Kiwi Explorers - 15/10/2015

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 well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Kiwi Explorers opened in 2012. It is a stand-alone, privately owned, early childhood education and care service. This is the service’s first ERO report.

The service caters for children aged birth to 5 years old. One of the centre owners is a registered practising teacher.

The management team has made significant progress in the last three years, to establish a shared vision and practices that are focused on providing a welcoming, quality learning environment.

The centre programme is based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. It promotes respectful relationships, the holistic development of children, and the inclusion of family and community. A unique feature of the centre is the focus on perceptual motor programmes (PMP). This programme supports children’s physical development, oral language and problem solving skills.

A good ratio of qualified teachers to children supports the individual learning and wellbeing of children. Teachers work well together to provide attractive learning areas that give emphasis to the spacious and natural environment.  

The Review Findings

The centre philosophy is well reflected in the child-centred, bicultural curriculum. Strong, positive relationships support children’s learning and wellbeing. Children benefit from caring, supportive and responsive interactions with their teachers.

Teachers view children as capable learners. They offer children appropriate challenges to develop their curiosity for learning, ability to take safe risks and confidence to investigate their own ideas. Children’s literacy including oral language development, problem solving, mathematics, and creative activities are a focus of the learning programme.

Children are encouraged to develop independence and to relate well to others. A sense of learning from each other, and caring for others, is evident in the way teachers foster a culture of inclusion and respect. Transitions into the centre, between areas, and on to school, are well planned.

The wellbeing of infants, toddlers and young children is well supported by caring teachers. Predictable, well-paced routines are flexible to suit the individual strengths, interests and capabilities of children. Teachers listen carefully and respond to children’s diverse needs, encouraging children’s curiosity and courage to engage in learning.

Māori children have good opportunities to experience success as Māori. The centre owners, leaders and teaching team have a strong commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi; and to promoting te ao Māori. They integrate te reo and tikanga Māori naturally into the curriculum. The language, culture and identity of all children and their families/whānau are respected and nurtured.  

Regular visitors to the centre and excursions into the local community enhance children’s learning. Parents are well informed of children’s learning interests. Teachers use attractive wall displays, and learning stories to effectively capture children’s participation in rich and broad learning experiences. 

The centre is well led and managed. The owners have high expectations for teaching practices and learning outcomes for children. Effective systems, including self-review processes, help to build sustainable practices to guide the efficient operation of the centre. Experienced teachers mentor other teachers to develop reflective, professional practice and collaborative leadership skills.

Key Next Steps

The management team and ERO agree that the key next steps to further improve outcomes for children are to:

  • develop strategic and annual action planning to help manage key service priorities over time
  • make self-review processes more evaluative
  • strengthen the rigour of appraisal and mentoring processes
  • place a greater focus on teaching strategies to strengthen learning outcomes for children, and evaluating the impact of these strategies
  • better promote partnerships with parents in children’s learning. 

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. 

Chris Rowe
Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

15 October 2015 

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 two

Service roll

103

Gender composition

Boys 53; Girls 50

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Dutch

12%
83%
  5%

Percentage of qualified teachers
0-49%       50-79%       80%
Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2015

Date of this report

15 October 2015

Most recent ERO report

No previous ERO reports

 

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.