Kids at Home Ltd - Pukeko (30217) - 20/02/2012

1 Background

Introduction

A Supplementary Review is undertaken at the discretion of a National Manager, Review Services in the Education Review Office (ERO).

A supplementary review evaluates the extent and effectiveness of actions a centre has taken towards addressing issues specified in a previous education review and/or any additional areas identified since that review.

Terms of Reference

This supplementary review is based on an evaluation of the performance of the Kids at Home Ltd - Pukeko (30217) governing body and management in relation to areas identified in the November 2010 ERO report or issues identified since that review. The terms of reference for this review are to investigate:

Leading and managing change including strengthening:

  • relationships between management and other service personnel;
  • programme planning and evaluation;
  • training and support for visiting teachers and educators; and
  • quality assurance guidelines for operations and practice.

2 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Pukeko is one of five home-based care networks operating in Hamilton and the Waikato region under the ownership of Kids at Home Ltd. Educators and nannies are supported by qualified early childhood education teachers in providing care and education for children from birth to school age. Pukeko is a quality home-based care network. Twenty-three children identify as Māori and 23 are under two years old.

At the time of the last ERO review, Kids at Home had recently purchased three Easy Mind home based care networks. While there were areas of good performance, the integration of two companies had resulted in significant challenges for management, visiting teachers, educators and families. Over the last twelve months considerable progress has been made in consolidating administration, quality assurance, health and safety systems, personnel management and programme planning.

The owner/licensee provides strong organisational leadership and management. She brings clear direction and a shared sense of purpose to this service. There are positive, respectful and collaborative relationships among staff, educators and parents.

Learning experiences provided by educators within their homes are effectively guided and supported by experienced visiting teachers. During regular visits, teachers thoughtfully discuss children needs, model effective interactions and support educators to observe and document children’s learning in valuable and good-quality profiles.

The recent development of a licensed purpose-built early childhood facility provides a focal point for the organisation, and contributes positively to the range and quality of learning programmes. Regular well-attended play and music groups complement home-based learning.

Effective and systematic self review is contributing to continued improvement in the quality of education and care provided by the service.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interests of the children. Therefore ERO will review the service again as part of the regular review cycle

3 Findings

Leading and managing change

Background

At the time of the last ERO review Kids at Home had recently purchased three Easy Mind home based care networks. The integration of two companies resulted in significant challenges for management, visiting teachers, educators and families. Since that review one network has closed and another network is not currently providing for any children.

Areas of good performance identified in the 2010 ERO review included quality of care, positive interactions with children, and a range of learning experiences. Kids at Home Pukeko is a quality home-based care network.

Areas of progress

Relationships: Management and visiting teachers have worked hard to develop and consolidate a shared professional culture and educational philosophy. This has resulted in an agreed purpose, focus and direction for the delivery of effective education and care. Management and visiting teachers work as a cohesive team and provide consistent guidance and support for educators. They have established regular contact and communication systems to engage and seek feedback from parents in support of their child’s learning. There are positive, respectful and collaborative relationships throughout the organisation.

Learning programme: The recent development of a licensed early childhood facility has been a major factor in strengthening learning programmes. Educators and children can attend two visiting teacher-led music and playgroups sessions a week. The centre has an extensive range of high-quality resources that are also available for educator-led activity at other times. In addition, children benefit from regular gymnastics sessions and excursions within the wider community.

Home-based learning programmes are effectively guided and supported by visiting teachers. They assist educators to notice and recognise children’s emerging interests and to plan and implement relevant experiences that promote their learning. During regular visits, teachers thoughtfully discuss children’s needs, model effective interactions and support educators to observe and document children’s learning in valuable and good-quality profiles.

Features of the learning programme include the natural integration of early literacy, numeracy, Māori language perspectives, creativity, social cooperative play, and physical challenge.

Professional learning and development: The service has made good progress in developing and implementing procedures to support teachers in sharing and increasing their professional knowledge. They have undertaken a comprehensive review of quality home-based care theory and practice and developed agreed expectations for the continual improvement of the service. Practices such as peer observation and monthly evaluative questions prompt reflection, and contribute to the development of a professional learning culture.

Training and support for educators has continued to improve. Educators actively participate in well-attended music and play sessions where they observe visiting teachers modelling useful strategies such as positive guidance, questioning, and engaging in children’s play. In addition, educators access training opportunities during playgroups and are encouraged to develop support networks amongst each other.

Quality assurance:  Comprehensive systems, supported by effective communication ensure that agreed expectations are consistently implemented and monitored at all levels of the organisation.  These include visiting teacher records, compliance checks in daily record books, appraisal and well-established health and safety processes. 

Effective self review is contributing to ongoing improvements in the quality of education and care provided by the service.  The annual plan outlines monthly reviews of policy and procedures, and aspects of network practices.  Self review is further informed by consultation with educators and parents, and guides decision making.

Agreed areas for further progress

The existing strategic plan has a strong focus on organisational and structural priorities, many of which have been achieved in 2011. Management and ERO agree that this plan should now strengthen its focus on educational and professional priorities.

4 Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interests of the children. Therefore ERO will review the service again as part of the regular review cycle.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

20 February 2012

About the Service

Licence type

Home-Based Care

Licensed under Chartered under

Licensed under Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Roll number

73

Gender composition

Girls 45 Boys 28

Ethnic composition

NZ European/ Pākehā 42

NZ Māori 23

Other 6

Indian 2

Review team on site

December 2011

Date of this report

20 February 2012

Previous ERO reports

Education Review November 2010

Education Review August 2008

Education Review October 2005

20 February 2012

To the Parents and Community of Kids at Home Ltd - Pukeko (30217)

This supplementary review evaluates the quality of education and care received by the children and the performance of the centre’s management in relation to specific terms of reference.

The Education Review Office [ERO] evaluation of Kids at Home Ltd - Pukeko (30217) follows.

Pukeko is one of five home-based care networks operating in Hamilton and the Waikato region under the ownership of Kids at Home Ltd. Educators and nannies are supported by qualified early childhood education teachers in providing care and education for children from birth to school age. Pukeko is a quality home-based care network. Twenty-three children identify as Māori and 23 are under two years old.

At the time of the last ERO review, Kids at Home had recently purchased three Easy Mind home based care networks. While there were areas of good performance, the integration of two companies had resulted in significant challenges for management, visiting teachers, educators and families. Over the last twelve months considerable progress has been made in consolidating administration, quality assurance, health and safety systems, personnel management and programme planning.

The owner/licensee provides strong organisational leadership and management. She brings clear direction and a shared sense of purpose to this service. There are positive, respectful and collaborative relationships among staff, educators and parents.

Learning experiences provided by educators within their homes are effectively guided and supported by experienced visiting teachers. During regular visits, teachers thoughtfully discuss children needs, model effective interactions and support educators to observe and document children’s learning in valuable and good-quality profiles.

The recent development of a licensed purpose-built early childhood facility provides a focal point for the organisation, and contributes positively to the range and quality of learning programmes. Regular well-attended play and music groups complement home-based learning.

Effective and systematic self review is contributing to continued improvement in the quality of education and care provided by the service.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interests of the children. Therefore ERO will review the service again as part of the regular review cycle

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood centre we encourage management to inform their community of any follow-up action they plan to do. You should talk to the management or licensee if you have any questions about this evaluation, the full ERO report or their future intentions.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the centre or see the ERO website, http://www.ero.govt.nz.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)