Central Kids Kindergartens - Ngatea - 05/11/2015

1 Evaluation of Central Kids Kindergartens - Ngatea

How well placed is Central Kids Kindergartens - Ngatea 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

Central Kids Kindergartens - Ngatea operates under the umbrella of Central North Island Kindergarten Trust. The kindergarten is located on the Hauraki Plains in the township of Ngatea. It is licensed to cater for 40 children from two years to school age and is open from 8.45 am to 2.45 pm Monday to Friday. Many families travel from a large rural area to attend the service.

Since the previous ERO review staffing has remained relatively consistent. The kindergarten has a positive ERO reporting history. Management has responded effectively to the recommendations made by ERO in 2012, to review the centres assessment and planning processes. Teachers have continued to undertake professional development to keep them well informed about current educational practices, theory and research.

The kindergarten is well supported by the Central North Island Kindegarten Trust. The trust’s strategic direction sets out the service’s vision, expected educational outcomes, and values. It also defines the strategies for delivering the principles and strands of the early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki and for respecting Te Tiriti o Waitangi. The trust’s professional leaders monitor the kindergarten’s compliance with policies and procedures to ensure it meets regulation requirements and management expectations. Kindergarten teachers have generous opportunities to attend professional development opportunities to grow their teaching and leadership skills.

Teachers have a shared understanding of high quality education and care and this is outlined in their service philosophy. This statement documents a commitment to ensuring that children experience positive relationships and a strong sense of belonging to the kindergarten community. Practices are underpinned by the principles of Te Whāriki.

This review was part of a cluster of seven kindergarten reviews in the Central North Island Kindergarten Trust.  

The Review Findings

Teachers have established highly respectful and trusting relationships with children, their parents and whānau. Teachers operate an inclusive programme and plan carefully to meet the diverse developmental needs of children. They take time to get to know them and their families well. This enables teachers to be highly responsive to children’s wellbeing, unique interests, skills and abilities as well as parents’ aspirations. Children settle into the kindergarten confidently and develop a strong sense of belonging and ownership of the environment. Teachers value family and community as being essential and integral to fostering children’s learning and wellbeing. They demonstrate a genuine respect for parents/families and involve them in their child’s education and the life of the kindergarten. As a result many parents and extended whānau enjoy spending time in the kindergarten and contributing to its culture. 

Positive relationships also support children’s emotional well-being. Teachers are extremely receptive and responsive to individual children’s temperaments and personalities. They skilfully use this understanding to foster their wellbeing and learning.

Individual portfolios celebrate children’s learning over time. Open communication and the use of on-line portfolios provide rich information about their learning. Linking children’s kindergarten experiences with home experiences enables teachers to plan responsive learning experiences that cater for the diverse strengths, interests and abilities of children.

There are extensive opportunities for children to develop friendships and become involved with interactions and experiences that support their social skills. Teachers model positive communication and support children to develop strategies in negotiating, taking on others view points, and working as a cooperative group.

Children are trusted as capable learners who can choose to follow their interests, take safe risks, and make good decisions. They actively explore their ideas and build on their knowledge, skills and learning dispositions. Teachers are highly skilled in having learning conversations that support children’s thinking processes and extend their learning and self-help skills. This also includes children having many opportunities to develop their leadership skills. They enjoy taking responsibility for themselves, one another and the environment.

A unique and continuing feature of the curriculum is the Ngahere programme for older children. This involves a small group of children experiencing an innovative programme one day a week at a nearby natural bush reserve. Children learn to appreciate and respect the natural environment and use their creativity to investigate, research, problem solve, and learn ways to inquire in order to make sense of the world around them. Teaching staff closely observe children and make wise decisions about when and how to respond to extend thinking and learning.

Children benefit from their sustained engagement in meaningful and challenging activities that add complexity to their understanding, development and competencies. Literacy and mathematics are naturally integrated into children’s play. High quality resources encourage children to explore and build on their knowledge and skills. Te reo and tikanga Māori are also naturally included in daily conversations. Children are confident to sing waiata and be involved in the kawa of the kindergarten. Teachers are strong advocates for children and their families, and have genuine respect and appreciation for children’s language, culture and identity.

The experienced head teacher works within a shared leadership model, where staff can use their professional leadership skills to contribute to the smooth operation of the kindergarten. They have strong working relationships with other community agencies and educational services. Teachers access relevant professional development to keep up-to-date with current early childhood practices.  Teachers are well supported by a knowledgeable professional leader who provides helpful feedback about what is going well and areas to consider for further development. Systematic self-review processes ensure kindergarten practices are regularly reviewed with a focus on positive outcomes for children and their families.

Key Next Steps

Through the kindergarten’s self-review processes, leaders and teachers have identified useful next steps for ongoing development. These include:

  • embedding on-line portfolios
  • developing the physical environment
  • continuing to grow teachers knowledge in te reo and tikanga Māori.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Central Kids Kindergartens - Ngatea 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 Central Kids Kindergartens - Ngatea will be in four years. 

Graham Randell
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

5 November 2015 

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

Ngatea, Hauraki Plains

Ministry of Education profile number

5629

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children aged over 2

Service roll

62

Gender composition

Boys      34
Girls       28

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other European

21
39
  2

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2015

Date of this report

5 November 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2012

Education Review

November 2009

Education Review

February 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.