Kindercare Learning Centre Karori - 07/05/2018

1 Evaluation of Kindercare Learning Centre Karori

How well placed is Kindercare Learning Centre Karori 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

Kindercare Learning Centre Karori is one of eight learning services in the Wellington region, owned and operated by Kindercare Learning Centres Ltd, a national organisation. The centre is licensed for up to 100 children, including 37 up to two years of age. Of the 120 children enrolled, nine are Māori.

The purpose-built centre caters for children in age specific rooms that access shared outdoor spaces. Kindercare provides an overarching philosophy, policies and procedures and a framework to monitor health and safety. An area manager works in partnership with the centre director to support the operation of the centre.

The centre philosophy is based on three key values identified in the organisation's overarching philosophy, ‘Safe, Loved and Learning’. 

Since the March 2015 ERO report, there have been changes to staffing, including leadership. The previous ERO report identified areas requiring further development. These included: integration of bicultural perspectives in practice and guiding documentation; and programme planning and evaluation processes.

This is one of two reviews undertaken at the same time, of Kindercare centres in Wellington.

The Review Findings

Children confidently investigate in an environment that encourages open-ended exploration. A wide range of resources is available for them to follow their interests. Children are spoken to with warmth and respect by their teachers, who encourage their social and emotional competencies. Children engage in play in a calm atmosphere. They understand turn taking. Children demonstrate a high level of familiarity with the centre's rituals and routines.

Infants and toddlers are sensitively and responsively cared for by staff. Good two-way information sharing between homes and the centre is evident.

Children are well supported to transition into and through the centre. Transition to school practices continue to develop. A next step is to evaluate the impact of the practices on outcomes for children.

Curriculum planning and assessment are areas for development. Group planning guides the provision of a range of engaging activities and is becoming responsive to individual interests. A combination of teacher-directed and child-initiated learning is evident. Older children engage in a range of planned literacy, numeracy, and digital activities. Although there are some opportunities for children to revisit their learning, staff should consider how these might be extended.

Revisiting the philosophy in collaboration with parents, families and whānau should help to establish shared priorities for children's learning through reciprocal partnership, and include reflection of the diverse cultures of those who attend the service.

Through on-line learning stories, parents receive useful, regular information about their children’s progress. Regular communication and strong relationships with families are valued by managers and teachers. Planning to meet parents' aspirations for their children's learning is at the early stages of development.

The bicultural aspect of the centre's curriculum continues to require development. This was identified in the previous ERO report.  Review of the service's curriculum aligned to Te Whāriki (2017) is needed to clearly acknowledge outcomes for Māori children and reflect the centre's statement of bicultural partnership.

Centre leaders model a collaborative, reflective approach to practice. New roles and responsibilities have been created and practices put in place to support all teachers to improve their practice. Leaders provide regular, formal feedback that encourages teachers to question and improve their practice. Teachers are well supported in their professional learning and development.

Understanding about self review and internal evaluation continue to require development. A next step is for teachers to determine the effectiveness of their teaching actions on outcomes for children to better inform decision making.

Governance and management systems are well established and provide a clear framework for centre operation. There is a strong focus on building leadership. A key next step is for Kindercare to strengthen guiding policies and procedures to better acknowledge te ao Māori. Clearer expectations and guidance for teachers to implement a Treaty-based curriculum is required to improve practice at centre level. 

Key Next Steps

At service level, priorities are to:

  • further develop understanding and use of effective internal evaluation
  • continue the development and implementation of bicultural perspectives in practice and documentation
  • more strongly acknowledge children's culture, language and identity in their learning journals
  • use deliberate strategies to improve learning outcomes for Māori children
  • strengthen assessment, planning and evaluation.

Kindercare Learning Centres Ltd should strengthen policies, procedures and other guiding documentation to establish clearer expectations and guidance for teachers about curriculum and the bicultural intent of Te Whāriki (2017). These should align with the relevant licensing criteria.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kindercare Learning Centre Karori 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 Kindercare Learning Centre Karori will be in three years.

Patricia Davey
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

7 May 2018 

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

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

46282

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

100 children, including up to 37 aged under 2

Service roll

120

Gender composition

Boys 66, Girls 54

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

  9
80
31

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2018

Date of this report

7 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2015

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 whānaungatanga – 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.