Kindercare Learning Centres (212) - 27/01/2014

1 Evaluation of Kindercare Learning Centres (212)

How well placed is Kindercare Learning Centres (212) to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Kindercare Learning Centre 212 is well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

The Kindercare Learning Centre (212) is part of a wider network that provides education and care for children from birth to five years of age. It opened in May 2011 and is licensed for 100 children, including 20 under two years of age. It is one of 11 Kindercare centres in Christchurch. This is the centre's first ERO review since opening.

Operations and programmes are firmly based on three key values, ‘Safe, Loved and Learning’. Management systems are well established and support day-to-day operations. Children learn in a spacious modern, purpose-built centre. Attractive outdoor gardens and play areas provide children with a wide range of resources and equipment that encourage learning and physical activity.

The centre has had several changes in staffing and in leadership since it opened. The roll continues to grow.

The Review Findings

Teachers understand and use a variety of teaching approaches to engage children in learning and play. They effectively respond to children’s interests and needs and use good questioning to stimulate children’s thinking and language development. Teachers have further developed the Kindercare philosophy to meet the needs of children in the centre. ERO was able to observe the influence of this development in classroom practices.

Teachers develop respectful, supportive relationships with children. This underpins their approach to teaching of ‘slow down, get down’. Interactions are unhurried and this is helping them to engage effectively with each child at their level and pace. The pace of learning reflects good understanding of children’s need to explore and follow their own interests. Teachers effectively use the environment and a wide range of resources to stimulate children’s curiosity and creativity.

The centre’s curriculum has a strong focus on the attitudes and skills necessary for successful learning. Planning is based on regular observations of children’s needs and interests and it has specific links to Te Whāriki, the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum. Teachers have clear expectations for planning that result in consistent approaches across the four classrooms.

Assessment practices are effective in supporting and developing children’s learning. Learning stories track how learning develops over time. The goals that teachers set for each child are well linked to the attitudes and skills for learning that are identified in Te Whāriki. ERO observed some examples of very good assessment practices.

Children’s learning is well supported through regular use of multi-media technologies. Children receive help from a specialist teacher on a regular basis. They have good access to information technologies.

Children and teachers benefit from effective centre leadership. The centre manager promotes research-based practices. She places value on building professional relationships and growing leadership through using teacher strengths and interests. Appraisal processes are effectively used to provide teachers with feedback that promotes and supports teachers’ ongoing improvement.

Relationships between governance and management are professional and supportive. Managers provide clearly understood governance expectations, reporting guidelines for regular audits and annual planning. The centre manager and teachers are well supported.

The centre director promotes a culture of reflection and improvement within the centre. Teachers regularly reflect on their practices and the progress they are making. This is recorded in their reflection journals. The centre director provides targeted feedback to teachers that affirms good practice and identifies next steps for improvement.

An established self-review process now guides centre-wide review and improvement. The process is collaborative and focuses on improving learning, teaching and positive outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

The teachers have made very good progress in using learning stories to support and promote children’s learning. The centre manager and ERO have identified the next step to further develop assessment of learning is to increase opportunities for parents to be involved with goal setting for learning, and tracking how the learning of their children is progressing.

The centre manager has identified the need to further develop bicultural approaches within the centre’s programmes and practices.

The centre is developing positive relationships with local schools to help support smooth transition to school. The next steps for teachers in the transition to school programme are to:

  • clarify the purpose and guidelines for the programme
  • develop appropriate links between Te Whāriki and the New Zealand Curriculum
  • identify opportunities for parent involvement.

Self review is beginning to contribute well to centre development. The next step to improve centre review is to better record the outcomes from spontaneous reviews in each classroom.

The roll at the new centre continues to grow. This will require further development of centre management practices. To make sure practices are sustainable the next steps for management are to:

  • develop management structures to ensure sustainable leadership practices
  • extend strategic and annual planning and review processes to effectively support the future development of the centre.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kindercare Learning Centres (212) 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 Kindercare Learning Centres (212) will be in three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

27 January 2014

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Rangiora

Ministry of Education profile number

45701

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

100 children, including up to 20 aged under two

Service roll

86

Gender composition

Girls 41

Boys 45

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Other ethnicities

7

69

10

Percentage of qualified teachers 0-49% 50-79% 80% Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2013

Date of this report

27 January 2014

Most recent ERO report

First review

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.