Kelston Deaf Education Centre Pre-School - 16/09/2016

1 Evaluation of Kelston Deaf Education Centre Pre-School

How well placed is Kelston Deaf Education Centre Pre-School 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.


Kelston Deaf Education Centre Pre-School is located within the Kelston Deaf Education Centre (KDEC). The centre provides bilingual (spoken English and New Zealand Sign Language) education and care for deaf, hearing impaired and hearing children from the ages of two to five. With the redevelopment of the site, the pre-school now occupies new, purpose-built premises at the heart of the KDEC complex. Spacious indoor and outdoor environments provide flexible, attractive, well-resourced learning spaces for children.

The centre’s inclusive philosophy promotes children’s play and learning in a welcoming, supportive environment. Good teacher to child ratios support children’s development as capable competent learners. Programmes continue to reflect a commitment to fostering community awareness, acceptance and celebration of diversity.

The centre has a history of positive ERO reports. Good practices identified in the 2013 ERO report continue to be evident. The experienced manager leads a team of well qualified teachers with the range of skills to deliver the specialised programme and maintain high levels of support for New Zealand Sign Language and spoken English.

The pre-school is governed by the newly established Deaf Education ECE Trust which works closely with the Combined Board of Trustees (BoT). The pre-school manager works with KDEC senior management to set and maintain the strategic direction of KDEC ECE services.

The Review Findings

Children’s social and emotional well-being is well supported by caring, highly qualified teachers. Respectful relationships between adults and children contribute to the settled, harmonious atmosphere. Children experience positive relationships with each other and benefit from well-managed care routines.

At home in their environment, deaf and hearing children relate well and communicate confidently through signing. Partnerships with parents and whānau are fostered, both formally and informally. Whānau are welcome in the centre and good relationships are evident between teachers and families. The introduction of an online portal provides families with another means of communicating and contributing to centre programmes and events.

The responsive, child-centred programme promotes positive outcomes for children. Teachers use their in-depth knowledge of each child to plan stimulating, inviting play opportunities for individuals and groups of children. Teachers are positive and encouraging, building on children's interests and deliberately fostering language development within play. Portfolios, both online and in hard copy, provide a good record of children's progress with key learning and development milestones. Children's transition into the centre and onwards to school are sensitively and thoughtfully managed.

Biculturalism is fostered through opportunities for children to become familiar with te reo and tikanga Māori as they play. Teachers strengthen their bicultural practice with everyday use of te reo Māori throughout the programme. Centre leaders could continue to seek ways to make all children’s language and culture, including that of Pacific children, more visible.

Centre leaders promote a culture of ongoing improvement. They are collaborative and support teachers to develop and extend their skills. There is a shared expectation of staff that they will continue to increase their New Zealand Sign Language fluency. Leaders share responsibility for improvements with the teaching team. Performance management processes are linked to professional development priorities and are being modified to align more closely with the requirements of the Education Council.

The service's clearly articulated vision and philosophy drives the strategic direction and provides a good platform for centre expansion and provision of further services. Self review is robust and focuses on responding to children’s emerging needs. Clearly outlining the relationship between the Trust Board and the Combined BoT is seen by centre leaders as an important next step in coordinating policy and strategies for future development.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders and ERO agree that areas for further improvement include:

  • more formally and consistently evaluating the impact of the planned learning programme in promoting positive outcomes for all children

  • strengthening relationships with the local primary schools that host KDEC provision to further raise awareness of children who are deaf or hearing impaired before they transition from the pre-school.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kelston Deaf Education Centre Pre-School 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 Kelston Deaf Education Centre Pre-School will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

16 September 2016

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


Kelston, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 16 Girls 8

Ethnic composition





South East Asian

other European

other Pacific








Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2016

Date of this report

16 September 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2013

Education Review

June 2010

Education Review

June 2007

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.