Kreative Kidz - 06/03/2012

1. Background

Introduction

A supplementary review is undertaken at the discretion of a National Manager, Review Services in the Education Review Office (ERO).

A supplementary review evaluates the extent and effectiveness of actions a centre has taken towards addressing issues specified in a previous education review and/or any additional areas identified since that review.

Terms of Reference

This supplementary review is based on an evaluation of the performance of the Kreative Kidz governing body and management in relation to areas identified in the March 2011 ERO report or issues identified since that review. The terms of reference for this review are to investigate:

  • the quality of the learning environment;
  • routines and interactions;
  • planning, assessment and evaluation;
  • professional leadership;
  • aspects of compliance for health and safety; and
  • any other matters that arise during the review.

2. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Kreative Kidz is a privately owned education and care centre in the western suburbs of Rotorua. The centre is one of two licences on the same site, and caters for infants and toddlers. At the time of this ERO review in January 2012, there were 46 children enrolled, 30 of whom identified as Māori.

The centre’s licence was changed from provisional to full by the Ministry of Education (MOE) in August 2011. At the time of this ERO review, the centre was in the process of being sold to a new owner. This is the second supplementary review which has been undertaken by ERO to investigate ongoing concerns about the quality of education and care being provided for children.

Considerable progress has been made in addressing the recommendations in the March 2011 ERO report. Action plans were written to address immediate concerns, and external advice and guidance have been sought from a range of sources, including the MOE. Policies have been reviewed and rewritten, and procedures made clear to staff and management, including systems for guiding children’s behaviour. An updated operations manual and the restructuring of the leadership roles and responsibilities have had a positive impact on the smooth running of the centre.

Self review has been used effectively by teachers to improve the layout of the inside and outside environments. A robust planning process is ensuring that teachers’ observations and ideas are made visible to all, and take children’s interests and strengths into consideration when planning the programme. Teachers have worked with an external adviser to improve the writing of learning stories and presentation of children’s portfolios.

ERO observed caring relationships and positive interactions amongst children and adults. Children benefited from the use of both English and te reo Māori. Their behaviour was well managed. Teachers could now build more complexity into their conversations to encourage children to solve problems and inquire more deeply into topics of interest.

The next step for centre management under new ownership is to continue to seek external support for teachers to build on their curriculum knowledge, teaching practice and leadership skills, in order to enhance learning outcomes for children.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO will review the service again as part of the regular review cycle.

3. Findings

The quality of the learning environment

Background

The ERO review of March 2011 identified that the organisation of the environment was limiting the extent to which children were able to make choices and participate in sustained play. A review of the outside environment was recommended to ensure that children had access to stimulating and inviting play areas.

Area of progress

Teachers have worked with an external advisor to review the way resources are set out and presented to invite children into play. They have also reviewed the inside area for babies and toddlers, to create more play space for babies. Outside, teachers have increased the use of natural resources and equipment to enrich areas of play such as the sand pit and water area. The indoor and outdoor areas are now spacious and well set out. ERO observed children who were happy and settled. They interacted well with their teachers, made good use of equipment, and accessed the resources that were attractively presented to them.

Area for further improvement

Teachers should now consider further enriching the various curriculum areas of play to encourage exploration and investigation, including increasing the integration of numeracy, literacy and science. In addition, the range of resources, especially books, should be increased to give children greater choice and build on their interests.

Routines and interactions

Background

The previous ERO review recommended that teachers give attention to ensuring that:

  • play is not unnecessarily interrupted by routines, such as kai time and the packing up of equipment during the day;
  • teachers follow centre policy when managing children’s personal hygiene; and
  • interactions are sustained and promote problem solving and higher-order thinking skills.

Area of progress

Policies and procedures to do with the daily programme have been reviewed and rewritten. Protocols for kai time now cause minimum disruption, and respect bicultural perspectives. The layout of the kai area ensures easy transition from play to meal routines. ERO observed teachers following children in their play and making themselves available in response to the needs of individuals and groups of children. Good standards of hygiene and cleanliness have been established and maintained.

Area for further improvement

There is scope for teachers to further enrich and add complexity to children’s interactions and play by asking open-ended questions, and fostering children’s spirit of inquiry and imagination. Although children used their language well and responded both in te reo Māori and English, teachers now need to build on their curiosity and abilities by offering a greater range of literacy and other learning experiences.

Planning, assessment and evaluation

Background

The previous ERO review acknowledged that there had been improvements to the way that teachers notice, recognise and respond to children’s play, and a useful start had been made to developing a planning process. It suggested that professional development continue in order to focus teachers on children’s learning behaviours and dispositions rather than just describing each activity.

Areas of progress

An external adviser has given feedback to teachers about their learning stories. Teachers are improving the way that they notice, identify and record the learning and development that is occurring for infants and toddlers. They display learning stories and other information about children and their whānau in well-presented portfolios, and build up knowledge about each child through individual records of observations.

Robust planning processes and regular programme evaluation, supported by clear guidelines and expectations, are helping to make the programme visible to all. Children’s interests are being acknowledged and recorded, and teachers are using this knowledge to plan activities and engage in sustained conversation with children.

Area for further improvement

Teachers need to continue to increase their skills at recognising, recording and responding to children’s learning. This knowledge needs to contribute to the planning process to build deeper and more complex learning opportunities for children.

Professional leadership

Background

The previous ERO review acknowledged that there had been considerable progress made in improving relationships and communication within the centre. Roles were more clearly defined, job descriptions put in place, and teachers’ appraisals were completed. Staff meetings were regular and documented. However, there was still a need to improve the quality of professional leadership, especially in the toddler area.

Area of progress

The owner/licensee has reviewed the leadership across the centre so that there is now a clearer leadership structure. The two head teachers of the babies’ and toddlers’ areas work well together, have established clear lines of communication, and are providing more effective leadership.

Area for further improvement

Under the new ownership and relicensing for the two Kreative Kidz centres, a review of overall centre professional leadership should be undertaken to ensure that the areas for further improvement mentioned in this report are able to be effectively implemented and sustained.

Compliance, health and safety

Background

At the time of the previous ERO review a number of health and safety issues had been addressed. There remained the need to achieve greater consistency and effectiveness in behaviour management strategies. In addition there were a number of compliance actions. These included:

  • reviewing and implementing policies and practices, including those related to health and hygiene;
  • ensuring educators demonstrate understanding of children’s learning and development and good practice for early childhood education;
  • reviewing the programmes of activities;
  • ensuring children have access to a variety of equipment and resources; and
  • enhancing children’s learning and development through planning and providing a range of appropriate activities.

Areas of progress

Teachers have worked with advisors and made good progress in addressing the actions mentioned in the previous report. They have discussed and clarified strategies to guide children’s behaviour. ERO observed high standards of hygiene. There are now effective policies and procedures in place to support health and safety. Self review is being used to evaluate and improve aspects of the environment, the resources and the programme.

Area for further improvement

The new licensee and teachers should continue to use self review and quality assurance processes to improve and maintain high standards of education and care for infants and toddlers.

4. Recommendation

ERO recommends that:

  1. the new licensee continue to seek and use external expertise to further develop teachers’ professional practice, curriculum knowledge and leadership skills in order to enhance learning outcomes for children.

5. Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO will review the service again as part of the regular review cycle.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

06 March 2012

About the Centre

Licence type

Education and Care (All day)

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Roll number

46

Gender composition

Girls 21

Boys 25

Ethnic composition

New Zealand Māori 30

New Zealand European/Pākehā 13

Other European 2

Cook Island Māori 1

Review team on site

January 2012

Date of this report

06 March 2012

Previous ERO reports

Supplementary Review March 2011

Education Review January 2010

Supplementary Review February 2008

To the Parents and Community of Kreative Kidz

This supplementary review evaluates the quality of education and care received by the children and the performance of the centre’s management in relation to specific terms of reference.

The Education Review Office [ERO] evaluation of Kreative Kidz follows. Kreative Kidz is a privately owned education and care centre in the western suburbs of Rotorua. The centre is one of two licences on the same site, and caters for infants and toddlers. At the time of this ERO review in January 2012, there were 46 children enrolled, 30 of whom identified as Māori.

The centre’s licence was changed from provisional to full by the Ministry of Education (MOE) in August 2011. At the time of this ERO review, the centre was in the process of being sold to a new owner. This is the second supplementary review which has been undertaken by ERO to investigate ongoing concerns about the quality of education and care being provided for children.

Considerable progress has been made in addressing the recommendations in the March 2011 ERO report. Action plans were written to address immediate concerns, and external advice and guidance have been sought from a range of sources, including the MOE. Policies have been reviewed and rewritten, and procedures made clear to staff and management, including systems for guiding children’s behaviour. An updated operations manual and the restructuring of the leadership roles and responsibilities have had a positive impact on the smooth running of the centre.

Self review has been used effectively by teachers to improve the layout of the inside and outside environments. A robust planning process is ensuring that teachers’ observations and ideas are made visible to all, and take children’s interests and strengths into consideration when planning the programme. Teachers have worked with an external adviser to improve the writing of learning stories and presentation of children’s portfolios.

ERO observed caring relationships and positive interactions amongst children and adults. Children benefited from the use of both English and te reo Māori. Their behaviour was well managed. Teachers could now build more complexity into their conversations to encourage children to solve problems and inquire more deeply into topics of interest.

The next step for centre management under new ownership is to continue to seek external support for teachers to build on their curriculum knowledge, teaching practice and leadership skills, in order to enhance learning outcomes for children.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO will review the service again as part of the regular review cycle.

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood centre we encourage management to inform their community of any follow-up action they plan to do. You should talk to the management or licensee 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.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)