Lumsden Kindergarten - 21/03/2016

1 Evaluation of Lumsden Kindergarten

How well placed is Lumsden Kindergarten to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

There has been limited progress made in relation to the identified key next steps in the March 2013 ERO report. Service leaders need to improve the quality of the curriculum and teaching and learning practices and sustain these improvements over time. In particular, self review has been an area that was identified as needing development since the March 2010 ERO report.

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

Background

Lumsden Kindergarten is a privately owned and operated early childhood centre for infants, toddlers and young children. Ten children identify as Māori. It is licensed for 68 children, including 15 up to two years old. Separate areas and playgrounds are provided for the different age groups.

The owner/manager has oversight of centre operations. The head teacher is responsible for leading the teaching team.

The March 2010 ERO report identified issues with: assessment, planning and evaluation; the bicultural curriculum; staff appraisals; strategic planning and self review. Progress in addressing these concerns has been slow. Many of the priorities identified at this time remain areas for ongoing development.

The Review Findings

The centre philosophy is highly evident in practice and includes a virtues programme. Teachers are welcoming to all children, parents and whānau. They work collaboratively with each other and families.

Children display a sense of belonging and have respectful and caring interactions with each other and centre staff. The outdoor environments provide challenging physical activities and promote an interest in sustainability. Children are encouraged to make choices to develop their self-management skills. 

Infants and toddlers are provided with consistent and high quality care routines. High staffing ratios support a calm, unhurried environment. Teachers are highly responsive and respectful. They empower infants and toddlers to lead their own learning and to be independent. The recent review of the under two area should support a better reflection of the centre philosophy in teachers practice.

The centre curriculum encourages children’s confidence to make decisions about specific areas of play, supported by a teacher with a lead role for that area. There is a clear focus on providing literacy, mathematics, the arts and outdoor physical activity.

Children requiring additional support for learning are identified and external expertise is sought.

Transitions between the under two area and older children’s space are supported by teachers’ knowledge of children and their families. Siblings are able to visit and play with each other. There is a clear focus on supporting children’s transition to school through a carefully considered approach.

The bicultural curriculum requires further development. Some aspects are in place, including karakia, waiata, haka and some teacher use of te reo Māori. However, supporting educational success for Māori children continues to be an area that requires improvement. Centre professional development in te ao Māori is planned for 2016.

Teachers have made some progress in developing assessment, planning and evaluation that promote regular engagement with parents and families. Parents and families are invited to share aspirations for their children's learning through an online communication tool. Teachers evaluate aspects of children’s learning over time. Strengthening the complexity of individual learning is ongoing. This should support teachers to improve opportunities for a child-initiated curriculum and to build on children’s interests.

A governance board supports centre operations. Centre staff are involved in regular online policy review. There is a need to ensure that policy review is thorough and reflects expectations for high quality practice. Ensuring that personnel policies include clear expectations for police vetting, appointments, appraisal, induction and support for provisionally registered teachers is a key next step. To improve practice, consideration should be given to the use of Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners in teacher appraisal.

An annual plan is in place to guide centre operations, and teaching and learning. Consideration should now be given to aligning this with the strategic plan with a focus on improving outcomes for children. Strengthening governance and management is a next step, to ensure managers are keeping informed about current high quality practices in early childhood education.

The centre manager and teachers are building their capacity for using self review to guide developments and have identified that further work is required to ensure that review and internal evaluation processes are robust. ERO's evaluation affirms this as an area for improvement. 

Key Next Steps

The centre owner/manager and head teacher should:

  • strengthen te ao Māori in the curriculum, with specific strategies to support educational success for Māori children
  • continue to improve assessment, planning and evaluation that demonstrates how teachers add complexity to children's learning overtime
  • further develop governance and management practices and implement robust policy review
  • improve the staff appraisal process
  • strengthen review and internal evaluation processes.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Lumsden Kindergarten 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.

To improve practice leaders must update the services child protection policy and procedures in response to the Vulnerable Children's Act 2014.

Since the onsite phase of the review, managers have taken measures to improve practices for the administration of medicines. 

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to Lumsden Kindergarten. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following areas:

  • documented personnel processes for police vetting, appraisals, induction, PRT’s and appointments
  • improve practices for the administration of medicines
  • health and safety checks to ensure that at all times they meet all the licensing criteria
  • regular policy and procedure reviews, with urgency given to the Child Protection policy.

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, HS19, HS6, GMA1, 2, 7.

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service consult with the Ministry of Education and plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Lumsden Kindergarten will be within two years. 

Joyce Gebbie
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

21 March 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

Hastings

Ministry of Education profile number

55049

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

68 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll

128

Gender composition

Boys 65, Girls 63

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā

10
118

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

1:5

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2015

Date of this report

21 March 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2013

Education Review

March 2010

Education Review

March 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.