BestStart Regent Kindy - 14/08/2018

1 Evaluation of BestStart Regent Kindy

How well placed is BestStart Regent Kindy 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

BestStart Regent Kindy in Whangarei, is licensed to provide full-day education and care for 24 children aged over two years. Since the 2015 ERO review, the centre has become part of the BestStart Education and Care Centres organisation. Children are cared for in one large space with easy access to covered and uncovered outdoor play spaces. The licensed area also includes a separate dining room and a sleeping room.

The philosophy of the service strongly values a collaborative relationship with families and the community. It promotes the nurturing of children to be successful creative thinkers who will innovate, lead and be ready for life's challenges.

The centre leader leads a team of three, including a qualified teacher, a provisionally registered teacher and a teacher in training. The two staff yet to be fully registered were appointed last year.

The 2015 ERO report noted the positive relationships, good support for individual learning needs and an increasingly responsive curriculum. Leaders and teachers have progressively built on this solid foundation. Agreed next steps included more focused strategic planning, development in personnel practices, and introducing more effective planning, assessment and evaluation. Very good progress has been made in these areas.

The BestStart organisation provides an overarching governance and management framework as well as personnel support for operation and curriculum development in individual centres.

This review was part of a cluster of three centre reviews in the BestStart organisation.

The Review Findings

Children display a genuine sense of belonging in the centre. They are supported to reach their potential through the centre's high quality learning programme. Children play and learn in a nurturing environment that is designed to develop their knowledge, skills and dispositions. They benefit from teachers' strong partnerships with parents and whānau. Children are respected and valued as individuals, as members of a whānau, and as part of the centre.

Teachers' clear understanding of the centre's philosophy drives their practice. Their implementation of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, authentically integrates bicultural and multicultural practices into routines and the environment. Teachers' ongoing evaluation of teaching practices strengthens their ability to support children's successful learning outcomes. Children experience and develop early language, literacy and numeracy skills through the centre's comprehensive curriculum.

Leaders and teachers know each child as a unique learner. Teachers listen and respond to individual children as they extend their learning. They ensure that children's inquiries drive the responsive programme. Teachers deliberately use strategies to maximise the opportunities for children to be creative and imaginative. Children benefit from the vibrant learning environment provided by leaders and teachers. The environment encourages children to think critically, to wonder and to revisit their learning.

Strong effective leadership is a feature of this centre. The area and centre managers continually seek ways to extend their own professional learning. Their critical reflection encourages high level professional conversations which promote equitable outcomes for children. Leaders engage professionally with other early childhood networks to support sector-wide improvement.

Leaders and teachers are highly evaluative. Effective internal evaluation and planning practices guide the centre's development. There are well defined plans for achieving the strategic and annual goals. Strategic staff appointments have contributed to the high quality operation of the centre.

Centre operations are guided by a strategic plan and a shared vision. These are linked to the recently developed strategic goals of the BestStart organisation. This good practice promotes teachers' recognition that they belong to a wider learning community, and supports collaboration amongst teaching teams. Leaders and teachers regularly review progress towards the centre's strategic and annual plans. They monitor the quality of centre operations and promote ongoing improvement.

Key Next Steps

Leaders have identified relevant key steps that include providing opportunities for teachers to:

  • participate in professional learning to broaden education perspectives in team discussions

  • engage in meaningful action research to improve learning outcomes for all learners.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of BestStart Regent Kindy 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 BestStart Regent Kindy will be in four years.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

14 August 2018

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

Whangarei

Ministry of Education profile number

46117

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

24 children over the age of 2 years

Service roll

31

Gender composition

Boys 18 Girls 13

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
other

6
16
9

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2018

Date of this report

14 August 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

(as Breakthrough Timatanga)

August 2015

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.