Country Kids Childcare Centre - 26/02/2019

1 Evaluation of Country Kids Childcare Centre

How well placed is Country Kids Childcare Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Country Kids Childcare Centre is very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

Country Kids Childcare Centre is a not for profit, community-owned and operated centre in rural Nelson. It is licenced for a maximum of 50 children, including up to nine under two-year olds. It is governed by a parent/community board. There is a centre manager, curriculum leader and financial officer, all providing leadership. All teachers have early learning education qualifications. Centre staffing is stable and experienced. The centre operates full-day sessions from Monday to Friday. Children from a wide geographical area attend the centre. Recent enrolments have increased the cultural diversity at the centre.

The centre is divided into three areas according to age, under two-year olds, two-to-four year olds, and four-to-five year olds. Transitions from room to room are flexible and depend on children's readiness for change.

The centre philosophy incorporates the following:

  • cooperative play

  • provision of a rich curriculum that fosters curiosity and inquiry

  • the importance of building meaningful relationships based on trust, respect and honesty

  • caring for children's mana, respect for people and the environment

  • respecting and celebrating the Treaty of Waitangi.

The centre has successfully addressed the recommendations from the 2015 ERO report. Some recommendations are still in progress. These include making centre priorities more manageable over time in the strategic plan, and continuing to build greater consistency across the team in assessment practices.

The Review Findings

The centre is welcoming to children, their parents/whānau and provides equitable opportunities for all to attend the centre. Relationships at all levels are very respectful, nurturing and warm and recognised as important foundations for learning. The collegial and collaborative nature of the staff contributes to best outcomes for children.

The expansive indoor and outside areas are a stimulus for a rich, broad curriculum. Teachers enhance this environment by providing activities that promote intellectual and physical challenge. The practices and desired outcomes outlined in the philosophy are highly evident in the programmes, interactions and environment. Leaders and teachers make very good use of outside agencies, expertise and community events to enrich children's learning and engage families.

Te ao Māori is authentically integrated and interwoven throughout the programme. There is regular use of te reo Māori in all rooms and children are gaining an awareness of New Zealand's bicultural heritage. This is helping Māori children achieve success as Māori in an environment where their language, culture and identity are valued.

Children under two years of age benefit from having a primary carer who provides:

  • positive, responsive interactions leading to strong attachments and a sense of security

  • for their changing routines and preferences, and uses these as opportunities for learning

  • interesting resources and experiences to stimulate their engagement and learning.

The board and leaders very effectively govern and manage the day-to-day and long-term operations of the centre. Careful financial management has ensured the centre's viability and sustainability. There is strong alignment of systems and processes that shows a shared purpose and direction.

The manager keeps the board well informed about the curriculum focus, centre events, the appraisal process and ongoing staff development. Leaders consistently model a caring, collaborative approach that promotes trusting relationships and upholds staff wellbeing. They support teachers to reflect on their practice and contribute to internal evaluation in a strong culture of ongoing improvement.

Key Next Steps

To strengthen the good practice already in action the leaders and ERO agree that the next important steps are to:

  • refine the strategic plan to better reflect the centre's priorities

  • extend leaders' and teachers' understanding of evaluation and refine the process so that it is manageable

  • build consistency in assessment practices across the teaching team to better show how teachers are extending children's learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Country Kids Childcare 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 Country Kids Childcare Centre will be in four years.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

26 February 2019

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

Upper Moutere, Nelson

Ministry of Education profile number

65406

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 9 aged under 2

Service roll

56

Gender composition

Boys: 31

Girls: 25

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other ethnicities

3
43
10

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:5

Meets minimum requirements

Over 2

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2018

Date of this report

26 February 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

August 2015

Education Review

April 2012

Education Review

February 2009

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.