Li'l Champs Early Learning Centre

Education institution number:
45439
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
25
Telephone:
Address:

154 Fraser Street, Tauranga

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1 Evaluation of Kidspace Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Kidspace Early Learning Centre 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

Kidspace Early Learning Centre is a privately owned all-day education and care centre located in Tauranga. The centre is licensed for 40 children, including up to six under two years old. At the time of this ERO review, the roll of 32 included six Māori children and smaller groups from Samoan and Indian families.

The centre manager employs two head teachers who have responsibilities for programme oversight in each of the age-group areas. There are designated spaces for children under two when needed. During recent years, staffing has been stable and almost all teachers are currently qualified. Owners and teachers have worked together to address development areas identified in the 2012 ERO report. These related to strategic planning and improvements to outdoor play areas. The centre has a positive reporting history with ERO.

The centre’s philosophy emphasises nurture, free play, friendliness, strong family relationships, social skills development and understandings about bicultural and multi cultural perspectives. These values are continually reflected in the daily programme and in the positive relationships between teachers, children and families. A cheerful, family-like atmosphere is evident throughout the centre.

The Review Findings

Young learners benefit from very positive and responsive relationships with teachers within a calm, unhurried environment. Their ideas are encouraged, accepted and respected and they have significant input into the programme. They demonstrate a strong sense of ownership of their centre environment and actively participate in the organising and care of resources. Older children are encouraged to lead mat times, demonstrating that they are confident, capable learners. Children and teachers have fun together. 

Teachers model very inclusive practices that ensure children who have diverse cultural backgrounds, languages, or abilities are actively encouraged to engage in learning and play. The programme demonstrates a suitable balance between child-led and teacher-initiated learning experiences. Teachers very effectively co-construct learning and support children’s problem solving. Literacy, mathematics and te reo Māori are interwoven within the programme. Children’s self management is encouraged and evident. Transitions within the centre and to school are smoothly facilitated to respond to the needs of children and families. 

Learning environments are regularly and very effectively refreshed. Displays celebrate children’s work and learning activities, and incorporate prompts to promote early literacy and mathematics skills. Displays also include Māori vocabulary and perspectives, and recognition of children’s heritages. Physical challenges are provided for children at a range of development stages. Small animals are enjoyed and well cared for in an appropriate enclosure. 

Teachers are very knowledgeable about teaching practice and theory. Curriculum and assessment practices are continually reviewed and revised to ensure that they are meeting the needs of children and families. There is a strong emphasis on regular communication with families that involves consultation about children’s needs and aspirations for learning and development. Regular learning stories from different teachers lead to the identification of extension needs, and intentional teaching strategies to guide individual programme planning and further assessment. The programme includes frequent excursions and visits to local places of interest. Children also enjoy weekly swimming lessons and dancing sessions facilitated by external providers. The popular group time for children aged four years old effectively engages them in age-appropriate literacy, mathematics and science activities associated with current topics of interest. 

Babies and toddlers benefit from high quality nurture and care. They play and learn in environments, which are welcoming, cheerful, and comfortable. Young children’s rhythms, needs and interests are noticed, recognised and individually responded to and planned for. In their designated indoor area, floor-level resources promote exploration and physical development. Teachers respond readily to children's verbal and non-verbal cues and to their individual rhythms and needs. Positive, regular, timely communication with parents builds trust that results in opportunities for parents to contribute to the programme and to seek advice as needed. Parents are welcome to remain with their children until they develop trusting relationships with teachers. There are daily opportunities for babies and toddlers to enjoy supervised play in over-two play areas. This provides opportunities for family-like interaction with older children, which is reciprocally beneficial. Younger children have space and time to lead their learning in all areas of the centre. 

The centre manager provides effective, collaborative and professional leadership for the centre. She empowers team leaders and teachers to take responsibility for a range of management and leadership roles. She drives continual improvement according to current and emerging best-practice ideas in early childhood education. Teachers engage in regular professional dialogue supported by team leaders. 

Manager, leaders and teachers continually emphasise a strong focus on identifying and meeting the needs of children and maintaining a family atmosphere. The appraisal process is well managed and regularly reviewed. Self review is well used to continually improve centre practices. There is a continuing emphasis on critical reflection and evaluation to improve outcomes for children and to sustain the positive culture at the centre.

Key Next Steps

Next steps identified by the centre and affirmed by ERO’s review process are to continue to:

  • increase the level of te reo Māori
  • integrate the assessment of children’s early literacy and mathematics more explicitly within learning stories
  • integrate the Professional Teaching Criteria and cultural competencies identified in Tātaiako more explicitly into the appraisal of registered teachers.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kidspace Early Learning Centre 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 Kidspace Early Learning Centre will be in four years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

14 January 2016

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number

45439

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 6 aged under 2

Service roll

32

Gender composition

Boys 18 Girls 14

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Indian

Samoan

Other

6

17

3

3

3

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2015

Date of this report

14 January 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2012

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.

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.

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Kidspace Early Learning Centre is a privately owned service that opened in May 2010. It is located in Tauranga and operates in a purpose-built facility and caters for children from infancy to school age. The centre is licensed to accommodate 25 children, including 5 under the age of two. It has benefitted from consistent leadership and staffing. This is the centre’s first report from ERO.

The centre manager and head teacher are committed to providing a high-quality service for children and their families. They are well informed about best practice in early childhood education and together have established a collaborative staff culture. Teachers respond readily to children’s interests, including the promotion of early literacy and mathematics development.

The indoor areas provide children with ready access to a wide range of age-appropriate, good-quality resources. Children take pride in assisting teachers to maintain and care for equipment and materials. A next step is to review the outdoor area in order to further encourage children’s exploration and learning.

Teachers are responsive to children’s individual care and learning needs. They actively participate in children’s play to sustain engagement. Teachers use a range of strategies to effectively promote children’s thinking and problem solving. In particular, infants receive high-quality care and nurture, with a strong emphasis on having fun. Children know each other well and ERO observed many examples of children engaged in sustained play in groups and activities of their choice.

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.

2. Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Kidspace Early Learning Centre was invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO. ERO also used documentation provided by the centre 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 centre (including self-review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to positive outcomes for children atKidspace Early Learning Centre.

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; and
  • the interactions between children and adults.

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

The Quality of Education

Background

Kidspace Early Learning Centre is a privately owned service that opened in May 2010. It operates in a purpose-built facility and caters for children from infancy to school age. The centre has benefitted from consistent leadership and staffing. This is the centre’s first report from ERO.

Areas of strength

Leadership and management: The centre manager and head teacher are committed to providing a high-quality service for children and their families. They are well informed about best practice in early childhood education. Together they have established a collaborative staff culture that is underpinned by positive, constructive professional relationships and generous provision for professional development. Effective administration systems, including staff appraisal and self review, provide a sound basis for continuing improvement.

Programme: The philosophy and programme appropriately emphasise the education and care of children as individuals according to the goals and principles of Te Whāriki. The programme is made visible to parents and reflects a variety of interests and celebrations that promote children’s learning, including child-centred focuses on early literacy and mathematics development. Teachers use community resources to extend children’s interests and experiences. They are gaining confidence in the use of te reo Māori.

Programme records are attractively presented and accessible for children to revisit and discuss their learning experiences. Portfolios provide parents and children with an attractive record of participation in centre activities. Recent initiatives in teachers’ assessment practice are enabling them to focus more specifically on learning progress and development.

Environment: The indoor areas provide children with ready access to a wide range of age-appropriate, good-quality resources. Teachers present children’s art in attractive displays. Children benefit from using computers for a variety of learning experiences. They take pride in assisting teachers to maintain and care for equipment and materials.

Interactions: Teachers are responsive to children’s individual care and learning needs. They actively participate in children’s play to sustain engagement and use a range of strategies to effectively promote children’s thinking and problem solving. In particular infants receive high-quality care and nurture, with a strong emphasis on having fun. Parents’ are actively encouraged to participate in centre activities and events. Children know each other well and ERO observed many examples of children engaged in sustained play in groups and activities of their choice.

Agreed priorities

ERO and centre managers agree that areas for further consideration include:

  • developing a long-term, strategic approach to centre development;
  • continuing to review and develop the outdoor environment to further enable children to explore nature and experience a wider range of physical challenges; and
  • increasing the use of parents’ and children’s perspectives in assessment.

3. Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Kidspace Early Learning Centre 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:

  • administration;
  • health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management; and
  • 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; and
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

4. 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.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

About the Centre

Location

Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number

45439

Type

Education and Care Service (All Day)

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 5 aged under 2

Roll number

39

Gender composition

Girls 21

Boys 18

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 19

NZ Māori 10

Samoan 4

Indian 2

Other 4

Review team on site

April 2012

Date of this report

18 June 2012

Previous ERO reports

This is ERO’s first review of this centre

To the Parents and Community of Kidspace Early Learning Centre

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Kidspace Early Learning Centre.

Kidspace Early Learning Centre is a privately owned service that opened in May 2010. It is located in Tauranga and operates in a purpose-built facility and caters for children from infancy to school age. The centre is licensed to accommodate 25 children, including 5 under the age of two. It has benefitted from consistent leadership and staffing. This is the centre’s first report from ERO.

The centre manager and head teacher are committed to providing a high-quality service for children and their families. They are well informed about best practice in early childhood education and together have established a collaborative staff culture. Teachers respond readily to children’s interests, including the promotion of early literacy and mathematics development.

The indoor areas provide children with ready access to a wide range of age-appropriate, good-quality resources. Children take pride in assisting teachers to maintain and care for equipment and materials. A next step is to review the outdoor area in order to further encourage children’s exploration and learning.

Teachers are responsive to children’s individual care and learning needs. They actively participate in children’s play to sustain engagement. Teachers use a range of strategies to effectively promote children’s thinking and problem solving. In particular, infants receive high-quality care and nurture, with a strong emphasis on having fun. Children know each other well and ERO observed many examples of children engaged in sustained play in groups and activities of their choice.

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.

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.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT REVIEWS

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews. The purpose of each review is to:

  • improve quality of education for children in early childhood centres; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the Government.

Reviews are intended to focus on outcomes for children and build on each centre’s self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting is based on four review strands.

  • Quality of Education – including the quality of the programme provided for children, the quality of the learning environment and the quality of the interactions between staff and children and how these impact on outcomes for children.
  • Additional Review Priorities – other aspects of the operation of a centre, may be included in the review. ERO will not include this strand in all reviews.
  • Compliance with Legal Requirements – assurance that this centre has taken all reasonable steps to meet legal requirements.
Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of centre performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to this centre.

Review Recommendations

Most ERO reports include recommendations for improvement. A recommendation on a particular issue does not necessarily mean that a centre is performing poorly in relation to that issue. There is no direct link between the number of recommendations in this report and the overall performance of this centre.