Grace Kindergarten - 08/07/2014

1 Evaluation of Grace Kindergarten

How well placed is Grace Kindergarten 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

Grace Kindergarten is a Christian, community-based centre licensed to provide care and education for 27 children, aged over two years. Three morning sessions a week cater for a younger group of children and a daily afternoon programme for those over four years old. Children from diverse backgrounds and both the local and wider Christian community attend the kindergarten. Being Christian is not a prerequisite for enrolling at the centre.

A charitable trust and a board of management govern the centre. The head teacher implements the day-to-day decisions of the board. All teachers are qualified and registered and good adult-to-child ratios contribute to positive outcomes for children.

Grace Kindergarten has a good reporting history with ERO. Areas identified for review and development in the October 2011 ERO report are being, or have been, suitably addressed.

The Review Findings

The service’s philosophy was developed collaboratively by trustees, managers, teachers, parents, whānau, community and children. This document is strongly underpinned by shared Christian values and beliefs.

Children eagerly participate in a programme that is both child and teacher-initiated. Planning is responsive to children’s interests, strengths and ideas. Well-presented profile books highlight children’s engagement in learning. Parents and children contribute with stories and photographs. Assessment shows the increasing complexity of children’s learning and relationships with each other, adults and the environment.

Children are confident, cooperative and settled. Teachers are gentle and attuned to children. They listen to their views, challenge their thinking and promote their sustained interest in play and learning.

Children acquire literacy, numeracy and science concepts appropriately within the context of play and at group times.

There is a strong focus on children’s social and emotional wellbeing. Transitions into the centre are carefully planned and carried out in consultation with parents and whānau. Teachers are beginning to build relationships with local schools to support children’s transition to school.

Teachers continue to improve their understanding of te ao Māori and Te Tiriti o Waitangi partnership. Up-to-date Ministry of Education publications should be accessed to support a team approach to improving provision for Māori learners.

Children with diverse learning needs are well supported in an inclusive environment.

Communication with families is a feature of the service. Whānau and parents are consulted and have opportunities to contribute to self review. The philosophy and vision of the centre is influenced by the aspirations of parents and the church.

A positive, collaborative and professional teaching team culture is evident. The head teacher provides sound leadership, models good practice and appraises staff. The centre’s strategic direction is strongly linked to outcomes for children. Governance and leaders are focused on continual improvement through purposeful and well-developed self review.

Key Next Steps

Managers agree with ERO’s external evaluation that they should continue to develop:

  • curriculum indictors that reflect their philosophy and the principles of Te Whāriki
  • bicultural practices and strategies to support success for Māori as Māori.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Grace 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Grace Kindergarten will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

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

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

60347

Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

27 children, aged over 2

Service roll

50

Gender composition

Boys 31, Girls 19

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Other ethnic groups

2

44

4

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

 

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2014

Date of this report

8 July 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2011

 

Education Review

June 2008

 

Education Review

October 2005

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.