Kidz @ Wintec - 31/07/2013

1 Evaluation of Kidz @ Wintec

How well placed is Kidz @ Wintec 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

Kidz @ Wintec provides education and care for children from three months to school age. It is a purpose built centre that is governed by, and located at, Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec). It is licensed to cater for 50 children including 20 under two years old. The centre has two separate areas to cater for these age groups. Children and teachers come from many different nationalities. A significant number are identified as Māori.

The 2010 ERO report identified many areas of good practice, but found that there was a need to make improvements to programme evaluation and the team approach in the under-two area. Since that review, very good progress has been made in establishing and implementing good teaching practice for infants and toddlers.

Kidz @ Wintec’s philosophy aims to provide children with play-based learning experiences. This approach recognises that children are confident and capable learners. The centre manager has oversight for day-to-day operation of the centre. She is supported by two team leaders who each have leadership responsibility for different ages in separate rooms. There is an emphasis on appointing qualified teachers. Wintec’s Student Support Services manager, along with other Wintec personnel, provides support for centre managers with regard to leadership, personnel management, health and safety and other policies and procedures.

The centre enjoys a positive relationship with the wider Wintec community.

The Review Findings

Children in the under-two area benefit from teachers’ respectful, responsive interactions that promote a nurturing and caring atmosphere. Recent professional development has resulted in an emphasis on recognising children’s individual physical and emotional needs, and adjusting centre routines to more naturally meet those needs. There is a calm and settled tone for infants and toddlers throughout the day. In the over twos area, there is a focus on promoting children’s self-management skills and providing opportunities for incidental exploration. This has led to children displaying independence in a variety of situations within the programme. In both areas, learning environments are stimulating, welcoming and well resourced.

The centre fosters parent partnerships that focus on children’s learning and well-being. Inclusive practices assist children from many different nationalities and those with special needs to feel that they belong at the centre. Bicultural perspectives are well incorporated into the daily programme, which includes regular visits to the Wintec marae. Learning stories show that teachers recognise and respond to children’s interests. They are able to select play and exploration-based activities, which are regularly refreshed. Literacy, mathematics and science are integrated within learning and play activities. Children benefit from an interesting and stimulating programme.

The experienced centre manager provides effective leadership for teachers. Team leaders are taking increased responsibility for area and centre-wide leadership. Together, they access management and leadership advice and guidance from relevant Wintec courses. Planned and spontaneous self review includes the analysis of information from a wide range of sources, that promote best practice research and theory. Centre leaders place a high priority on maintaining good communication with parents/whānau and external support agencies. There is an emphasis on collaborative team work that aims to provide positive outcomes for children.

Wintec Student Support Services provides clear strategic direction and generous budgeting to provide good quality education and care for infants and young children. Trainee and provisionally registered teachers receive strong support from centre leaders. In turn, the centre is able to access professional support from Wintec’s school of education. Appraisal processes are aligned with Wintec values and expectations and are being increasingly adjusted to include early childhood education requirements.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre managers agree that key next steps are to review and develop processes for staff appraisal, programme planning and practices that identify children’s learning through play. There is also a need to increase the consistency of intentional teaching to extend children’s thinking and exploration in the over-two area.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kidz @ Wintec 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 Kidz @ Wintec will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

31 July 2013

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

Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

34067

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll

73

Gender composition

Boys 39 Girls 34

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

African

Chinese

Indian

Pacific

Asian

Latin American

Middle Eastern

16

30

6

6

4

4

3

2

2

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2013

Date of this report

31 July 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2010

 

Education Review (as Waikato Institute Technology Childcare)

October 2007

 

Education Review (as Waikato Institute of Technology Childcare Centre)

June 2004

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.