Homai Kindergarten - 13/07/2016

1 Evaluation of Homai Kindergarten

How well placed is Homai 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

Homai Kindergarten is a well-established service that is licensed for 40 children over two years of age. Half of the children enrolled are Māori. Another thirty percent of children have Tongan, Samoan, Niuean or Cook Island Māori backgrounds. The kindergarten offers three and six hour sessions in order to meet the needs of the community. The philosophy encourages the involvement of parents and whānau and is based on supporting children to become independent and confident learners.

Homai Kindergarten is part of the Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association and operates within the policies and management framework of this organisation. A professional practice manager (PPM) visits and provides leadership and curriculum support for teachers. The head teacher has responsibility for daily management of the kindergarten. All teachers are qualified and most have long associations with the kindergarten and community.

In 2013 ERO noted the positive relationships and interactions between adults and children. It commented on the well-resourced environment that encouraged children to work independently. These continue to be positive aspects of the programme. ERO recommended that teachers improve programme planning and assessment systems and formalise internal evaluation processes. The teaching team continue to develop these areas.

This review was part of a cluster of four kindergarten reviews in the Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children are enthusiastic learners who show a sense of belonging in this kindergarten. They enjoy positive and respectful relationships with teachers and each other. Children play cooperatively in small groups and spend time in focused activities of their choice. They have many opportunities to challenge their physical skills in the very well-resourced outdoor area.

Teachers’ interactions with children are warm and caring. Their conversations acknowledge children’s interests and show that teachers know children and their families well. Teachers work alongside children and support their exploration. They have significantly improved the integration of te reo Māori into the programme. Teachers also include the languages of children with Pacific backgrounds into kindergarten routines.

Teachers actively foster partnerships with parents through regular informal discussions, meetings and wall displays. Families make good use of an interactive portal that enables them to read and comment on their child’s learning records online. Parents and whānau who were interviewed by ERO are enthusiastic about the kindergarten as a well-resourced learning environment. They appreciate teachers’ contributions in valuing and celebrating their children’s languages and culture.

Teachers record children’s learning, strengths and interests in individual portfolios. They work together to create a collaborative learning record that shows what the whole team knows about each child. Teachers write about children's learning dispositions very well. They are currently involved in professional development that could contribute to a better team understanding of programme planning and assessment systems. Other areas where teachers could further improve current practice include:

  • developing a documented process to guide programme planning
  • increasing the extent to which assessment records show children’s learning and progress over time
  • evaluating the impact of the programme and teaching practices on improved outcomes for children.

Teachers are reflective and work together well. They appreciate the different skills and knowledge they each bring to the team. Teachers document internal evaluation processes that include meaningful consultation with families. Performance management systems include appropriate goals to improve teacher practice.

The systems and personnel in place for supporting and monitoring centre operations contribute to the management of the service. Curriculum and operational leadership is being supported through team professional development and discussions with the PPM.

The Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association continues to support the kindergartens well. Leaders establish overarching long-term goals that enable teachers to align their centre development with the strategic direction of the Association. They are responsive to changing community needs and have prepared teachers well to face the challenges of increased competition, the intake of two year olds and providing variable session hours. Leaders continue to adapt personnel systems to meet legislative changes, including a revised appraisal process to help teachers meet certification expectations.

Key Next Steps

The teachers and the PPM agree that key next steps should include:

  • developing planning, assessment and teaching strategies to extend the complexity of children’s learning
  • improving internal evaluation systems to ensure that notable change and the impact on children's learning is documented effectively

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

13 July 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

Manurewa, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5122

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

52

Gender composition

Girls 29 Boys 23

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Tongan

Samoan

Indian

Cook Island Māori

Niue

other

26

3

7

5

3

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

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2016

Date of this report

13 July 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

May 2013

Education Review

April 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.