Kidz Way Early Learning Centre - 07/02/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

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

Kidz Way Early Learning Centre is very well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.

Context

Kidz Way Early Learning Centre is situated in Tapanui, a small rural-town in West Otago. The centre is owned and run by the Kidz Way Trust. It is a non-profit organisation linked to a local church group.

The centre’s vision is to build a strong community for the children and families that attend. The centres programmes and practices are based on Christian teachings and values. Teaching practices are also influenced by the Reggio Emilia philosophy

The centre provides education and care programmes for 30 children from two to five years of age. Most children attend for up to 20 hours.

The centre is in its fourth year of operation and has a stable teaching team. The centre has made very good progress in addressing the recommendations of the previous ERO report; this includes improving the appraisal systems and support for beginning teacher.

Areas of strength

Children and their families benefit from a strong sense of community that is evident in the centre. The centre provides very good support for local families. This includes:

  • enabling children to stay longer in the centre when farm work is very time consuming
  • the Trust providing an English as a second language (ESOL) group to support migrant families
  • providing guest speakers and parenting courses
  • helping families gain support from outside agencies.

Children experience very warm and trusting relationships with their teachers. Many of the children have strong friendships with each other. They share interests, enjoy each other’s company and have fun as they learn and play. They settle quickly on arrival and actively make choices about what they want to do throughout the day. They spend sustained time at these activities. Teachers help children to revisit activities and experiences so that they build on their learning over time.

Teachers plan and implement a wide range of interesting programmes and experiences that reflects the centre’s vision, philosophy and values. Christian values and celebrations are natural components. Children learn about Easter and Christmas and have a focus on Christian virtues such as caring, consideration and compassion. In addition the centre programmes reflects its rural community, for example, pet day, duck shooting day, learning about tractors, farming, underpass building and construction. Many of the conversations teachers have with children reflect their knowledge of life on the farm. Early literacy and numeracy are very well integrated into the programme in ways that are meaningful to children.

Teachers have proactively built good links with local schools. They work collaboratively with schools to develop effective transition processes.

The head teacher and teachers have a strong commitment to building their knowledge and understanding of Māori perspectives. They have actively sought professional development and incorporate their learning into the programme. Children hear and use some te reo Māori, waiata and learn some tikanga practices including karakia mo te kai.

The next step is to extend these good practices to the governance. The Trust needs to consider how it might show its commitment to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi within its strategic framework, annual plan, vision and philosophy.

The head teacher and the team have regularly revised and refined the way they plan the individual and group programmes. They make good use of self-review and ongoing professional development to inform their thinking about how to document children’s learning. Teachers have made very good progress in the ways they consult with parents about the aspirations they have for their children. They use these to identify learning intentions and develop strategies and experiences to extend children’s learning.

The head teacher provides very good leadership to the team. She is well supported by a management committee and the trust. The centre is well resourced and managed with effective systems for health safety and property management. The centres operations are guided by strategic planning and a useful policy framework.

A strength of the centre is the way in which self review is used to make ongoing improvements to the programmes and practices and all aspects of the centres operations. The Trust is kept well informed on the effective operation of the centre. This could be further strengthened by aligning the focus of self review to the strategic plan and reporting the outcomes to the Trust.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kidz Way 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.

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

7 February 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Tapanui, West Otago

Ministry of Education profile number

80067

Licence type

Education & Care Service - All Day

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children. Nil aged under 2

Service roll

57

Gender composition

Boys: 32

Girls: 25

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Dutch

Turkish

49

5

2

1

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

 

Over 2

1:7

Exceeds minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2012

Date of this report

7 February 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2009