Mission Bay Kindergarten - 14/09/2017

1 Evaluation of Mission Bay Kindergarten

How well placed is Mission Bay Kindergarten to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

Background

Mission Bay Kindergarten is licensed to provide care and education for 40 children between two and five years of age. Children attend sessions that are similar to school hours.

The head teacher has been recently appointed and leads a new team of three qualified teachers, a teacher aide and an administrator.

The kindergarten's philosophy is underpinned by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and respectful relationships as the key to children's learning success. Teachers are committed to delivering an inclusive programme. They uphold the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and respect Māori as tangata whenua, and families as partners in the kindergarten's bicultural programme.

The 2014 ERO report noted that the kindergarten provided an environment where children's social skills were fostered, a bicultural programme was developing, and children's home languages were valued. Development priorities were focused on strategic planning, internal evaluation and the consistency of effective teaching practices. The new teaching team is committed to addressing these areas.

The kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA), which provides a governance and management framework. Professional support personnel assist teachers with curriculum, management and property matters.

This review was part of a cluster of 11 reviews in the Auckland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children settle quickly and explore the well-resourced environment and the learning experiences provided by teachers. They communicate capably, negotiating with friends and solving problems together. They are respectful and kind to each other. Children enjoy positive, respectful relationships with teachers.

The new teaching team provides a well-organised environment to enable children to independently lead their learning. Teachers have designed catalogue books with pictures of resources in the kindergarten. These books enable children to request resources from storage rooms, in order to enrich their own play.

Teachers provide a broad curriculum that is based on the principles of Te Whāriki. They plan the programme to respond to children's interests and extend children's learning. Teachers are beginning to use children's ideas in programme planning.

Children's learning experiences are documented, and shared with parents online and in portfolios. With children's learning now more visibly linked to the curriculum, parents are learning how they can extend their children's interests.

Parents who spoke with ERO expressed a strong appreciation of the teaching team. They feel welcome, and find teachers approachable and willing to discuss their children's challenges, progress and wellbeing. Teachers respond to parents' suggestions and aspirations in their planning.

The AKA provides guidance and support to develop teachers' knowledge of tikanga and te reo Māori. The bicultural nature of Aotearoa New Zealand is reflected in the environment, and in the teachers' commitment to promoting te reo Māori through waiata, karakia and pepeha. Teachers seek community expertise to strengthen their partnership with local iwi. Whānau appreciate these bicultural approaches.

Kindergarten operations are guided by a comprehensive strategic plan and a shared vision, linked to the AKA’s strategic goals. A Quality Improvement Process (QIP) aligns with the AKA and kindergarten strategic plans. The QIP helps the AKA and teachers to monitor quality and promote ongoing improvement. The AKA continues to review its management and leadership structure. It has begun a process of internal evaluation to establish how effectively the four pillars of its strategic plan are resulting in more positive outcomes for children, their families, and the organisation.

Key Next Steps

Teachers have begun to review their systems so that they can embed shared understandings about good quality early childhood practices. They agree that, to enhance their good quality provision for children, they should:

  • strengthen partnerships with parents, and encourage their participation in programme planning

  • make children's languages and cultural identities more visible in the environment and programme

  • support children to extend the complexity of their thinking

  • grow teachers' leadership capacity through coaching and mentoring.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Mission Bay 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Mission Bay Kindergarten will be in three years.

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

14 September 2017

The Purpose of ERO Reports

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the government department that, as part of its work, reviews early childhood services throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. ERO’s reports provide information for parents and communities about each service’s strengths and next steps for development. ERO’s bicultural evaluation framework Ngā Pou Here is described in SECTION 3 of this report. Early childhood services are partners in the review process and are expected to make use of the review findings to enhance children's wellbeing and learning.

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Mission Bay, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5073

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children over two years of age

Service roll

54

Gender composition

Boys 28, Girls 26

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Chinese
Cook Islands Māori
other

1
39
3
2
9

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2017

Date of this report

14 September 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2014

Education Review

June 2010

Education Review

June 2007

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.