Kids Time Kindergarten - 01/07/2020

1 Evaluation of Kids Time Kindergarten

How well placed is Kids Time Kindergarten to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Kids Time Kindergarten requires further development to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

A number of areas of compliance and practice to improve need to be addressed, to ensure compliance with all licensing requirements as outlined in the Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Services 2008.

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to governance, management and administration, and health and safety.

While some acknowledgment has been made to address the areas for development and key next steps in the 2016 ERO report, they remain an ongoing focus for the kindergarten.

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

Background

Kids Time Kindergarten is a privately-owned early childhood service located in Ngāruawāhia. It is licenced for 50 children and offers full-day education and care to children aged from three and a half years to school age. It is one of two licensed Kids Time services, with the Early Learning Centre located adjacent to the kindergarten. The centre owners delegate the day-to-day running of the kindergarten to the general manager, who also provides professional leadership and guidance for the teaching team. The owners and administration manager are responsible for administrative duties and financial management. At the time of this ERO review 38 children were enrolled, including 26 who identify as Māori.

The kindergarten's vision aims to provide quality care and education underpinned by children’s wellbeing, curiosity and a life-long love of learning. The philosophy prioritises children as valued individuals based on respect and aroha. It also values meaningful relationships with parents, whānau and community through respectful communication

Since the last ERO review in 2016 there have been many changes to the teaching team. A new general manager was appointed during 2019 as a result of a management restructure. An ongoing challenge for the centre has been to develop sustainability of centre practices due to the significant changes in personnel.

The Review Findings

Deliberate strategies enhance learning outcomes for children. Skills for social and emotional competence are fostered through positive guidance strategies. Warm and respectful relationships promote whānau involvement in the kindergarten and develop partnerships for learning. There are many opportunities for children to exercise choice and direct their own learning through play and exploration. The outdoor environment supports children’s risk taking and co-ordination skills. Caring interactions contribute to children’s sense of belonging and wellbeing.

The curriculum is responsive to children's needs. Group planning acknowledges children's emerging interests and promotes engagement in the learning programme. Regular observations of children by teachers in everyday activities builds a picture of what they know, think and can do. The Special Education Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) assists leaders and teachers with inclusive practices. Children with additional needs are clearly identified and individualised planning is in place to meet their ongoing needs. Positive liaison with external agencies supports children’s learning and behaviour. The provision of targeted resourcing enables equitable opportunities for children and their whānau.

The kindergarten has accessed the Tainui Education Plan and is exploring ways to integrate and support Waikato Tainui values and priorities into kindergarten processes and practices. There is still a need to strengthen bicultural perspectives by incorporating the history, stories and places of significance for Tainui more systematically into the kindergarten’s programme. There have been some changes to the way teachers are planning for children’s learning. These now need time to be fully explored and implemented. Leaders agree in continuing to support teachers to implement strategies to deliberately extend and add complexity to children’s learning.

Leadership has established a positive culture for learning with high levels of trust and co-operation. Professional development is prioritised to support continuous kindergarten improvement. Leadership is focused on building teacher capability in assessment, planning and evaluation through regular collaboration and sharing of practices. This is still an identified area for ongoing development. Respectful relationships are enhanced through open communication and an environment where children are valued, celebrated and affirmed.

Owners and managers work collaboratively to uphold the vision for the kindergarten. Regular consultation with parents informs planning and direction. Priority has been placed on reviewing the philosophy with staff input to enable shared understanding and consistent implementation. Detailed strategic planning has been developed and now needs to be fully implemented and evaluated. The plan has clear goals and actions for improvement, which include a focus on strengthening bicultural practices, supporting diverse learners and improving the quality of teaching and learning. Establishing a clear policy review cycle is needed to support improved compliance practice.

Key Next Steps

There is a need to develop a sustainable approach to ongoing kindergarten improvement. Priority should be given to:

  • ensuring regular policy review is undertaken to inform kindergarten practices
  • developing a systematic approach to internal evaluation that monitors and evaluates the impact of strategies on learning outcomes for children
  • continuing to develop a distributed model of leadership to support shared quality assurance practices.

Continuing to build teacher confidence, knowledge and use of Te Whāriki is an agreed focus for the kindergarten. This should support leaders and teachers to:

  • strengthen assessment, planning and evaluation that responds to the language, culture and identify of Māori and the individual needs of all children
  • continue to add complexity to children’s learning over time and ensure that it is well aligned to learning outcomes.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kids Time Kindergarten 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.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance in relation to governance, management and administration (GMA), and health and safety (HS).

To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance by:

  • undertaking an ongoing process of self-review that helps to maintain and improve the quality of education and care, especially in relation to health and safety policies and practices
  • ensuring all emergency drills are carried out and evaluated, including lockdown procedures
  • ensuring heavy furniture that could fall or topple and cause serious injury or damage is secured.

[Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA6, HS8, HS6].

During the onsite visit the compliance matter related to HS6 was satisfactorily addressed.

In order to improve practice, governance and management need to review and update policies/procedures on:

  • monitoring children’s sleep
  • managing children who are unwell or infectious
  • nappy changing
  • laundry
  • food safety
  • kitchen handwashing
  • excursions.

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service, in consultation with the Ministry of Education, develops a plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region - Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

1 July 2020

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

Ngāruawāhia

Ministry of Education profile number

45289

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, aged over 2

Service roll

38

Gender composition

Female 21 Male 17

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

26
9
3

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

March 2020

Date of this report

1 July 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2016

Education Review

January 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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.