Homai Kindergarten - 20/05/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

Homai Kindergarten is well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.

Context

Homai Kindergarten is a well established service that caters for a multicultural community in Manurewa, South Auckland. The kindergarten provides education and care for children over two years old. In June 2012 the service changed from providing three hour sessions to the kindergarten day model which matches school hours. The 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 management and curriculum support for teachers.

Most of the teachers have had many years in the kindergarten and have developed trusting relationships with the community. The fourth teacher, appointed as a result of the change to the day, is bringing fresh approaches to the programme delivery. Teachers are taking part in professional development together, which is helping them to become a cohesive team.

In 2010 ERO affirmed many positive practices in the kindergarten and reported that teachers were continuing to refine their planning and assessment practices. The changes related to the structure of the day have provided some challenges for teachers, and they continue to work on programme management strategies that will guide them to extend children's learning.

Review Findings

Children are happy and confident in the kindergarten. They have trusting relationships with teachers and work well alongside their peers. Children settle quickly when arriving at kindergarten and know about choosing resources and working independently. They are consistently engaged in activities that interest them and respond positively to adult support for their play. Children are learning to take turns and to work cooperatively with others. They benefit from the culturally inclusive environment that fosters their sense of belonging and wellbeing.

Teachers support children to engage in the programme and explore resources. They provide an inviting, richly resourced environment. Materials are attractively presented and easily accessible to children. Teachers work alongside children, modelling the use of equipment, affirming efforts and asking questions to prompt interests. Teachers know children well and often make links with a child’s family or home experiences. They encourage children to take responsibility for their own learning.

Teachers develop programmes that reflect children's interests. They informally consider emerging topics and identify the key strengths and interests of a group of children each fortnight. Teachers use the information they share to select the resources and activities they provide. They should take care not to rely too heavily on the learning environment to drive the programme. Children would benefit from teachers focusing more on ways to challenge children's thinking and add complexity to their play.

Families appreciate the experiences that their children enjoy. Many families have been using the kindergarten for several years. They value the stability of the teaching team, the rich environment and the sense of belonging for children from diverse cultures. Parents feel included in their children’s learning through their daily conversations with teachers, displays, topic folders and children's assessment portfolios. These portfolios enable families to revisit learning with their children and make connections with home experiences. Teachers recognise that they can improve the quality of portfolios by focusing learning stories more on experiences that challenge children.

A new PPM for the kindergarten is providing the impetus for strengthening leadership and operational systems. The PPM is committed to helping the head teacher and the teaching team to define leadership tasks, identify where responsibilities can be shared and evaluate the efficiency of centre management. The involvement of the head teacher and one of his team in a mentoring course is a positive step towards more effective leadership.

Key Next Steps

The teachers, the PPM and ERO agree that the key next steps for kindergarten development should include:

  • formalising self-review processes to ensure that significant shared reflections and decisions are documented and therefore, more likely to influence ongoing centre improvement
  • implementing programme planning and evaluation that enables teachers to specify the ways in which they will teach concepts, foster dispositions and extend learning
  • teachers further developing their strategies for improving children's oral language.

Teachers have identified the need to continue developing their understanding and knowledge of te reo and tikanga Māori, in order to support the success of Māori children. They are enrolled in a professional development course to facilitate this learning. Teachers also show a commitment to further support all children identified by the government as priority learners, including Pacific Island children and those with special needs.

2 Legal Requirements

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.Click here to enter text.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

20 May 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Manurewa, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5122

Licence type

All Day Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

63

Gender composition

Boys 33

Girls 30

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Tonga

Samoan

Asian

Cook Island Māori

Fijian

Niue

Middle Eastern

Indian

19

7

11

10

6

3

2

2

2

1

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

Not applicable

Choose an item.

 

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2013

Date of this report

20 May 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Accountability Review

April 2010

April 2007

April 2000

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

  • 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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.