In 2013, the Education Review Office (ERO) evaluated how effectively kindergartens and education and care services implemented employment practices to manage and develop staff.
The report, Improving quality: employment responsibilities in kindergartens and education and care services, presents the findings of this evaluation.The evaluation investigated the recruitment and appointment of staff, support for staff development, improvement of staff performance through appraisal, staff turnover, managing complaints and police vetting.
Many of the 235 services included in this evaluation were aware of their employment responsibilities and managed them well.
The effectiveness of employment practices varied across the services. Kindergartens and education and care services that were part of an association or umbrella organisation benefited from comprehensive employment-related policies and procedures. Staff in these services were more likely to be very well supported with ongoing and relevant professional development.
Many services could benefit from improving their practices and, in particular, implementing an effective appraisal system that is clearly linked to professional development and the service’s strategic goals.
The report highlights effective practices and identifies areas for improvement. It also includes recommendations for the Ministry of Education and all early childhood services
Services with highly effective practices had policies and procedures that were consistently implemented, regularly reviewed, reflected best practice and were aligned with current legislation. Many of these services had robust performance management systems and had access to staff with expertise in human resource management.
Leaders in these services had a range of skills and knowledge to support them in fulfilling their roles and responsibilities. A team approach to leadership supported growing staff capability.
Leaders also had a good understanding of employment practices and were committed to employing staff who fitted well with the philosophy and context of the service.
Staff were encouraged and supported to individually review their teaching practices or critically reflect as a group. Leaders supported and appropriately resourced professional development. Leaders provided a supportive, caring, open and respectful environment, and actively advocated for, and supported bicultural development and associated practices.
ERO identified the following highly effective employment practices