Kindercare Learning Centres (21) Sylvia Park - 27/03/2015

1 Evaluation of Kindercare Learning Centres (21) Sylvia Park

How well placed is Kindercare Learning Centres (21) Sylvia Park 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 (21) Sylvia Park, in Auckland, provides education and care for 70 children, including up to 25 under two years of age. The centre director and many of the teachers are long-serving staff members at the centre.

The centre has an inclusive, family-oriented approach. The cultural diversity of the local community is reflected in the children and families at the centre. Centre staff develop strong relationships and effective communication with families/whānau. Parents express positive feedback about the sense of family and the care and education provided for their children.

Children are cared for in three age-related learning areas. The infants and toddlers room includes separate space for those not yet mobile. An additional room is used for older children’s group project work and a structured preparation for school programme for children nearing five years of age.

The Kindercare umbrella organisation provides management and administration systems to support centre operations. The centre works within an overarching Kindercare philosophy which focuses in children being ‘safe, loved and learning’. Centre staff have further developed this philosophy to reflect the context of their centre. They have responded positively to recommendations in ERO’s 2012 report.

The Review Findings

Positive relationships are evident between teachers and children. Children are settled and engaged in their play and demonstrate a sense of belonging and wellbeing. The centre is committed to a primary caregiver approach for children of all ages.

Teachers are responsive to children’s ideas and interests. They provide opportunities for both independent and collaborative play, and enhance children’s social skills through positive guidance and modelling. Sustained conversations between teachers and children develop children’s thinking and oral language. Creative and imaginative play is evident. The tone in the babies’ room is calm and nurturing, and teachers are responsive to individual children’s routines and requirements.

Learning programmes are underpinned by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. The ‘notice, recognise and respond’ approach to planning builds on children’s emerging interests. Good systems have been developed to build teachers’ understanding and implementation of this approach, including documentation of individual and group planning and assessment. Centre leaders are continuing to develop strategies to further enhance assessment, planning and evaluation practices and increase the depth and quality of teaching and learning.

Indoor and outdoor environments are well resourced with thoughtful use of space. This provides age-appropriate learning activities, including opportunities for physical challenge. Recent review of the indoor environment has resulted in the creation of welcoming and homely play spaces. Teachers will continue to review environments to ensure they provoke children's interests and stimulate learning.

Staff have established strong relationships with family/whānau and are continuing to explore ways to extend these positive learning partnerships. Teachers use a range of systems, including high quality daily journals and portfolios, to provide parents with good information about children’s daily routines and activities, as well as their ongoing development and learning. Parents have opportunities to input into centre programmes, review and decision making.

Transition within the centre is well considered and responsive to individual children’s requirements. Staff are building good relationships with local schools to support children’s transition beyond the centre. Teachers could consider the structure of some aspects of the programme, such as mat times, to ensure that these practices reflect best practice learning in early childhood settings.

Centre leaders recognise the need to continue to review and strengthen ways in which the centre reflects the bicultural heritage of New Zealand. Developments could include:

  • building staff confidence and capability in use of te reo me ōna tikanga Māori
  • considering ways in which the centre environment could better reflect New Zealand’s bicultural heritage
  • acknowledging Te Tiriti o Waitangi in the centre’s philosophy and policy framework.

An experienced and capable centre director provides high quality professional leadership. Teachers are well supported to work collaboratively in a culture of reflection and commitment to ongoing improvement. They have good opportunities for professional learning and development, and robust appraisal processes. An increasingly shared leadership model is providing good opportunities for teachers to take on responsibilities within the centre. The recent appointment of a team leader should also continue to build teacher capability and leadership sustainability.

Kindercare governance and management systems, including a policy and procedural framework and annual management plan, provide good guidance for centre goal setting and operations. Centre staff receive professional support from an area manager. Centre systems effectively support and complement these overarching structures. The centre director is continuing to review and strengthen systems and procedures to reflect their relevance to the centre context and to ensure these are pertinent working documents to guide practice and build capability. Useful self review processes have been established and managers are continuing to refine and extend these.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre managers agree that the next key steps for the centre are to:

  • further develop bicultural practices to better meet the bicultural expectations of Te Whāriki
  • further develop annual planning to more closely support centre strategic goals
  • continue to review and refine teaching and learning programmes to reflect both the context of the centre and current best practice.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kindercare Learning Centres (21) Sylvia Park 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 Centres (21) Sylvia Park will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

27 March 2015

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

Sylvia Park, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20204

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

70 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll

76

Gender composition

Girls 41 Boys 35

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Chinese

Indian

Samoan

Tongan

Cook Island

South East Asian

other Pacific

other

17

14

11

8

6

4

3

5

4

4

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

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2015

Date of this report

27 March 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2012

 

Education Review

March 2009

 

Review Type

Click here to enter a date.

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.