Doubtless Bay Kindergarten - 25/02/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

Doubtless Bay Kindergarten is well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.

Context

Doubtless Bay Kindergarten is one of three kindergartens in the Far North District governed by the board of the Kaitaia and Districts Kindergarten Association. A manager oversees kindergarten operations, including financial management and employment matters. Most kindergarten operations are guided by Association policies.

Professional Practice Managers (PPMs) from the Northland Kindergarten Association are contracted to support teachers’ professional learning and development, and their implementation of programmes for children.

The current head teacher has been recently appointed and one teacher is new to the staff. The head teacher manages the day to day operations of the kindergarten and works with qualified teachers to support children’s learning and development. She has already reviewed several aspects of the operation of the kindergarten and is developing a strategic plan for 2013.

Children who attend the centre are mostly Māori and NZ European/Pākehā and come from a wide geographical area. They later move to one of six local schools. Each day, after kindergarten, children who are close to school age are able to spend a short time at the new entrant class of Taipa Area School, which is next door.

This review was conducted as part of a cluster approach to reviews in three early childhood education services within the Kaitaia and Districts Kindergarten Association umbrella organisation.

The Review Findings

Relationships within the kindergarten and with the kindergarten community are positive and supportive. Teachers show respect for children as capable and competent learners. They listen to children’s ideas and value their contributions in conversations. Children approach adults with confidence and show respect for each other and the kindergarten environment.

Teachers encourage and support open communication with parents. Parents report that they feel welcome in the centre. They sometimes spend time interacting with the children as they settle for the session. Children’s individual portfolios and wall displays inform parents about their children’s learning at the centre. Teachers consult with parents about what they want for their children and reflect on how they can support the children towards achieving their parents’ aspirations.

The programme is consistent with the kindergarten’s philosophy and Te Whāriki, the New Zealand early childhood curriculum. It reflects bicultural New Zealand, supporting the identity of all children and provides children with opportunities to learn through meaningful experiences.

Kindergarten staff use information and communication technologies (ICT) in innovative ways. ICT is used effectively to communicate with the wider kindergarten community and to share information about children’s learning electronically with some families. Children use ICT, especially computers and cameras, with confidence.

The manager of the Kaitaia and Districts Kindergarten Association has also identified the need to strengthen self review at their governance and management levels. Further steps to improve their support for kindergarten teachers could include:

  • support for teachers’ professional learning and development
  • induction and support for head teachers.

The staff are reflective about their practice. They have formally reviewed some kindergarten operations and systems. They should continue to strengthen self-review practices, including the impact of change on outcomes for children.

Children would benefit from greater support from teachers to extend their learning through play. Teachers could consider how to improve:

  • planning to extend children’s thinking and deepen their understanding
  • ways of recording children’s learning and how this information is used in ongoing programme planning.

Teachers have identified that they want to continue to build on the bicultural practices currently evident in the centre. Further developments could include greater acknowledgement of Māori children’s strengths and interests, increased use of te reo Māori, and reflecting te ao Māori more prominently in the kindergarten environment.

To improve current reporting practices, the Association should ensure that information about the allocation and use of Ministry of Education equity funding is shared with the kindergarten community.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the management of Doubtless Bay Kindergarten 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:

  • administration
  • health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial and property management.

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.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

25 February 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Taipa, Far North District

Ministry of Education profile number

5002

Licence type

All Day Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

36 children, including up to 0 aged under 2 years

Service roll

51

Gender composition

Boys 27 Girls 24

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori/Pākehā

Māori

Indian

American

Asian

Australian

Cook Island Māori

Dutch

German

Samoan

17

13

12

2

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

No children under 2 years

 
 

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2012

Date of this report

25 February 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

February 2010

October 2006

May 2004

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

  • 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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service 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 the service.