Kereru Kindy - 26/11/2015

1. Evaluation of Kereru Kindy

How well placed is Kereru Kindy 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

Kereru Kindy was previously known as Kowhai Kids. It provides a service for families from Wellsford and its surrounding rural communities. The centre is licensed for up to 25 children over the age of two years and as most children attend part time, currently has 44 children on its roll. It operates in an adapted residential house on a large section that provides a spacious and interesting learning environment for children.

The owners manage the centre and employ a part-time administrator for day-to-day matters. The teaching team is led by a well-qualified and experienced head teacher. The centre’s philosophy statement clearly expresses a commitment to providing a caring, inclusive service that focuses on relationships with families and the community. Teachers respond to individual children’s interests to foster their curiosity and support their learning, and promote the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand. ERO’s 2012 report identified many positive features in the centre and these have been sustained.

The Review Findings

The principles of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, are well reflected in practice. Children are well cared for and supported in their learning. They play independently and in cooperative groups. Trusting relationships are established and children and their families have a sense of belonging and security in the centre. Parents appreciate the comfortable, welcoming and inclusive atmosphere and spend time at the centre with their children. There is a calm, unhurried tone as children engage in the variety of activities available.

Children develop confidence to negotiate and direct their play ideas. They make good use of the indoor resources and spaces as well as the deck and outdoor environment. The outdoor area provides physical challenges, gardens, a mud kitchen and flexible resources to support child-directed play. Teachers continually consider ways to adapt and enrich the learning environments to respond to children’s emerging interests, capabilities and ideas. Their teaching priorities, such as literacy, and learning about te reo and te ao Māori, are visible in the environment.

Teachers respond well to children’s interests and support them to investigate, revisit and extend their ideas. They plan learning experiences that extend children’s understanding about the world around them. Teachers recognise and celebrate the learning that occurs through children’s imaginative and creative play and share this information with whānau in a variety of useful ways.

Teachers work well together as a team. They keep very good records of children’s learning and how it evolves over time. Teachers have established an effective process for identifying and evaluating their own role in supporting learning. The head teacher models good practice and leads a culture of continual reflection about how to improve provision for children. Teachers are making use of external support and are enthusiastic about building their confidence in using te reo Māori as a natural part of everyday programmes.

Children’s individual learning journals reflect teachers’ growing partnerships with parents, and their focus on fostering positive dispositions for learning. This focus supports smooth transitions for children when they move on to school. Teachers agree that it would be worthwhile to review their planning for the Kiwi Club for the older children, so that it focuses less on simple skills, aligns better with the centre’s philosophy, and promotes meaningful extended learning.

The owners have established clear and relevant strategic goals, and plans for their achievement. They make good use of external advice to support centre development. Teachers consider parents’ aspirations and the community as part of their review and planning for improvement. The centre is well placed to consolidate good practices and to enrich its provision for children’s care and education.

Key Next Steps

The owner and head teacher have identified appropriate next steps for centre development, including:

  • improving personnel employment and appraisal policies and procedures to better reflect new legal requirements and to support teachers in their professional development
  • continuing to review and adapt the resourcing and layout of the centre to make the best use of space available for children’s investigations, exploration and learning
  • refining self-review processes, deepening the evaluative nature of self review and clearly identifying how it improves outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kereru Kindy 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 Kereru Kindy will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

26 November 2015

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

Wellsford

Ministry of Education profile number

45423

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

44

Gender composition

Girls 25

Boys 19

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

3

41

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:9

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2015

Date of this report

26 November 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2012

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.