Kidsfirst Kindergartens Bush Street - 30/06/2011

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Kidsfirst Kindergartens Bush Street is located in the township of Rangiora. Since the 2007 ERO review, the kindergarten has changed its operating hours and staffing. The kindergarten currently operates morning and afternoon sessions for up to 30 children over the age of two. All teachers are fully qualified and registered.

It is one of sixty three kindergartens (including one early learning centre) administered by the Canterbury Westland Kindergarten Association Incorporated, trading as Kidsfirst Kindergartens.

Features of this kindergarten include:

  • the emphasis teachers place on working in partnership with parents and whānau
  • enthusiastic and positive interactions between children and teachers which reflect how well teachers know children and their lives outside of the kindergarten setting
  • the use teachers make of stories to motivate children and extend their ideas about the world around them
  • the range of interesting learning experiences within and outside the kindergarten, including many creative and exploratory activities.

Teachers show a strong interest in keeping up with educational research. They regularly write about how their beliefs fit with this research. An education manager from the association provides regular professional development and support that focuses on making ongoing improvements to the programme.

The next step is for teachers to focus more on identifying and recording the learning occurring for individual children, including how they will extend this learning and evaluate the effectiveness of their teaching approaches.

The kindergarten association is well organised and managed. It provides useful policies and procedures, a comprehensive framework for monitoring health and safety. The association incorporates management support in the form of education services managers and a manager of kindergarten operations who work in partnership with teachers providing ongoing leaderships and professional development.

This review occurred at a time when the association and its kindergartens were responding to issues associated with the Canterbury earthquakes relating to children, family, personnel and property. The association has been proactive in addressing these challenges.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the kindergarten is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO is likely to review the kindergarten again in three years.

2. Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Kidsfirst Kindergartens Bush Street was invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO. ERO also used documentation provided by the kindergarten to contribute to the scope of the review.

The detailed priorities for review were then determined following a discussion between the ERO review team and the management and staff. This discussion focused on existing information held by the kindergarten (including self-review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to positive outcomes for children at Kidsfirst Kindergartens Bush Street.

All ERO education reviews in early childhood focus on the quality of education. For ERO this includes the quality of:

  • the programme provided for children
  • the learning environment
  • the interactions between children and adults.

ERO’s findings in these areas are set out below.

The Quality of Education

Background

This kindergarten’s vision is to provide a consistent place in the lives of families, community and teachers, where everyone learns together.

Areas of strength

Teachers strongly support working in partnership with parents and whānau. This includes:

  • actively seeking to involve families and whānau in the programme and kindergarten events
  • valuing children’s experiences outside the kindergarten and building on these in the programme
  • providing additional support for children and families with social and health needs
  • making regular use of external agencies to assist children and families.

Children benefit from enthusiastic and positive interactions with their teachers. Teachers:

  • respond to children in caring and nurturing ways
  • show an interest and join in with children to extend their play
  • make good use of their knowledge of children to respond in appropriate ways
  • use conversations with children well to find out more about their developing ideas and interests.

A feature of the programme is the use teachers make of stories to motivate children and extend their ideas about the world around them. Teachers continue to build on the research they undertook between 2006 and 2008 to use these stories as a focused teaching approach. Parents make significant contributions to the story approach through regular contributions in children’s profile books and the programme.

Children benefit from an interesting range of learning experiences within and outside the kindergarten, including creative and exploratory activities. Teachers place emphasis on providing children and their families with new experiences. The kindergarten is well resourced with accessible and well-maintained equipment.

Areas for development and review

Teachers need to focus more on identifying and recording the learning occurring for individual children, including how they will extend this learning. This includes:

  • clarifying and using assessment practices that more clearly reflect association policy and guidelines
  • using planning to identify teaching practices that will extend children’s learning
  • evaluating the effectiveness of these practices in improving outcomes for children
  • strengthening the process of curriculum review so that the findings are used to decide what needs to happen next, make changes and monitor these to make sure they benefit children’s learning
  • reviewing how well group times foster the choices, interests, and engagement of all children.

3. National Evaluation Topic

Overview

ERO provides information about the education system as a whole through its national reports. This information will be used as the basis for long-term and systemic educational improvement.

Partnerships with Whānau of Māori Children in Early Childhood Services

As part of this review, ERO evaluated the extent to which:

  • this kindergarten understands and values the identity, language and culture of Māori children and their whānau, particularly when the child and whānau transition to the kindergarten
  • managers and teachers have built relationships with whānau of Māori children
  • this kindergarten works in partnership with whānau of Māori children.

There are two Māori children enrolled at the kindergarten whose parents/whānau have identified them as Māori. The teachers have a strong focus on creating effective partnerships with parents and whānau. These practices are included in section 2 of this report.

The association has recently developed ‘Kidsfirst Whānau’. This strategy promotes a whānau-based approach for involving and engaging parents in kindergarten life and their child’s learning.

Teachers also acknowledge and celebrate Māori language, culture and symbols in the kindergarten programme.

Area for development and review

The next step is for teachers to:

  • make better use of enrolment information to identify Māori children and their whānau
  • seek and document parents’ aspirations for their children’s learning as Māori
  • use assessment to show how these aspirations have been responded to through the kindergarten programme.

4. Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Kidsfirst Kindergartens Bush Street completed an ERO CentreAssurance Statement andSelf-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • administration
  • health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial and property management.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records of recent use of procedures. ERO also checked elements of the following areas that have a potentially high impact on outcomes for children:

  • emotional safety (including behaviour management, prevention of bullying and abuse)
  • physical safety (including behaviour management, sleeping and supervision practices; accidents and medication; hygiene and routines; travel and excursion policies and procedures)
  • staff qualifications and organisation
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

5. Future Action

ERO is confident that the kindergarten is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO is likely to review the kindergarten again in three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region

About the Centre

Type

Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

30 children aged over two years of age

Roll number

49

Gender composition

Girls 23; Boys 26

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā 43; Māori 2, other ethnicities 4

Review team on site

May 2011

Date of this report

30 June 2011

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review October 2007

Education Review June 2004

Accountability Review August 2000

To the Parents and Community of Kidsfirst Kindergartens Bush Street

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Kidsfirst Kindergartens Bush Street.

Kidsfirst Kindergartens Bush Street is located in the township of Rangiora. Since the 2007 ERO review, the kindergarten has changed its operating hours and staffing. The kindergarten currently operates morning and afternoon sessions for up to 30 children over the age of two. All teachers are fully qualified and registered.

It is one of sixty three kindergartens (including one early learning centre) administered by the Canterbury Westland Kindergarten Association Incorporated, trading as Kidsfirst Kindergartens.

Features of this kindergarten include:

  • the emphasis teachers place on working in partnership with parents and whānau
  • enthusiastic and positive interactions between children and teachers which reflect how well teachers know children and their lives outside of the kindergarten setting
  • the use teachers make of stories to motivate children and extend their ideas about the world around them
  • the range of interesting learning experiences within and outside the kindergarten, including many creative and exploratory activities.

Teachers show a strong interest in keeping up with educational research. They regularly write about how their beliefs fit with this research. An education manager from the association provides regular professional development and support that focuses on making ongoing improvements to the programme.

The next step is for teachers to focus more on identifying and recording the learning occurring for individual children, including how they will extend this learning and evaluate the effectiveness of their teaching approaches.

The kindergarten association is well organised and managed. It provides useful policies and procedures, a comprehensive framework for monitoring health and safety. The association incorporates management support in the form of education services managers and a manager of kindergarten operations who work in partnership with teachers providing ongoing leaderships and professional development.

This review occurred at a time when the association and its kindergartens were responding to issues associated with the Canterbury earthquakes relating to children, family, personnel and property. The association has been proactive in addressing these challenges.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the kindergarten is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO is likely to review the kindergarten again in three years.

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood centre we encourage management to inform their community of any follow up action they plan to take. You should talk to the management or contact person if you have any questions about this evaluation, the full ERO report or their future intentions.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the centre or see the ERO website, http://www.ero.govt.nz.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region