Kindercare Learning Centres Ltd (Kilbirnie) - 13/03/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

The service is very well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.

Context

The Kindercare Learning Centre in Kilbirnie is part of a wider network that provides education and care for children from birth to five years of age. Centre operation and programmes are firmly based on three key values: “Safe, Loved and Learning”. Management systems are well established and effectively support day-to-day operations. The centre operated under two licences from 2008, until a merger in 2012.

The purpose-built facility comprises five rooms, each set up for a particular age group. Staffing levels are high, particularly in the rooms for babies and toddlers.

Since the February 2010 ERO report, a new centre director has led significant improvements. These include a focus on creating a home-away-from-home environment, enhancing teachers’ conversations with individual children, further developing strategies for transition to school and celebrating cultural diversity. Partnership with parents and whānau is highly valued.

Teachers, parents and children are well aware of tsunami risk, and have meticulously planned and trialled robust safety procedures.

Good progress has been made in addressing areas identified in 2010 as requiring development. Centre managers have determined that continued refinement of self-review processes is needed to promote ongoing improvement in outcomes for children.

The Review Findings

Children play and learn in a high quality physical and social environment. They are provided with a wide selection of equipment, resources and materials to create with and explore. Self-directed free play is highly evident both indoors and outdoors.

Interactions between children and adults are warm and nurturing. Skilled questioning by teachers extends children’s thinking and problem-solving skills. Conversations, dramatic play and experimentation are encouraged and often sustained over lengthy periods of time. Groups of children play cooperatively, and the design of outdoor spaces enables them to see what older and younger children are doing. This high visibility helps prepare them for transition from one room to the next.

Teachers demonstrate a deep understanding of each child as a unique learner. They recognise and respect cultural diversity and special needs. Through close observation, they identify children’s interests and strengths and plan group and individual programmes, tailored to promote learning.

  • The next step for leaders and teachers is to evaluate the effectiveness of group programmes in terms of outcomes for children.

Profiles and journals give parents and whānau a meaningful record of children’s progress and development over time. Centre leaders are aware that the quality of these records is variable and they are providing appropriate support and guidance to address this.

Teachers help children become increasingly independent. Four-year-olds are well prepared for school. Older children enjoy and benefit from a programme that promotes their learning and skills using portable computers.

Centre leaders model a highly reflective approach. The director is an effective professional leader. She is well supported by the area manager, who visits regularly and provides constructive feedback. Teachers are encouraged to take on leadership roles and given opportunities to increase their capability and skills. A strong sense of collaboration is apparent among the leadership team.

A high level of commitment to bicultural practice is evident. Elements of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are integrated into the programme. Leaders and teachers foster close connections with whānau and are learning about local Māori history and customs.

  • Leaders recognise the need for ongoing professional development to maintain and further build teachers’ confidence in and knowledge of Māori language and culture.

Regular formal reflection leads teachers to question and modify their practice. Appraisal processes effectively support continuous improvement. Collegiality is evident within and across the teaching teams.

The respective roles and responsibilities of managers and leaders are clearly defined and well understood. A robust, internal review framework underpins a culture of continuous improvement.

  • To strengthen centre staff’s knowledge of the effectiveness of their programmes and operation, an agreed next step for leaders and managers is to fully enact the Kindercare self-review cycle.

Centre systems, policies and procedures effectively support the ongoing promotion of positive outcomes for children.

2 Legal Requirements

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.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region (Acting)

13 March 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Kilbirnie, Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

60103

Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

100 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll

120

Gender composition

Female 70

Male 50

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Asian

Pacific

Māori

Other ethnicities

82

18

8

5

7

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Exceeds minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:8

Exceeds minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2013

Date of this report

13 March 2013

Most recent ERO reports

First report on merged centres

Education Review (301P)

Education Review (301)

February 2010

February 2010

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

  • 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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.

Disclaimer

Individual ERO school and early childhood service reports are public information and may be copied or sent electronically. However, the Education Review Office can guarantee only the authenticity of original documents which have been obtained in hard copy directly from either the local ERO office or ERO National Office in Wellington.