Kidsfirst Kindergartens King Street - 30/06/2011

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Kidsfirst Kindergartens King Street is located in the centre of Rangiora. Since the 2007 ERO review the kindergarten has changed its hours and staffing. The kindergarten operates both morning and all day sessions to provide care and education for 40 children over the age of two. All teachers are fully qualified and registered.

King Street is one of 63 kindergartens (including one early learning centre) administered by the Canterbury Westland Kindergarten Association Incorporated, trading as Kidsfirst Kindergartens.

Positive features of this kindergarten include:

  • the varied and interesting programme it provides for children
  • the positive learning environment that promotes children’s sense of well-being and belonging
  • teachers’ knowledge of, and responsiveness to, children
  • the extent to which teachers extend children’s thinking and problem-solving skills.

This kindergarten is well led and managed. A culture of collaboration, teamwork and ongoing reflection exists among staff. These features, along with the ongoing professional development and support, including that given by an association education manager, foster ongoing improvements to the quality of education for children.

The next step for the teachers is to refine and further develop programme planning, evaluation and assessment practices to increase their usefulness.

The association that governs this kindergarten 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 service managers and a manager of kindergarten operations who work in partnership with teachers providing ongoing leadership 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 service again in three years.

2. Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Kidsfirst Kindergartens King 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 King 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

The kindergarten’s vision is to have teachers view children as competent learners. The teachers aim to work alongside children and provide them with meaningful opportunities to strengthen their learning, foster their well being and promote their independence. Teachers are successfully implementing this vision.

Areas of strength

Kindergarten programme

Teachers provide children with a varied and interesting range of learning experiences. Particular features of the programme include:

  • the frequent opportunities children have to follow their own interests and explore their ideas
  • the effective integration of literacy, mathematics and aspects of biculturalism
  • a focus on supporting children’s art and creativity
  • the strong emphasis given to exploring the natural world and learning about environmental education.

Children benefit from the way staff and parent strengths and interests are used to provide experiences that enrich their learning.

Relationships and interactions

Teachers relate to children in ways that effectively promote their sense of well-being, belonging and learning. These are fostered through:

  • the respectful and supportive relationships between teachers, children and their families
  • teachers knowing the children and their families well and being responsive to their aspirations, interests and needs
  • the calm and thoughtful approach teachers take when responding to children’s learning and behaviour.

Approaches to extending children’s learning

Teachers use a variety of effective approaches to support and extend children’s learning. For instance, ERO observed teachers:

  • playing alongside children in ways that helped children explore and stay involved in play for long periods of time
  • supporting children to extend their thinking and solve problems through skilful questioning and modelling
  • successfully encouraging children to lead their own play, make choices and take responsibility for their actions and belongings.

Environment

Children enjoy exploring the high quality learning environment. The teachers continue to review and make improvements to the environment to better support and extend children’s learning. Children benefit from:

  • having ready access to a wide range of resources that helps to support their play and interests
  • the good opportunities they have develop their physical skills and awareness of the natural world in the kindergarten’s outdoor areas
  • the attractive displays that celebrate their involvement in activities and encourage them to talk about their learning with their teachers and parents.

The teachers continue to review and make improvements to the environment to better support and extend children’s learning.

Area for development and review

Programme planning, assessment and evaluation

While teachers have developed some effective planning and assessment practices, strengthening some aspects of these would enhance their quality and usefulness. For instance:

  • some programme planning could make it clearer why teachers have chosen the particular focus, how they expect children to benefit and how they will promote this learning
  • programme evaluation should focus more on evaluating teaching practices and children’s learning to assist future planning
  • some assessment records could better show how the programme has enhanced key aspects of children’s learning over time.

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.

Although there are no Māori children currently enrolled in this kindergarten, the teachers have developed a number of practices that will help them to welcome and respond to whānau of Māori in the future.

Background

Teachers are progressively extending their awareness, knowledge and practices to foster biculturalism and positive partnerships with parents and whānau. For example, they are currently undertaking a review of how well their teaching approaches incorporate a Māori view of the child as a learner.

Areas of strength

The following practices support partnerships with families.

  • building effective relationships based on teachers’ knowledge of each child and their family
  • seeking and responding to parents’ aspirations for their children
  • giving opportunities to parents to be involved in the kindergarten’s programme and assessments of their child’s learning.

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.

4. Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Kidsfirst Kindergartens King Street completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they have 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 service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region

About the Kindergarten

Type

All Day, Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

40 children aged over two

Roll number

65

Gender composition

Girls 30; Boys 35

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā 62; Asian 2; Other 1

Review team on site

May 2011

Date of this report

30 June 2011

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review October 2007

Education Review July 2004

Accountability Review December 2000

To the Parents and Community of Kidsfirst Kindergartens King Street

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

Kidsfirst Kindergartens King Street is located in the centre of Rangiora. Since the 2007 ERO review the kindergarten has changed its hours and staffing. The kindergarten operates both morning and all day sessions to provide care and education for 40 children over the age of two. All teachers are fully qualified and registered.

King Street is one of 63 kindergartens (including one early learning centre) administered by the Canterbury Westland Kindergarten Association Incorporated, trading as Kidsfirst Kindergartens.

Positive features of this kindergarten include:

  • the varied and interesting programme it provides for children
  • the positive learning environment that promotes children’s sense of well-being and belonging
  • teachers’ knowledge of, and responsiveness to, children
  • the extent to which teachers extend children’s thinking and problem-solving skills.

This kindergarten is well led and managed. A culture of collaboration, teamwork and ongoing reflection exists among staff. These features, along with the ongoing professional development and support, including that given by an association education manager, foster ongoing improvements to the quality of education for children.

The next step for the teachers is to refine and further develop programme planning, evaluation and assessment practices to increase their usefulness.

The association that governs this kindergarten 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 service managers and a manager of kindergarten operations who work in partnership with teachers providing ongoing leadership 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 service 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