Little Kiwis Early Learning Centre - 24/08/2016

1 Evaluation of Little Kiwis Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Little Kiwis 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

Little Kiwis Early Learning Centre offers education and care for up to 100 children, including up to 50 children under two years of age. It is organised into three rooms to cater for the different age groups. Children have ready access to outdoor areas and opportunities to play with their peers and older and younger children throughout the day.

The centre is privately owned and managed. A manager oversees the day-to day running of the centre. Room team leaders have responsibility for the children's care routines and learning programmes. Two of the team leaders are new to these leadership roles.

Little Kiwis Early Learning Centre is a Christian-based service. The programme is guided by the philosophies from Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, within a physical learning environment that invites children to explore, to experience different learning opportunities, and to express themselves.

Centre leaders have responded positively to suggestions for ongoing improvement made in the 2013 ERO report. These areas focused on extending children's play and strengthening partnerships with parents and whānau. There has also been a focus on supporting teacher practice and growth through a variety of professional learning opportunities.

The Review Findings

Children of all ages are highly engaged in their learning and play. They use their imagination, solve problems and develop complex play experiences. They enjoy caring, respectful relationships with adults and each other. Children are well supported to grow their social competencies. Adults and children work and play well together.

High quality interactions between teachers and children are evident. Skilled teaching practices facilitate children's play, language development and engagement in learning. Teachers support children to make independent decisions and plan their play. They allow the child to be a leader of their own learning. Teachers provide nurturing care for infants and toddlers and build trusting relationships with them.

Children have good access to resources and learning opportunities in all areas of play. Attractive learning areas invite children's curiosity. The outdoor environment includes good opportunities for physical play and enjoyment of the natural environment. There is an easy flow of play between the indoor and outdoor environments.

Children's opportunities to learn early literacy and mathematical skills are extensive. Preparation for school readiness is woven through the entire curriculum and takes place in meaningful contexts through play.

Teachers plan and assess well in order to extend learning opportunities for children. Recently introduced planning processes are helping teachers plan a programme that is very responsive to children's emerging interests, strengths and their inquiries. Parent feedback and contribution is documented and acknowledged. These approaches help teachers to provide a broad curriculum that is relevant for children and their families.

Diversity is valued and celebrated in the centre. The different cultural heritages and languages of the children are reflected in the environment and in the learning programme. Teachers could consider further ways to capture children's language and culture in learning stories and assessment practices. Te reo and tikanga Māori are integrated into the programme and environment to some degree. This is an area where centre leaders and teachers demonstrate a commitment to continue to build their understanding of New Zealand's bicultural heritage. It is timely to review the bicultural aspect of the centre philosophy.

The centre manager is successfully building a capable and professional team. She has high expectations for staff and teachers are well supported in their professional practice. Centre owners are investing in growing the new leadership team through resourcing external professional support. An in-centre mentoring approach to support the ongoing growth of teacher capability has recently been introduced. All staff are supported by relevant professional learning and development opportunities.

The owner has accessed external support to establish a comprehensive framework for self review, and to guide staff in undertaking centre reviews around teaching and learning. There is evidence that self review is leading to ongoing improvements in the centre.

Governance and management of the centre is efficient and effective. Operational systems and processes are well aligned. The policy framework and management planning are sound. Good practices support the health and safety of adults and children in the centre.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre leaders agree that the key next steps include:

  • building on their understandings of te reo and tikanga Māori and increasing bicultural practices
  • continuing to grow the confidence and capability of the new leadership team to lead the centre's ongoing development. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Little Kiwis 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Little Kiwis Early Learning Centre will be in three years. 

Graham Randell
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

24 August 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

Manukau, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

10330

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

100 children, including up to 50 aged under 2

Service roll

74

Gender composition

Boys      45
Girls       29

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Samoan
Indian
Niue
Pilipino
Chinese
Middle Eastern

  7
  3
26
20
  7
  5
  3
  3

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

July 2016

Date of this report

24 August 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

July 2013

Education Review

June 2010

Education Review

June 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.