Kids Domain Early Learning Centre - 30/01/2014

1. Evaluation of Kids Domain Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Kids Domain Early Learning Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Kids Domain provides high quality early childhood education that promotes the wellbeing and learning of all children attending the centre.

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

Background

Kids Domain Early Learning Centre is a well-established centre that caters for the children of staff working at Auckland City Hospital. The centre is situated in the hospital grounds. The centre caters for 100 children grouped by age and patterns of attendance in spacious, interlinked rooms. Playgrounds for each group are adjacent to the Auckland Domain and provide well for children’s play.

The centre is governed by an executive committee. Leaders in the centre delegate responsibility for management tasks amongst staff, and positions allocated include those of curriculum leader and education leader. Internal reporting to members of the executive committee ensure that they are informed about the day-to-day operation of the centre, the quality of the provision for children and the centre’s progress towards achieving strategic goals.

The centre caters for children from a variety of cultural backgrounds. Teachers reflect some of these cultures. Festivals and traditions that are meaningful for children’s families are celebrated in the centre.

The majority of the teachers are fully registered. The education leader provides appropriate induction programmes for provisionally registered teachers. Ratios of teachers to children are maintained at levels higher than minimum requirements.

The centre has had a positive ERO reporting history. All suggestions for improvement made in the 2012 ERO report have led to the review of, and refinements to, centre practices.

The Review Findings

Kids Domain is a busy and exciting place for children. The centre caters well for the different needs, pace and interests of children. There is quiet, personalised care for very young children and the oldest children are identified as the leaders in the centre. All children are carefully nurtured, encouraged to be confident communicators and leaders of their own learning.

Children are well supported to learn. All staff welcome children and support their transition into and through the centre. Children settle quickly and are trusting and responsive with teachers. Centre leaders set high standards to guide teaching practice. Teachers provide programmes that are highly reflective of good practice in early childhood education. They blend their philosophical approaches

to incorporate relevant educational theories and approaches advocated in Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. The resulting programmes for children are unhurried and thoughtfully planned and implemented. They support children to develop their emotional, social and intellectual capability.

Children are confident and capable learners. Teachers provide programmes that empower children to make choices about their learning. They foster children’s focused exploration and experimentation through their respectful and encouraging support for children’s thinking and ideas. With the help of teachers, children often develop elaborate, imaginative and deep interests that extend well beyond their initial ideas.

Teachers know children very well. They assess and plan purposefully for children’s different ways of learning. Teachers use portfolios to carefully document children’s personal learning journeys so that parents can be partners in their children’s learning. Ongoing collaboration between the education and curriculum leaders ensures support for all teachers to continually improve learning for children.

Partnerships between families and the centre are strong. Kids Domain staff consistently maintain a clear focus on high quality provision for children and their families. Parents are consulted about their ongoing aspirations for their children. Māori and Pacific families have opportunities to comment about the content of programmes and to input into teachers’ strategies for fostering children’s positive sense of their own identity, language and culture. There is strong support for all children to learn about New Zealand’s bicultural heritage. Teachers incorporate notions of respect and care for each other and the environment into the everyday life of the centre. They use te reo Māori naturally and appropriately as part of conversations.

Centre learning environments are attractive, interesting and carefully arranged to prompt children’s play. The centre is very well resourced with an appropriate range of high quality resources for children’s exploration. Teachers are quick to respond to children’s interests, providing additional resources to help elaborate play and promote further learning. Children thrive in an environment where they are trusted to use resources responsibly to further their own learning.

Teachers place a high priority on encouraging children’s interest in literacy, mathematics and science in meaningful contexts. Their suggestions encourage children’s interest in being readers, writers and explorers. Children are confident in using information and communication technologies to learn more about topics of interest to them.

Management practices and systems are highly developed. Centre leaders focus on review as a means of determining the effectiveness of teaching, and for managing all aspects of their work. Teachers undertake detailed and deep investigations into aspects of their teaching practice. They use teacher, child and parent input to gather comprehensive data and guide developments. Policies and procedures are regularly scrutinised and updated. Management strategic and annual planning continues to evolve. Appraisal processes are affirming and useful for teachers’ professional growth.

Key Next Steps

Centre managers and leaders will continue to review their practices and documentation to maintain the high standards they have established and to support the centre’s continuing improvement.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kids Domain Early Learning Centre 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 Kids Domain Early Learning Centre will be in four years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer-Northern

Northern Region

30 January 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

Newton, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20006

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

100 children, including up to 40 aged under 2

Service roll

148

Gender composition

Boys 78

Girls 70

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Chinese

Indian

Cook Island Māori

South East Asian

other European

other

9

89

18

5

4

7

9

7

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2014

Date of this report

30 January 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2012

 

Previously reviewed as:

Kids Domain Early Learning Centre 1, 2 and 3

 

Education Review

November 2008

 

Education Review

October 2005

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.