Kids Express - 16/04/2018

1 Evaluation of Kids Express

How well placed is Kids Express 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

Kids Express is a well-established private kindergarten in Swanson, West Auckland. The centre is licensed for 45 children aged two to five years, and offers both all-day and sessional care and education.

One of the two experienced owners/managers is a fully qualified early childhood teacher. A team of qualified and long serving staff members work together to provide education and care for children. Māori children make up 25 percent of the roll, which includes smaller groups of Asian children and a few from other ethnic backgrounds.

The centre's philosophy recognises children as curious, confident and capable learners. It promotes an environment that incorporates bicultural practices and celebrates diversity in the community. Partnerships with families and the community are valued.

The centre has a positive reporting history. Managers have responded well to ERO's 2013 recommendations to strengthen strategic planning and opportunities for sustained play.

The Review Findings

Children are supported well to become capable, confident learners with a strong sense of belonging. They benefit from a calm, unhurried pace to the day, and have good opportunities to develop sustained play. Children play cooperatively and purposefully in the spacious and attractive environment. They engage in rich conversations about their play and enjoy extending their ideas and curiosity. Children are encouraged to develop their independence and self-management skills.

High quality teaching practices are underpinned by teachers' warm and respectful relationships with children and parents. Inclusive practices ensure that children with additional learning needs are well supported. Teachers work collaboratively and facilitate opportunities for children's language development, inquiry and problem solving.

Well-considered play spaces and a wide selection of learning resources invite children to make choices about their play. Natural materials and artefacts reflect children's cultural backgrounds. The spacious outdoor area provides opportunities for physical challenge, imaginative and creative play, and exploration about the natural world.

Children experience a highly responsive curriculum that includes authentic learning, science and numeracy. Transitions into the centre are thoughtfully managed. Learning opportunities that build children's capability to be ready for school are promoted through the centre programme.

The programme aligns well with Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Individual portfolios record and inform parents about their children's learning. Documentation about recent learning is visible and informative.

Teachers have made good progress integrating bicultural perspectives into the programme and strengthening their use of te reo Māori. Centre practices and the environment celebrate the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand. Teachers are continuing to improve their understanding of tikanga Māori and purposeful approaches for supporting for Māori children's success. The use of Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners, should support this goal.

Internal evaluation is used well to help teachers enhance learning outcomes for children. Leaders have built a strong team culture of ongoing improvement and openness to learning. Progress towards centre goals is well monitored. Professional learning and mentoring support teachers' development and emerging leadership. Leaders continue to adapt and refine personnel management and appraisal systems to meet Education Council expectations. A next step is to strengthen teachers' individual inquiries about the effectiveness of their practice.

Robust systems, policies and procedures contribute to the effective management of the centre. The centre vision and philosophy are enacted through a shared commitment to high quality provision for children.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders agree that priorities to continue sustainable improvements include internal evaluation to enhance:

  • child-led inquiry and evaluation, and further challenges for children in the programme
  • evidenced-based practice, cultural competencies and teachers' individual inquiry, professional development and appraisal.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kids Express 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 Express will be in four years.

Julie Foley
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

16 April 2018 

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

Swanson, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

10323

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

45 children, over 2 years of age

Service roll

72

Gender composition

Girls       41
Boys      31

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Asian
other

18
39
  9
  6

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2018

Date of this report

16 April 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2013

Education Review

August 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.