Kindercare Learning Centres Whakatiki - 25/09/2019

1 Evaluation of Kindercare Learning Centres Whakatiki

How well placed is Kindercare Learning Centres Whakatiki to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Kindercare Learning Centres Whakatiki 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 Whakatiki is one of eight learning services in the Wellington region operated by Kindercare Learning Centres Ltd (the organisation). The centre is licensed for 120 children, including 50 aged up to two years. Māori are 16% of the roll.

The purpose-built centre caters for children in age-specific rooms that access shared outdoor spaces.

The service philosophy is based on Kindercare's three key values: 'Safe, Loved and Learning'. 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.

Since the April 2016 ERO report, day-to-day operations have been managed by the centre director or an acting director. All permanent teachers are qualified or in training.

The previous ERO report identified areas requiring further development. These included engaging Māori and Pacific families, improving assessment, planning and evaluation, and strengthening appraisal and internal evaluation. While some progress has been made in these areas, leaders identify the need for further development.

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

The Review Findings

Children are supported to become confident communicators and to participate in collaborative and independent learning opportunities. Aspects of literacy and numeracy are evident in the learning environment.

Leaders work appropriately with external agencies to support children with additional learning needs.

Infants and toddlers experience a calm, settled environment. Teachers treat children respectfully, consulting them during routines. Teachers and parents share important information about each child's wellbeing and daily activities in individual journals. To further promote positive outcomes for infants and toddlers, teachers should ensure that opportunities for child-led learning and exploration are extended.

Teachers have increased their use of te reo Māori in the programme and aspects of te ao Māori are evident in the curriculum. A bicultural leader promotes staff and curriculum development in te reo me ngā tikanga Māori, with emphases on local legends and places important in te ao Māori.

Centre leaders have identified that a next step is to use Tapasā-Cultural Competencies Framework for Teachers of Pacific Learners professional learning and development to increase teachers' cultural knowledge and better promote the success of children of Pacific heritage.

Parents and whānau are invited to share their knowledge and give feedback in a range of different ways. Leaders have identified that continuing to build stronger connections with whānau and local iwi are next steps. Development and implementation of targeted and specific strategies that promote the success of tamariki Māori requires ongoing focus. Professional learning, and strategic planning at governance level, are being put in place to support improvements.

Teachers are beginning to use deliberate strategies to extend children's learning and develop their oral language. Some examples of intentional teaching were observed. Leaders acknowledge the need for teachers to develop a deeper understanding of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, this is the focus of current review and teacher development. Leaders need to liaise with whānau and the community to establish priority learning outcomes. Teachers' deliberate actions in relation to these will need to be unpacked. These priority outcomes can then be supported and monitored through assessment, planning and evaluation practices.

Assessment, planning and evaluation of learning require strengthening. Teachers have begun to collect parent aspirations to inform children's individual programmes. They use a range of formats to plan for infants, toddlers and children, and use an electronic format to share children's learning with parents. To strengthen assessment, planning and evaluation, teachers should continue to develop processes to add depth and complexity to the learning of individual children.

Internal evaluation and teacher inquiry continue to require development. Leaders and teachers should focus evaluations and inquiries on impacts for children. By focusing on outcomes, teachers would be better able to evaluate the effectiveness of practices and improvements. They should also make increased use of analysed evidence to better inform deliberate strategies for improvement.

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 and mentoring processes should be improved. Increasing evaluative feedback and teacher reflections to focus more strongly on children's outcomes would add value to the process.

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 and feedforward 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:

  • establish the service’s priority learning outcomes, in collaboration with families and community
  • further develop assessment planning and evaluation to add depth and complexity to the learning of individual children
  • continue to build stronger connections with whānau Māori and Pacific families
  • further develop internal evaluation and teacher inquiry to focus on outcomes for children.

The organisation should continue to strengthen and embed:

  • the reflection of 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.

In addition, the organisation should continue to strengthen the effectiveness of leaders, including area managers, in building teachers’ capability and improving practice. Particular attention should be paid to ensuring timely and sustained improvements in response to the key next steps identified in this service’s ERO report.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kindercare Learning Centres Whakatiki 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 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

Upper Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

45812

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

120 children, including up to 50 aged under 2

Service roll

149

Gender composition

Males 75, Females 74

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Indian
Chinese
Other ethnic groups

24
81
14
6
24

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

July 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.