Kensington Educare - 03/12/2014

1 Evaluation of Kensington Educare

How well placed is Kensington Educare 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

Kensington Educare, situated in the ASB Leisure Centre in Whangarei, provides full day early childhood education and care for children from two to five years of age. The service’s philosophy reflects the aims of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. It emphasises a strong partnership between the centre, parents and whānau and children.

Kensington Educare is part of a group of ten centres owned by the directors of Educare Early Learning Centres and is supported by the organisation’s general manager. The umbrella organisation provides administrative and professional support.

A new centre manager has responded positively to the recommendations of the 2011 ERO report and has made significant improvements in centre operations. Many of the qualified teachers have continued to work in the centre.

The Review Findings

Children and their care and learning underpin the strong focus of Kensington Educare. Children are confident explorers and are trusted to make their own choices. They have established genuine supportive relationships with teachers and friendships with their peers. Teachers’ commitment to the values of respect and belonging is evident in their responsive caregiving and their knowledge of each child within the wider family/whānau.

Children lead their own learning well through uninterrupted play. Flexible routines give them the freedom and opportunity to develop independence. Children support each other in the centre and confidently use available computer technology tools to enhance their play and their early literacy and mathematical learning.

Teachers engage in meaningful conversations with children. They are sensitive and responsive to children’s individual needs. They provide a well considered learning environment that invites children to experiment and play.

Children’s emerging interests form a strong basis for planning programmes that are focused on enhancing and extending their learning experiences. Parents’ aspirations for their children are being sought by teachers as a way of promoting parent input into the centre programme.

Children’s assessment portfolios provide parents with very good information about their children’s engagement and learning in the programme. Parents can see their children’s progress and follow links to their prior learning. Parents report that they feel a strong sense of partnership with teachers.

Parents express a high level of satisfaction with the provision for their children. They are welcomed to join in the daily programme, appreciate opportunities to discuss their children’s learning and to be included in the centre’s community. They feel part of the centre and contribute to centre review and decision making.

Strong bicultural approaches are evident in the centre. Programmes provide opportunities for children to become familiar with te reo Māori. Tikanga Māori is respected and elements of it are implemented regularly in the programme.

The centre manager provides opportunities for teachers to grow as leaders by using their strengths and talents. Self review is well embedded in centre practice and is used to improve centre operations. Relevant professional learning and reflective visits to other centres inform self-review outcomes.

Teachers work as a team and engage in relevant professional development provided by centre managers. Sound knowledge about teaching and learning, and a growing culture of reflective practice, are strengths of the centre.

The centre is well led, and is supported by its umbrella organisation. The centre’s direction statement encompasses the centre philosophy and centre manager’s vision statement. The value of these documents would be increased if key concepts were further defined to help develop shared understandings amongst staff. The defined concepts could then form part of the centre’s performance management processes.

Key Next Steps

ERO, the centre manager and Educare general manager agree that key next steps for centre improvement include:

  • continuing to develop teachers’ leadership skills
  • further strengthening the appraisal system.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kensington Educare 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 Kensington Educare will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

3 December 2014

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

Whangarei

Ministry of Education profile number

10321

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

31 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

31

Gender composition

Boys 16

Girls 15

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Tongan

other Pacific

9

18

2

2

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2014

Date of this report

3 December 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2011

 

Education Review

November 2007

 

Education Review

June 2004

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.