Little Kiwi's Corner - 20/01/2016

1 Evaluation of Little Kiwi's Corner Ltd

How well placed is Little Kiwi's Corner Ltd 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

Little Kiwi’s Corner Ltd is an all day centre situated in Otorohanga. It is privately owned centre and in July 2015 the centre changed ownership. At the time of this Education Review the roll had increased to 31, of whom 8 identified as Māori. Little Kiwi’s Corner is licensed for 30 children, including 14 children under 2 years of age.

This is the first ERO review of the centre. The new owners have invested a significant amount of funding into the redevelopment and refurbishment of the building and outdoor environments. Children learn and play in two age-related, interconnected rooms.

In 2015 a new centre leader was appointed along with several new members of the teaching team. Together with the owner they have worked to build positive relationships with children and their whānau, and to create a positive and inclusive centre culture.

The philosophy of Little Kiwi’s Corner aims to foster children’s independence, and individual learning pathways within a home-like environment. Staff believe that all children should be nurtured in a loving, respectful and stimulating environment that will build their self esteem and self confidence.

The Review Findings

The owner and manager are experienced and knowledgeable professional leaders and provide effective role models for their staff. They have worked hard and made good progress in establishing effective management and governance systems. The development of the service’s philosophy, vision and goals promote quality practices and are focused on improving outcomes for children and their families.

The centre has an appropriate range of policies and procedures that are regularly reviewed to guide centre operations. The owner and manager demonstrate a commitment to continual improvement. This commitment includes an increase in professional learning and development for staff, and the regular and robust review of centre operations.

The centre philosophy has been developed into a broad curriculum that is responsive to children and their families. Teachers provide a play based programme that gives children a wide range of choices, activities and experiences. The programme is developed around two age group rooms and teachers are able to work flexibly in each area.

Children are highly engaged in caring, warm and welcoming interactions with teachers and their families. They have established close relationships with children who are happy, settled and confident in the centre environment. Children’s sense of belonging is nurtured during and after transitions into and within the service. They have a variety of opportunities to develop, play and explore within a supportive and nurturing atmosphere. Children are developing social competence through cooperative and collaborative play.

Infants and toddlers are cared for in a purpose built environment that allows them to safely explore and develop their physical, emotional and social skills. Staff work hard to prepare an environment that is interesting, stimulating and encourages children to play for sustained periods of time and cooperate in small groups.

Teachers are developing a framework for the planning and assessment of children’s learning. This process is based on teachers noticing children’s interests, planning activities and resources to foster these interests, and allowing children to explore and develop their interests further. Teachers document these observations in children’s profiles which children and parents enjoy sharing and reading.

The centre has successfully established a culture where parents and whānau feel welcome, are happy to be involved, and participate and contribute to centre life. These partnerships are built on values such as whanaungatanga, manaakitanga, as well as respect for one another and open communication. This has resulted in the strengthening of partnerships for learning and a sense of belonging and community among children, parents, whānau and the service.

Key Next Steps

The key next steps for Kiwi’s Little Corner Ltd are to:

  • strengthen strategic self review by utilizing the framework developed by the new owners and ensure there is more involvement by teachers
  • build on the assessment, planning and evaluation process, and ensure it focuses on teaching practice which promotes children’s learning
  • fully implement the appraisal system to support teacher development to ensure a focus on professional development for teachers in relation to positive interactions for learning and behaviour and their individual goals
  • review the impact of whole group routines on children’s learning and responsive care needs
  • growing and building centre leadership.

Recommendation

ERO recommends that the centre access professional support and development in the following areas:

  • enacting the Vulnerable Children's Act
  • assessment, planning and evaluation
  • self review.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Little Kiwi's Corner Ltd 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 Little Kiwi's Corner Ltd will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

20 January 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

Otorohanga

Ministry of Education profile number

46264

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 14 aged under 2

Service roll

31

Gender composition

Boys 19 Girls 12

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other

8

21

2

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

1:5

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2015

Date of this report

20 January 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

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.