Just Four Kids Te Anau - 01/08/2019

1 Evaluation of Just Four Kids Te Anau

How well placed is Just Four Kids Te Anau to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Just Four Kids Te Anau is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Just Four Kids Te Anau is a privately owned early childhood service in Southland. Two visiting teachers support 11 educators to provide education and care for up to four children at a time within educators' homes. The service caters for children up to the age of six.

The service believes that through fun, play, trust and a genuine bond with an educator, along with support from the visiting teacher and director, they have the 'recipe to GROW super kids'.

This is the service's first education review.

The Review Findings

Educators know their children well and know how to respond to their learning needs. They use children's interests to inform a deep and rich curriculum. Children participate in a wide range of learning experiences that support their interests and abilities.

Useful systems are in place to ensure there are meaningful programmes for children. Regular playgroups and excursions provide the opportunity for children to grow a sense of belonging to the community, to learn about and in nature, and to develop their social and physical abilities. Records of learning could more clearly and consistently show how parents' aspirations for children's learning are used to inform intentional planning and deliberate acts of teaching.

Just Four Kids Te Anau is well managed by the owner. She has high expectations for all staff providing education and care for children. Leaders work well together to develop systems and guidelines that support a shared understanding of teachers' and educators' roles and responsibilities. There is a continued focus on promoting children's learning and wellbeing. Visiting teachers and educators receive ongoing support for improvements to practice through appraisals and regular professional development. This helps them to build current best practice and improve effectiveness.

The visiting teachers have strong links with the local community and support agencies. They use a range of ways to share information, and consult with families and the community, to encourage involvement in the service. The owner and teachers seek and provide resources for children and families in need of additional support. Children and families ethnicities and cultural backgrounds are valued. The visiting teachers give special consideration when planning for the learning of very young children to support their development and progression. Educators work closely with parents to ensure home routines are maintained to provide for continuity for children.

Guidelines and monitoring processes effectively support the visiting teachers to implement health and safety checks, and promote curriculum development in educator's homes. Educators' professional learning is extended through ongoing mentoring.

Key Next Steps

Assessment and planning for children's learning could be strengthened. Parents' aspirations should be more consistently be reflected in planning documents.

Key next steps for leaders are to:

  • support educators to regularly gather parent’s aspirations and consistently show how they respond to these to support children in their learning

  • strengthen appraisal practices by developing a policy with clear expectations including for regular observations of teacher practice

  • continue to develop and embed Treaty-based practices.

Leaders should also develop and implement robust systems for internal evaluation. This includes developing a schedule of internal evaluation to ensure key aspects of operation and practices are evaluated over time.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Just Four Kids Te Anau completed an ERO Home-based Education and Care 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.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

1 August 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 Home-based Education and Care Service

Location

Te Anau

Ministry of Education profile number

47147

Institution type

Homebased Network

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

80 children, including up to 80 aged under 2

Service roll

63

Standard or Quality Funded

Standard

Gender composition

Boys 32, Girls 31

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnicities

11
48
4

Number of qualified coordinators in the network

2

Required ratios of staff educators to children

Under 2

1:2

Over 2

1:4

Review team on site

May 2019

Date of this report

1 August 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO Reports

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 the draft methodology for ERO reviews in Home-based Education and Care Services: July 2014

ERO’s Overall Judgement

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.