Frankton Christian Kindergarten - 18/04/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

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

Frankton Christian Kindergarten is well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.

Context

Frankton Christian Kindergarten is located in the Hamilton suburb of Dinsdale. It caters for children from 2 years and 8 months to school age. The kindergarten is part of the extended community of the Reformed Church, and maintains a high staff to child ratio. The clearly defined commitment to providing Christian early childhood education underpins all aspects of centre operations.

Since ERO’s last review in May 2010 there have been significant changes to centre leadership, governance, licensing status, kindergarten hours and aspects of the programme. Teachers have been involved in professional development and self review related to strengthening bicultural practices in the centre.

Due to declining roll numbers in 2012 centre management reviewed the budget, levels of staffing and hours of operation. Families and staff have responded positively to these changes, particularly the extended and more flexible hours.

Review Findings

Fundamental to the centres’ shared philosophy is the belief that ‘children are a gift from God’. The Bible is the foundation for the programme that recognises the importance of:

  • the family unit
  • childrens’ individuality
  • childrens’ God given gifts and potential
  • practicing Christian principles.

The board have reviewed their focus on centre operations under the leadership of the experienced chairperson and new supervisor. They are developing consultative processes for setting new direction for the centre. The chairperson is proactive in promoting the Christian philosophy and sustaining positive change and improvement.

The new supervisor has been successful in establishing respectful and trusting relationships amongst staff. She is knowledgeable about ‘good practice’ in early childhood education, open to new ideas and works collaboratively with staff. Board members, parents and teachers spoken to by ERO, expressed confidence in her ability to provide sound professional leadership for the centre.

The centre curriculum and teachers’ practice strongly reflects Christian principles and values. Teachers have responded positively to the area for review and development in ERO’s 2010 report related to providing a more balanced programme. They are aware of the importance of children being able to engage in self-initiated play and exploration, revisit areas of interest, and develop more complex games and ideas.

Respectful and positive relationships between teachers and children are highly evident. There is a vibrant atmosphere of fun, enjoyment and purpose. Children benefit from many opportunities to experiment with literacy and mathematical concepts in the context of their interests and play. They are articulate and enjoy engaging in meaningful conversations with their teachers and other children.

Dedicated teachers provide a safe and supportive environment that encourages children to take risks and challenge themselves. The centre is well resourced, giving children access to interesting learning experiences and equipment. The teachers’ focus on developing bicultural practices in the centre is very evident. A feature of this, is the recent linking between Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the centre treaty developed by teachers and children. It outlines expectations for behaviour.

Key Next Steps

The following areas are recognised by the board and supervisor, and agreed by ERO as important for the ongoing development and sustainability of the service. There is a need to review:

  • the strategic plan, to set clear and shared direction for the centre including specific goals and indicators of success
  • the staff appraisal system to ensure there is a clear and understood process that leads to improved teaching practice and outcomes for children
  • centre finances and ongoing monitoring to ensure careful management and future sustainability of the service
  • the curriculum, including assessment, planning and evaluation to enhance opportunities that build on childrens’ interests, strengths and learning.

There would be benefit in teachers revisiting their 2011 bicultural practice self review, to evaluate current practice and decide on next steps for the centre and individuals.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Frankton Christian 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:

  • 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.

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

18 April 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Dinsdale, Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

34017

Licence type

Early Childhood Education and Care Centre

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

21 children, aged 2 years and over

Service roll

32

Gender composition

Girls 16

Boys 16

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Asian

Latin American

25

5

1

1

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:7

Exceeds minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2013

Date of this report

18 April 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2010

June 2007

March 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.