau online, and hard copy portfolios are kept to allow children to revisit their learning experiences. As part of programme evaluation, it is now appropriate to review the implementation of the 'Be School Ready' programme at this centre. Effective assessment practice enables children and their parents to be well-informed about their learning and progress.

The newly appointed centre manager has established positive and trusting relationships throughout the community. She is providing well-informed professional leadership, and is building a collaborative team. Internal evaluation and appraisal processes are well established and focussed on continual development and improvement. She promotes equity of access to education and care through the effective use of equity funding to support the subsidy of transport and fees. Children and whānau are benefitting from efficient centre operations and quality teacher practice in line with centre philosophy.

The annual Quality Education and Compliance (QEC) report is a robust internal evaluation document. It effectively informs annual plans, and the setting of priorities for teacher professional learning and appraisal goals. Internal evaluation is focussed on sustaining and continuing to enhance positive learning outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

ERO and the service have identified that key next steps for the service are to review and evaluate:

  • learning opportunities in the outside play area
  • the inclusion of more local aspects of significance in the curriculum.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Community Kindy Jones 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 Community Kindy Jones will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

13 October 2017

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

30203

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including no children aged under 2

Service roll

32

Gender composition

Girls 18 Boys 14

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Indian
Samoan
South East Asian
Other

8
10
6
2
2
4

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:8

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2017

Date of this report

13 October 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

July 2014

Supplementary Review

May 2011

Education Review

June 2010

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.