Epsom North Kindergarten - 08/02/2018

1 Evaluation of Epsom North Kindergarten

How well placed is Epsom North Kindergarten 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

Epsom North Kindergarten operates a Kindergarten Day Model (KDM) which enables children to attend up to six hours daily. The kindergarten is licensed for up to 30 children over two years of age. The roll includes small numbers of Māori and Pacific children, and an increasing number of children from diverse ethnic backgrounds, many of whom are learning English as an additional language.

The kindergarten's philosophy emphasises a strong belief in providing a welcoming and inclusive learning environment. It also promotes a culturally appropriate programme that fosters learning through play, social interactions and equitable opportunities. Programmes are underpinned by
Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

Since the 2015 ERO review, there have been changes to the teaching team. There are three qualified teachers, one of whom has recently been appointed. Support staff include a teaching assistant, who is bilingual in Mandarin, an administrator who supports the teaching team and a teacher-aide who supports teachers and children.

The kindergarten has a positive ERO reporting history. The 2015 ERO report noted several key strengths including strong fostering of children's interests, a stimulating environment, and support for children to be self-managing. These good practices continue and teachers have responded well to the next steps identified in the ERO report.

The kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA), which provides a governance and management framework. Professional support personnel assist teachers with curriculum, management and property matters. There continues to be a period of transition for staff as they adapt to changes in AKA operational practices.

This review was part of a cluster of 10 kindergarten reviews in the Auckland Kindergarten Association. 

The Review Findings

Children enjoy positive relationships with their peers and other adults. Teachers' interactions with children are respectful and responsive. Children are encouraged to take responsibility for aspects of their wellbeing. Tuakana/teina relationships help them to support each other in their play. Inclusive practices are promoted and support all children, including those with additional learning needs.

Children are happy and enjoy a strong sense of belonging in the centre. They participate in a variety of learning experiences in a well-resourced environment. Children settle quickly to play choices that they engage in for sustained periods of time. Oral language is promoted to help children to confidently express their ideas and opinions.

Teachers know children well. They work collaboratively to respond to children’s interests and strengths. The Epsom North News, an attractive weekly diary, provides information for parents about children's learning. Assessment records focus on children's learning dispositions and events at the kindergarten. Parent engagement is increasing through the use of an online portal.

Teachers prioritise a bicultural programme, including the use of te reo Māori as part of their conversations. Children's diverse cultures are celebrated and they are encouraged to speak their home languages. Parents feel welcome and contribute well to the programme.

A well-documented long term plan supports the service's strategic direction. The philosophy is regularly reviewed, and internal evaluation is responsive to kindergarten priorities.

AKA is reviewing its appraisal processes to align with new Education Council requirements. As part of this development, leaders should ensure that there is depth and an improvement focus in teachers’ reflection and professional goals.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps identified for ongoing improvement include:

  • extending children's capabilities as curious thinkers and investigative problem solvers, to enable them to broaden their understandings of the world
  • developing learning partnerships with parents that help them support their children as learners
  • evaluating the effectiveness of programmes and plans to support ongoing improvement and positive outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Epsom North Kindergarten 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 Epsom North Kindergarten will be in three years.

Julie Foley
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

8 February 2018 

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

Epsom, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5639

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children over 2 years of age

Service roll

44

Gender composition

Girls       22
Boys      22

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Chinese
Southeast Asian
Indian
other (including Pacific)

  2
16
  5
  4
  3
14

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

8 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2015

Education Review

November 2011

Education Review

December 2008

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.