Future Kids - 18/05/2017

1 Evaluation of Future Kids

How well placed is Future Kids 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

Future Kids preschool is operates out of the Bay City Outreach Trust centre, Hastings and under the Bay City Outreach Trust. The centre offers early childhood education and care for up to 39 children including up to 6 children under two years.  It is governed by a board and managed by a director. Board members are currently clarifying their roles and responsibilities in relation to the two Future Kids centres and the Outreach Centre Trust.  A head teacher provides day-to-day leadership of staff.

The guiding philosophy is based on the centre's Christian values and beliefs and 'preparing children for a life-long love of learning.'

Since the February 2014 ERO report, the service has appointed a new director and head teacher. An additional staff member supports teachers with children's routines and meal preparation. The centre head teacher is responsible for the daily running of the centre.

Centre leaders have responded well to the area for further development identified in the previous ERO review. This report identified the need to review the effectiveness of the literacy and numeracy programme. In 2016, staff participated in professional development focusing on the teaching of literacy and numeracy.

This review was one of two reviews of Future Kids centres in Hastings.

The Review Findings

A sense of belonging for children, parents and whānau is fostered through warm respectful relationships. Children are familiar with routines and settle quickly. They engage in sustained play in a range of curriculum experiences that integrate literacy, numeracy, science and the arts. Teachers effectively foster and support children's language development, independence, self-management and social skills.

Quiet learning areas are provided for infants up to two years of age and their specific needs and interests. Teachers promote children's sense of belonging, security and wellbeing. Individual needs of these young children are supported by the nurturing environment. They are encouraged to explore and participate in age-appropriate activities.

The Future Kids values are clearly reflected in teachers' practice. The centre's philosophy is due for review. This process should consider increasing the emphasis on outcomes for children within the philosophy.

Children experience a programme responsive to their individual and group interests based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Children participate and engage in a range of well-planned experiences. Transitions from different learning spaces and within routines are well managed.

Teachers notice children's interests and provide learning opportunities through conversations, resources and activities.Opportunities to develop early literacy and numeracy concepts are well integrated into the programme. This has been a deliberate focus in response to the previous ERO review.

Clear expectations for documenting children's learning are in place. Well-presented portfolio books provide parents and whānau with a record of their child's participation and engagement at the centre. A next step is to strengthen the way teachers respond to children's learning, to include deeper analysis that clearly identifies the learning taking place to better demonstrate children's learning progress over time.

A useful online assessment tool supports connections between home and centre, enabling parents and whānau to add their feedback to children's learning stories. The provision of additional opportunities for families to contribute to their child's learning to should further strengthen partnerships.

Children with additional educational needs are well catered for. Teachers have attended professional learning and development (PLD) and work with external agencies to provide appropriate teaching and learning experiences. An inclusive environment is evident.

Resources that affirm Māori children’s cultural identity are visible and freely accessed.Teachers regularly use te reo Māori. Leaders recognise that this is an area that requires ongoing development and are committed to strengthening te reo me ngā tikanga Māori across all aspects of the curriculum.

Pacific cultures are represented through learning experiences and natural resources. Teachers help build skills, knowledge and use of Pacific languages. Teachers seek external expertise from the community to support their developing knowledge and understanding of Pacific cultures.

The head teacher supports teaching practice within the centre. The head teachers of both Future Kids centres meet regularly with the director to discuss operational and management matters. Now that Future Kids has worked through restructuring it is timely to align leadership roles and responsibilities to the strategic direction.

A well-written strategic plan informs future development. It documents clear outcomes and success indicators. A next step is to track and evaluate progress towards these strategic goals. In addition, aligning professional development to the strategic goals should help to more deliberately focus teachers' ongoing development.

Future Kids leaders acknowledge that the appraisal policy needs improvement. A clear policy should be developed that includes reference to the Practising Teacher Criteria, and the revised process implemented. This should include increased feedback to teachers for improvement.

There is a useful process to guide self review. Increased emphasis on collaborative sense making and evaluation against the indicators of success should strengthen this process.

Key Next Steps

ERO and leaders agree that the next steps are to continue to strengthen:

  • learning partnerships with parents and whānau
  • assessment, planning and evaluation
  • the appraisal process.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Future Kids 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.

In order to improve practice leaders should:

  •  ensure that all necessary policies have been developed and implemented and the review cycle documented. 

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Future Kids will be in three years. 

Patricia Davey
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

18 May 2017 

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

Hastings

 

Ministry of Education profile number

55044

 

Licence type

Education & Care Service

 

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

 

Number licensed for

39 children, including up to 6 aged under 2

 

Service roll

33

 

Gender composition

Boys 19, Girls 14

 

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Pacific
Other ethnic groups

18
  7
  5
  3

 

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%

Based on funding rates

80%

 

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:6

Meets minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

 

Review team on site

March 2017

 

Date of this report

18 May 2017

 

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

February 2014

 

Education Review

June 2010

 

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.