Kiwi Corner Early Learning Centre - 21/11/2016

1 Evaluation of Kiwi Corner Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Kiwi Corner Early Learning Centre 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

Kiwi Corner Early Learning Centre is a well-established service in Henderson, Auckland and offers both full day and sessional options. The centre operates from two adjacent buildings and provides spacious separate indoor and outdoor learning areas for babies and children aged under two years, and for children aged from two years to school age.

The centre philosophy focuses on creating an environment where children learn in "home away from home" environment which is meaningful and relevant to them. The philosophy includes links to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and also identifies the team’s commitment to meeting the needs of an increasingly diverse community.

The centre has a history of positive ERO reports. Since the last ERO review, there have been significant changes to centre governance, management and leadership. In late 2014 the centre was bought by the Evolve group, who own, manage and support the governance of a large number of Early Learning Services. There have been a number of recent leadership changes at the centre. However, staff have throughout this maintained their focus on the wellbeing and learning of the children.

The Review Findings

Children and their whānau are warmly welcomed into the centre. Unhurried parent and staff interactions help foster children’s sense of wellbeing and belonging.

Children freely access play equipment and have opportunities to make choices about their play. Observations show that they generally settle quickly and play well alongside each other and enthusiastically join in learning activities with teachers.

Children engage well with their teachers and with the child-centred and well-paced programme. Routines are unhurried and children sustain their interest in activities over long periods of time. The learning programme is well aligned to Te Whāriki, and literacy and numeracy concepts are integrated into play activities throughout the day. A 'Rising Five' programme has recently been introduced for older children. The aim is to further strengthen children's transition to school, and continue to build parents' knowledge of how Te Whāriki prepares children for school.

Teachers focus on maintaining respectful relationships with children and their families. They work to develop an in- depth knowledge of children's strengths, and interests that they can build on and extend.

Teachers understand and provide well for the immediate care of children aged under two years. They are attentive and responsive to infant’s individual needs and preferences. A new centre manager has just been appointed. She will focus on strengthening the learning programme for children under two years.

Leaders and teachers are continuing to strengthen bicultural practices. Teachers' professional learning and development programmes are currently focussing on te reo Māori. Teachers use te reo Māori throughout the day and naturally interweave it through the programme. Centre programmes and practices are successfully developing children’s knowledge and appreciation of other cultures and languages.

Teachers' planning recognises and responds well to the interests of individual children. Children have opportunities to learn about the local community and the living world. Centre management have identified that improve programme planning could be further improved by including visits within the local area.

Teachers document children’s individual learning progress in portfolios. A new online portfolio has recently been introduced. This means that teachers are able to share learning outcomes and children's progress with families more readily and parents have the opportunity to have a greater voice in their child's learning.

The owners maintain knowledgeable and capable governance and oversight of the centre. A highly capable acting centre manager leads the centre while a new leader is appointed and inducted into the role. Staff participate in effective early childhood professional development courses. The owners make appropriate ongoing improvements to the learning environment and centre practices.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders and ERO agree that the next steps for the centre include:

  • successfully inducting a new leader into the centre and ensuring effective relationships are built with children, staff parents and whānau

  • building teachers' understanding of purposeful and effective internal evaluation for ongoing improvement of learning outcomes for children

  • reviewing the centre philosophy and guiding principles with staff, parents and whānau as the foundation for a review of the centre's long term strategic planning

  • working with social agencies in the community to support and strengthen families.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kiwi Corner Early Learning Centre 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.

The centre must ensure that police vetting is carried out every three years in accordance with the Education Act 1989 sections 319D to 319FA/FE.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Kiwi Corner Early Learning Centre will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

21 November 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

Henderson, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20589

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

59 children, including up to 9 aged under 2

Service roll

44

Gender composition

Girls 23 Boys 21

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Samoan

Tongan

Chinese

others

2

29

2

2

5

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

September 2016

Date of this report

21 November 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

September 2013

Education Review

September 2010

Education Review

April 2007

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.