Kidsfirst Kindergartens Redwood - 12/02/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

Kidsfirst Kindergartens Redwood is well placed to promote positive outcomes for all children.

Context

Kidsfirst Kindergartens administers 62 kindergartens and one early learning centre in Canterbury and the West Coast. An education services manager (ESM) works with each kindergarten giving feedback and professional support. All teachers employed by Kidsfirst Kindergartens are fully qualified and registered early childhood teachers.

Kidsfirst Kindergartens Redwood experienced a number of changes in staff due to teachers taking on leadership opportunities in other kindergartens. The hours of operation for the kindergarten were in Term 4, 2012 changed to better meet the needs of its community and more closely align to the school day. At the time of this ERO review, it was the long-serving head teacher’s last week at the kindergarten. The Kidsfirst Kindergartens ESM has supported the teaching team to manage these changes well.

Teachers provide an inclusive programme and a calm and well organised learning environment. An attractive outdoor area provides good opportunities for children’s physical play.

Children with special education needs are well supported by teachers and specialist agencies in the community.

Teachers have established relationships with the local school to support children’s transition.

This review was conducted as part of a cluster approach to reviews in nine early childhood education services within the Kidsfirst Kindergartens umbrella organisation.

Areas of strength

Teachers' positive relationships with children and families support their wellbeing and sense of belonging. Parents are warmly welcomed and encouraged to spend time at the kindergarten. Teachers know children well because they take the time to talk with parents about children’s experiences outside of kindergarten.

Teachers are caring and respectful during interactions with children. They encourage children’s interests, affirm their efforts with their work, and celebrate their successes. Teachers use a range of ways to help children to settle well at activities of interest. They encourage children to learn how to play successfully with others. During the review, ERO observed children playing well with and alongside others, sharing ideas and developing friendships. Many older children supported and guided younger children.

The programme is well resourced and presented in ways that engage children’s involvement in a wide range of activities including art and literacy. Teachers provide long periods of uninterrupted time for children to develop their relationships and their learning interests.

Teachers support children’s oral language. They encourage children to talk about their interests within and outside of kindergarten. Teachers are increasingly engaging children in conversations that help them extend on their thinking and ideas. Some teachers are making good use of technology, such as computers, to support children to research, investigate and share their ideas. Teachers recognise when children may need support with their language development and seek additional help and resources.

The teachers work well together and have a shared vision for children’s learning. The head teacher has maintained a strong sense of teamwork and a shared focus on ongoing improvement. Teachers’ strengths are recognised and valued. They have good opportunities to use their skills and demonstrate leadership. The ESM provides useful and specific feedback on teaching practices and the programme. Teachers are very reflective and talk with one another about what they are doing and how they can further improve outcomes for children.

Teachers keep useful records of children's interests and strengths and participation in the programme. Teachers have improved the ways they plan the programme and review the effectiveness of their practices. Programme planning is now more clearly documented and focused on outcomes for children. Self-review practices are now better planned and follow a useful format.

Kidsfirst Kindergartens Association has a well developed policy and practice framework to support the daily and long term operation of the kindergarten. The association is kept well informed about the work of the kindergarten by the ESM and head teacher. The Kidsfirst Kindergartens senior leadership team has recently developed a new process for reviewing and reporting kindergarten information. This process is likely to help them to further identify the appropriate support required to improve learning outcomes for children.

Areas for development and review

Teachers, with the support of the ESM, have reliably identified that they need to further develop and refine some aspects of children’s assessment and programme planning. They also acknowledge they are developing their understanding and use of practices that will enable them to review outcomes for children more effectively.

Teachers have stated, and ERO agrees, that bicultural practices need strengthening. This includes:

  • increasing Māori perspectives in curriculum documentation and the kindergarten’s environment
  • finding out more about parent and whānau aspirations for their children to experience success as Māori.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kidsfirst Kindergartens Redwood completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they select ‘have’ or ‘have not’ 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.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

12 February 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

5449

Licence type

Kindergartens

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

45 children,number aged over two years of age

Service roll

38

Gender composition

Girls 21; Boys 17

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā

Māori

Asian

Other ethnicities

27

7

3

1

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

     
 

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2012

Date of this report

12 February 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Accountability Review

November 2007

October 2005

January 2001

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

  • 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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.