Kidz Way Early Learning Centre - 20/05/2016

1 Evaluation of Kidz Way Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Kidz Way Early Learning Centre 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

This centre is owned and run by the KidzWay Trust, a non-profit organisation. The centre and trust are linked to a local church. Christian teachings and values underpin the centre's programmes and practices.

Up to 30 children, over two years of age attend this full-day service. Children come from the Tapanui township and surrounding rural area.

Since the 2013 ERO review, there have been few changes in staff. A trust board oversees the centre. Several trustees, the head teacher and centre administrator form a management committee.

The centre has made very good progress against the recommendations in ERO's last report.

The Review Findings

Children settle quickly on arrival and know the centre's well-established routines and expectations. They play well alongside and with their friends, and show sustained interest in their play and activities. New children and families are made to feel welcome.

Teachers are respectful and responsive in the way they interact with the children. They ensure that there is a good balance between teacher and child-led learning activities. They support and encourage children to attempt new tasks and/or skills, take risks, be independent and take responsibility.

Teachers have a shared understanding of what good-quality interactions should look like in the centre. They intentionally use open-ended questions to encourage children to think more deeply and engage in sustained conversations. Children are given time to think and respond. Teachers encourage children to support each other in their learning.

The head teacher and teachers have built very close relationships with whānau/families. They listen and respond to parents' views about their child's learning and how these can best be supported. The culture of care extends to children's families.

Teachers think deeply about how they can support Māori children well to stand proud in their culture and be successful in their learning. They genuinely seek and respond to the wishes of the parents of Māori children.

Some children whose families are new to New Zealand attend the centre. Teachers go to great lengths to make these families feel part of the centre’s bigger family. They also endeavour to learn about these children’s language and culture, and celebrate this diversity.

Children make very good use of the inviting indoor and outdoor environment. Teachers intentionally set up resources and activities that excite and engage the children. These are often linked to group plans. For example, to support a trip to the beach, teachers will provide a table of shells to explore, books about the seashore, a display of children's questions, art and stories all linked to a sea theme.

Children benefit from a broad and interesting curriculum. This is largely based on local events and children’s interests. Teachers make frequent links to children's lives beyond the centre. They value children's views and seek their ideas when planning programmes.

Teachers know the children well as individuals and as learners. Each child has an individual learning plan that includes clear learning goals. Parents, children and all staff contribute to these. Teachers think deeply about the strategies they will use to support the intended learning. They evaluate each child's progress against the goals. Parents appreciate the informative learning stories they get about their child.

Other curriculum strengths include rich opportunities for children to learn about and enjoy:

  • healthy foods and physical activity
  • early literacy and mathematics.

The trust board and staff show a genuine commitment to valuing Māori language and culture. Teachers show a growing awareness of core Māori concepts such as whanaungatanga, manaakitanga and tuakana-teina like relationships. Trustees, leaders and teachers see bicultural practice as an ongoing priority.

The centre is very well managed and governed. A clearly stated vision, philosophy and 'valued outcomes' set the direction for the centre and guide decision making and learning priorities. There are positive relationships and good communication between staff, the head teacher and trustees. At all levels, there is a strong commitment to providing high-quality early childhood education.

The head teacher is implementing a new appraisal system. When fully implemented, it will align better with new requirements and best-practice expectations. Teachers appreciate the positive staff culture and the way that their interests and strengths are valued. They work well as a team to provide the best for children.

Key Next Steps

The head teacher, teachers and trustees have identified, and ERO agrees, that the next steps for this centre are to:

  • fully implement the recent and intended improvements to the appraisal system
  • continue to build teachers' bicultural practices, and their confidence and competence in te reo Māori
  • strengthen reviews by including a greater evaluative focus.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Chris Rowe

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

20 May 2016

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

Tapanui

Ministry of Education profile number

80067

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children aged over 2

Service roll

52

Gender composition

Girls: 28

Boys: 24

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Indian

8

42

2

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

 

Over 2

1:9

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

20 May 2016

Most recent ERO reports

 

Education Review

February 2013

Education Review

November 2009

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.