Kiwi Explorers - 01/02/2019

1 Evaluation of Kiwi Explorers

How well placed is Kiwi Explorers to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Kiwi Explorers is very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Kiwi Explorers is one of two privately-owned early childhood centres in Hope, Nelson. Children from urban and rural backgrounds attend the centre. It is licensed for a maximum of 60 children including up to 10 under two-year-olds. A separate centre for the under two-year-old children (Little Kiwis) has recently been established next to this property.

Children play and learn in two defined areas with a shared spacious outdoor environment. One room has children from two years old up to aged four. The second room has children from about three years old up to aged five. Transitions are made on children's individual readiness for change.

There is a mix of qualified teachers, teachers in training and unqualified staff. Staffing ratios are generous to ensure that the large areas are well supervised and children's needs are quickly attended to.

The centre philosophy states that 'When children's interests are nurtured with warmth and care, both adults and children grow and learn together'.

The leaders and teachers have addressed the recommendations from the ERO's 2015 report.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from warm, caring relationships at all levels. Teachers have responsibility for the care of a small group of children to ensure close bonds are established and children feel secure. Teachers model positive, interactive skills for children to learn from. Children have established close friendships with their peers which are actively encouraged and supported by teachers.

Teachers' planning shows they are responding thoughtfully to parents' expectations and children's interests. A strong emphasis is placed on developing children's physical, emotional and intellectual wellbeing. A specific programme is being implemented to support this focus.

A purposeful and deliberate transition programme to help children make smooth transitions within the centre and to school, has been established. Transition is made into a 'ritual of importance'. Teachers and parents work in partnership to ensure that children with additional needs are well supported and included.

Children have a growing awareness of New Zealand's bicultural heritage. Tikanga Māori is authentically integrated throughout the centre. This is clearly evident in the celebration of special events for Māori, the visibility of te ao Māori in the environment and the regular inclusion of te reo and tikanga Māori in the daily life of the centre. Māori children's identity, language and culture are acknowledged by the teachers in the records of learning. These records also show how teachers have responded to parents who want their child's Māori heritage recognised and valued.

Teachers and leaders reflect on their practice and together have built a collaborative and collective culture that supports ongoing improvement. At regular planning meetings, teachers discuss their practice, how they can best support children's learning and support to each other's appraisal focus. They actively contribute to and explore the impact their teaching and programmes are having on children's learning and wellbeing.

The centre is well governed and managed by the owners and centre supervisor. They have created useful systems which are clearly aligned to ensure coherence with the mission and vision statements to teaching practice. The strategic plan, with supporting goals and strategies, shows the focus on and intention for positive outcomes for children. The centre is well resourced and provides children with opportunities to grow their learning through a variety of learning experiences.

Key Next Steps

The leaders and ERO agree that the following are next steps to strengthen the existing good practice. These are to:

  • build consistency across the teaching team in assessment and planning, to better show what teachers will do to extend children's learning

  • ensure an evaluative question is used consistently to guide and focus internal evaluation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kiwi Explorers 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 Kiwi Explorers will be in three years.

Alan Wynyard Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

1 February 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

Hope, Nelson

Ministry of Education profile number

46003

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

60 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll

79

Gender composition

Girls: 45

Boys: 34

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other

6
70
3

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

N/A

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2018

Date of this report

1 February 2019

Most recent ERO report

Education Review

October 2015

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.