4 Kids & Whanau Centre - 15/06/2012

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

The 4 Kids and Whānau Centre is located in the Glenfield Baptist Church premises. It is owned and operated by the Glenfield Action Trust, which employs a manager to oversee day-to-day operations. The centre provides for up to 50 children, with infants and toddlers in the Pipi room and older children in the Paua room.

The centre’s focus is on supporting families in the local community, and partnering with whānau to provide care and education for children in a positive Christian environment. Whānau appreciate the inclusive, welcoming and homely atmosphere in the centre. The centre’s philosophy, environment and programmes are also strongly influenced by the Reggio Emilia approach to teaching and learning. Teachers’ regular reflections on their practice and on learning outcomes for children clearly relate to these curriculum priorities.

Children enjoy ready access to a wide selection of resources in beautifully presented play areas that feature natural and creative materials and prompt independent exploration. Adults respond to and support children’s play ideas and foster literacy and numeracy learning, particularly in the context of investigation projects. Teachers could now make their responsiveness to individual children’s interests more visible in programme planning and the environment.

ERO’s 2009 report commented on a high number of good practices in the centre. In the main, these practices have been sustained by the manager and a stable core of teachers. The manager has established worthwhile processes for teachers to reflect on their vision for the centre and for whānau to contribute to review and development. There have been several significant staff changes and a new shared leadership model has recently been introduced. The manager is continuing to explore ways to build cohesion and consistency amongst the new teaching team.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the centre again in three years.

2. Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of 4 Kids 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 at4 Kids .

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
  • the interactions between children and adults.

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

The Quality of Education

Background

The Pipi room has four qualified teachers on the team, one of whom is a fully registered teacher. In the Paua room there is also one fully registered teacher, who works with three provisionally registered teachers. Several additional staff have begun working towards early childhood education qualifications.

A key teacher provides leadership in the Pipi room and three teaching staff share a new ‘triadic’ leadership model in the Paua room. All four of these teachers are relatively new to their leadership roles.

A recent change has increased the age that children transition from Pipi to Paua to approximately two-and-a-half years.

Areas of strength

Philosophy enacted. The centre’s philosophy, Christian values and commitment to community service are clearly reflected in programmes and relationships with whānau. Reggio Emilia approaches are evident in both the environment and a project approach used to document children’s learning. The principles and strands of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, underpin assessment and programme implementation. Very good information about curriculum priorities is made available to whānau when they enrol their children.

Whānau and community. The centre has a strong focus on supporting families in the community, many of whom are recent immigrants. This sense of community and the value placed on partnerships with whānau underpin relationships and influence many aspects of centre operations. Practices that foster whānau involvement and contribution include:

  • whānau focus groups that are encouraged to lead, review and influence development in the centre
  • assessment review and goal setting meetings between staff and whānau
  • informal daily conversations and supportive relationships that help whānau feel at home in the centre
  • a parent representative who provides a parent voice at Trust meetings.

Learning environment. Features of the carefully prepared environment are the extensive use of natural and creative materials, and innovative presentations that invite experimentation and exploration. Further positive aspects include:

  • good use of drapes, other hangings and open shelving to give a sense of discrete, intimate spaces while maintaining clear visibility of play areas
  • displays that value and celebrate children’s creative work and project investigations
  • easy access to outdoor play areas and covered decks, and excursions to take advantage of the immediate surrounding environment.

The Pipi room is appropriately well resourced for infants and toddlers. It has a warm, inclusive and peaceful ambience.

Support for learning. Staff support child-led play well. Some are particularly inclusive and caring, engage in meaningful conversations with children and respond to their ideas. They are culturally aware and responsive and use phrases in children’s home languages as well as te reo Māori. A recent literacy project is improving teachers’ and whānau understanding about good practice in early childhood education. Natural science and mathematical concepts are also included in the context of children’s investigations and projects. Children are becoming familiar with a wide range of media for creative expression.

Self review. Programme documentation, self-review records and staff meeting minutes show that reflective practice is becoming well established. Reflection focuses on learning outcomes for children and contributes to adults’ professional development. Processes for review and development are useful, inclusive and collaborative. Annual reflection on the centre’s vision, philosophy, progress and next steps is a valuable process.

Areas for development and review

The manager and ERO discussed the key next steps to support ongoing, sustainable centre development including:

  • continuing to explore ways to build leadership capacity in the centre, develop shared understandings and practices, and strengthen team cohesion
  • aligning teacher performance appraisal with the Registered Teacher Criteria and establishing clear processes for high quality advice and guidance programmes for provisionally registered teachers
  • using information from whānau focus groups and vision discussions to inform long-term strategic planning and annual plans that are regularly monitored and updated.

Teaching teams could enhance current practice and promote more focused engagement and purposeful, complex play, by:

  • listening more consistently to children’s ideas and supporting them to engage in extended conversations, in order to foster their independent thinking and problem solving skills
  • using the early afternoon time to work with children who are not sleeping to investigate their areas of interest in more depth
  • focusing individual assessment, projects and programme planning on children’s emerging and evolving interests
  • making the centre’s focus on partnership with whānau, and their response to information shared by parents, more evident in children’s individual assessment records
  • exploring the implications of Ka Hikitia and Tātaiako, the Ministry of Education’s documents relating to success for Māori children.

3. Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of 4 Kids completed an ERO CentreAssurance Statement andSelf-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
  • 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
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

In order to improve current practice the Trust and manager should align policies more clearly with the 2008 Early Childhood Regulations and Licensing Criteria, and regularly review the extent to which these policies guide and reflect actual centre practices.

4. Recommendation

ERO and the centre manager agree that building leadership capacity in the centre, and developing a more cohesive teaching team with shared understandings and consistent practices, would help teachers to enrich programmes for children.

5. Future Action

ERO is likely to review the centre again in three years.

 

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

 

About the Centre

Type

All Day Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 12 aged under 2 years

Roll number

68

Gender composition

Boys 36

Girls 32

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 41,

Māori 8,

Asian 13,

other European 3,

Samoan 2,

Tongan 1

Review team on site

May 2012

Date of this report

15 June 2012

Previous ERO reports

Education Review, November 2008

15 June 2012

To the Parents and Community of 4 Kids

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on 4 Kids .

The 4 Kids and Whānau Centre is located in the Glenfield Baptist Church premises. It is owned and operated by the Glenfield Action Trust, which employs a manager to oversee day-to-day operations. The centre provides for up to 50 children, with infants and toddlers in the Pipi room and older children in the Paua room.

The centre’s focus is on supporting families in the local community, and partnering with whānau to provide care and education for children in a positive Christian environment. Whānau appreciate the inclusive, welcoming and homely atmosphere in the centre. The centre’s philosophy, environment and programmes are also strongly influenced by the Reggio Emilia approach to teaching and learning. Teachers’ regular reflections on their practice and on learning outcomes for children clearly relate to these curriculum priorities.

Children enjoy ready access to a wide selection of resources in beautifully presented play areas that feature natural and creative materials and prompt independent exploration. Adults respond to and support children’s play ideas and foster literacy and numeracy learning, particularly in the context of investigation projects. Teachers could now make their responsiveness to individual children’s interests more visible in programme planning and the environment.

ERO’s 2009 report commented on a high number of good practices in the centre. In the main, these practices have been sustained by the manager and a stable core of teachers. The manager has established worthwhile processes for teachers to reflect on their vision for the centre and for whānau to contribute to review and development. There have been several significant staff changes and a new shared leadership model has recently been introduced. The manager is continuing to explore ways to build cohesion and consistency amongst the new teaching team.

Futur Action

ERO is likely to review the centre 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.