Kindercare Learning Centres Ltd (Kilbirnie) - 25/09/2019

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

Kindercare Learning Centres Ltd (Kilbirnie) is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

Kindercare Learning Centres Ltd (Kilbirnie) is one of eight learning services in the Wellington region owned and operated by Kindercare Learning Centres Ltd (the organisation). The centre is licensed for 100 children, including 25 aged under two years. Of the total roll of 125, seven children are Māori and 24 are Asian. Families represent a number of diverse cultures.

The purpose-built centre caters for children in age-specific rooms with some shared outdoor spaces. The organisation provides policies, 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 service philosophy is based on Kindercare’s three key values, ‘Safe, Loved and Learning.’

Since the April 2016 ERO report, leadership and teaching staff have remained stable. The 2016 ERO report identified areas requiring further development. These included assessment, planning and evaluation, internal evaluation practice, the bicultural curriculum, and responsiveness to Māori and Pacific families. Good progress has been made in improving internal evaluation practice. Progress is ongoing in all other areas.

This review was one of five in Kindercare Learning Centres Ltd in Wellington.

The Review Findings

Children play freely in thoughtfully designed, well-resourced indoor and outdoor environments. Their learning is fostered through play experiences based on their interests. Physical challenge is actively promoted. The use of sign language is a feature of the service.

Learning assessments show that teachers are alert to children’s progress and emerging interests. They provide thoughtfully selected experiences and resources to extend learning. Their respectful interactions support children to develop curiosity, confidence and independence. Cultural celebrations and special events enrich the programme.

Infants and toddlers benefit from a calm environment, sensory experiences and warm interactions with teachers. Toddlers are encouraged to challenge themselves and to engage in exploration and problem-solving. A sense of familiarity and security is provided through unhurried routine times.

Children with additional learning needs are identified and effectively supported in the programme. Leaders and teachers work alongside family and whānau to access external agencies when required.

Thoughtfully considered internal evaluation of transitions into and through the centre has led to improved systems and practices. Effective information-sharing strategies are used to support this process. Small group visits to local schools' supports children's transition to school.

Ongoing observations of children build a picture of what children can do and their interests. Learning and progress is celebrated though learning stories. Useful information about the valuable learning that occurs through play is regularly shared with parents in documentation. A next step is to strengthen the planning and evaluation components of assessment. Documentation should clearly show how teachers have used assessment information to inform deliberate, individualised teaching strategies. This should help teachers to better respond to parents' aspirations and children’s cultures, languages and identities.

In consultation with whānau and community, leaders and teachers should establish localised valued learning priorities that reflect the early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki. Clarifying what learning matters most to this learning community should support consistency and deliberate actions within the programme, and in assessment, planning and evaluation practices.

Positive relationships are developed with families. Teachers use a range of effective ways to communicate with parents and whānau about children's learning and progress. Engaging with whānau Māori to learn what educational success looks like for them is an identified focus.

Leaders have acknowledged the need to improve culturally responsive practices. Strategic planning at governance level and targeted professional learning is in place to improve outcomes for children, teachers and leaders. This should include:

  • supporting teachers to increase their use of te reo Māori in their interactions with children

  • building understanding and implementation of targeted and specific strategies that promote the success of tamariki Māori and Pacific children

  • improving parent partnership strategies to gather and use information about children’s diverse cultural contexts, languages and identities.

The effective leadership team works well together to support a cohesive and enthusiastic teaching team. Collaboration and effective communication are effectively promoted within the centre. A culture of improvement is evident. Teachers are encouraged to be reflective. Leadership opportunities are provided for staff.

Teacher inquiry continues to require development. Leaders and teachers should focus inquiries on outcomes for children. By focusing on outcomes, teachers would be better able to evaluate the effectiveness of practices and improvements.

The organisation has established systems to support the professional learning and development of teachers. There is a clear focus on building leadership. To better promote positive outcomes for children, the implementation and consistency of appraisal processes should be improved.

A next step for the organisation is to evaluate how consistently leaders, including managers and centre directors, build teachers’ capability and improve practice. To better promote timely improvements feedback, at all levels, should be more strongly focused on constructive critique, meaningful challenge, and evidence of teaching and learning progress.

Key Next Steps

At service level priorities are to:

  • build culturally responsive practices and parent partnerships

  • engage in PLD to support the implementation of Te Whāriki

  • strengthen assessment, planning and evaluation

  • further develop understanding and use of teacher inquiry

  • establish the service’s priority learning outcomes, in collaboration with families and community

  • further develop internal evaluation and teacher inquiry to focus on outcomes for children.

The organisation should continue to strengthen and embed:

  • the principles of The Treaty of Waitangi in guiding documents and teacher practices

  • evaluation of effectiveness at leadership, management and governance level

  • alignment of strategic planning, internal evaluation and reporting.

The organisation needs to strengthen the effectiveness of leaders in building teachers’ capability and improving practice. Attention should be paid to ensuring the key next steps identified in this service’s ERO report are addressed.

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.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

25 September 2019

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

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

125

Gender composition

Males 72, Females 53

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Asian
Other ethnic groups

7
79
24
15

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:5

Meets minimum requirements

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2019

Date of this report

25 September 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 2016

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.