Kindercare Learning Centres Ltd (Kilbirnie) - 05/04/2016

1 Evaluation of Kindercare Learning Centres Ltd (Kilbirnie)

How well placed is Kindercare Learning Centres Ltd (Kilbirnie) 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 Centres Kilbirnie is situated in a purpose-built complex. Full-time care and education is offered in buildings designed to suit the developmental stages of infants, toddlers and young children. The centre is licenced for up to 100 children, including 25 up to two years of age. Four percent of children enrolled identify as Māori.

This centre is one of seven early childhood education and care centres operated in the Wellington region and owned by the national organisation Kindercare Learning Centres Ltd. The centre director has responsibility for the day-to-day running of the centre.

Operation and programmes are firmly based on three key values identified in the centre's philosophy, ‘Safe, Loved and Learning’.

The March 2013 ERO report identified areas requiring further development. These included assessment practices, the bicultural programme and internal evaluation with a particular focus on group programmes. Good progress has been made in improving these areas.

This ERO review was part of a cluster of five education and care centre reviews in the Kindercare Learning Centres Ltd organisation.

The Review Findings

Children are highly engaged in a play-based programme that is responsive to individual and group interests. A strong emphasis is placed on promoting children's health and well-being within the well-considered curriculum. Many different physical and learning challenges are made available and a sense of enjoyment and fun is evident.

Teachers know children well within the context of their families. Effective strategies are used across the playrooms to make connections with their home lives. The thoughtful use of individual learning journals in the infant and toddler area assists in supporting children's transitions into the centre each day. Respectful and responsive caregiving is strongly evident.

Children's emerging interests form the basis of the planned programme. A recent initiative has been to involve older children in this planning process. Teachers encourage them to consider what it is they want to learn about within the topic of inquiry and support them to reach their goals. This strategy supports the development of a responsive curriculum and is highly respectful of children who are viewed as competent and confident learners. Leaders and teachers have identified that a next step is to involve children in the evaluation of the programme.

Careful consideration is given to children's readiness for school through the programme provided. Transition to school procedures support children and parents.

Assessment information is available on-line and parents enjoy sharing and responding to their child’s entries. Leaders and teachers are purposeful in the strategies they use to promote learning partnerships with parents' and whānau and involve them in designing their child's learning programme.

Teachers record each child’s development and learning through regular and useful assessment. They have an understanding of all children as unique participants and members of the centre’s learning community. Leaders have clearly identified their next steps in the continued improvement of assessment practices. These include teachers undertaking deeper analysis of information to identify what learning is significant and clearly identifying the progress of children's learning over time. ERO's evaluation affirms these next steps.

The bicultural programme is developing. At times te reo Māori is spoken by teachers and aspects of tikanga Māori are evident. Leaders have identified that this is an area they will continue to grow and integrate into the curriculum. In addition, strengthening the bicultural emphasis through the programme planning cycle is an important next step.

Leaders and teachers demonstrate a strong commitment to promoting educational success for Māori. Internal evaluation has been the impetus for ongoing development in this area. There has been a focus on developing relationships with parents and whānau, seeking and responding to parents' aspirations and linking with the local Māori community. Positive outcomes are evident. A next step is for leaders to consult with parents and Māori whānau about the centre philosophy and what educational success might look like for their children in this context. This should then be reflected through the curriculum.

Pacific children's language is valued and promoted through teachers' who speak their home language with them.

An established improvement-focused process guide's internal evaluation. Implementation of this process requires further development. Leaders agree that the key next steps are strengthening the robustness of evidence to support findings and evaluating how well practices improve outcomes for children.

Responsive professional learning is strengthening teachers’ skills, knowledge and practice. Good processes support teacher induction and ongoing development through targeted professional learning opportunities. Emergent leadership is actively promoted.

A positive team culture and consistently high quality practice is evident. Teachers are reflective practitioners who critique their professional practice. A supportive appraisal process is effectively linked to centre goals and promotes a programme of teacher development.

Strong leadership is evident. Effective methods are in place to monitor the quality of the curriculum and teacher practice. Leaders are committed to the Kindercare values and to providing high quality education and care.

The Kindercare Learning Centres organisation continues to provide strong governance for the service. Established policies, procedures and systems successfully guide the operation of the centre.

Key Next Steps

ERO acknowledges the high quality teaching practice evident in the service. To sustain and further improve this level of practice the service’s leaders agree that key next steps should include:

  • continuing to strengthen the quality of assessment, planning and evaluation

  • further developing the bicultural curriculum and consultation with parents of Māori children to develop a shared understanding of educational success in this context

  • furthering the understanding of effective internal evaluation processes.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kindercare Learning Centres Ltd (Kilbirnie) 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 Ltd (Kilbirnie) will be in four years.

Joyce Gebbie
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

5 April 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

Kilbirnie, Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

60103

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

100 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll

117

Gender composition

Boys 63, Girls 56

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Asian
Pacific
Other ethnic groups

5
81
26
  2
  5

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

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2016

Date of this report

5 April 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2013

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.