Park Estate Kindergarten - 17/09/2014

1 Evaluation of Park Estate Kindergarten

How well placed is Park Estate Kindergarten 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

Park Estate Kindergarten, in Papakura, is licensed to provide education and care for up to 30 children over two years of age at each session. It operates a kindergarten day model which allows children to attend sessions that match school hours.

A stable teaching team has been established over the last two years and is supported well by an administrator. Robust discussions amongst the team help teachers to provide high quality outcomes for children. Strong processes for transition assist children and families to settle in and engage with the kindergarten community.

In 2011, ERO identified the need to recognise and value children’s cultural heritage to a greater extent. It also identified the need to strengthen programme planning and evaluation, and to undertake in-depth self review. The team have responded to these recommendations through accessing appropriate professional development and making use of team meetings to review and discuss aspects of quality teaching practice.

This review was part of a cluster of seven kindergarten reviews in the Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association.

Association’s values, strategic goals and mission statement provide clear guidance for the kindergarten. A sound governance and management framework and professional personnel support kindergarten operations. A professional practice manager (PPM) provides management, leadership and curriculum support for teachers. The Association provides regular professional development opportunities.

The Review Findings

Children confidently engage with a wide range of easily accessible, stimulating and challenging resources and are well supported by a responsive teaching team. They work co-operatively together, demonstrating care and respect for each other. Long periods of uninterrupted play allow children and teachers to learn together through engaging in conversations, making discoveries, being creative and solving problems.

Children are supported and encouraged to take leadership roles and their individual contributions are respected and valued. Their work is appreciated and displayed throughout the environment. Teachers provide many opportunities for children to engage in meaningful experiences involving literacy and mathematics.

Children’s learning is recorded in individual portfolios which also record parents’ aspirations for their children. Where possible, teachers have linked their assessment of children’s learning to information provided by whānau, and included explanations as to why the programme has followed a particular pathway.

The team acknowledges and celebrates the dual heritage of Aotearoa, New Zealand. There is a strong commitment to celebrating the diverse cultures of Pacific nations. Teachers have incorporated displays in the environment that acknowledge and celebrate the cultural backgrounds of children and their families. They believe that learning is enhanced when educators build positive trusting relationships with children and whānau, and this is highly evident in their practice.

The head teacher leads robust and wide ranging self review, which is informed by research and teachers’ professional experience. It results in continual improvement in provision for children’s learning.

Association systems for strategic planning and self review are well established and effective. Teachers and whānau have opportunities to contribute to these processes. The PPM knows the kindergarten well, provides responsive, professional support that consistently promotes high quality teaching and learning, and regularly reports to the General Manager about the kindergarten’s progress. The Association’s performance appraisal processes, that are well established and were recently reviewed, ensure ongoing growth and development for all staff.

Key Next Steps

The PPM and the teaching team have identified appropriate priorities to challenge and continue developing their practice, including:

  • refining self review and strengthening critical reflection

  • continuing to strengthen learning partnerships with whānau.

To enhance its management practices, the Association could consider making more deliberate connections between the kindergarten’s and Association’s self review and long-term planning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Park Estate 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Park Estate Kindergarten will be in four years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

17 September 2014

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

Papakura, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5128

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

47

Gender composition

Girls 24

Boys 23

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Indian

Samoan

Cook Island Māori

other European

other

18

12

6

4

2

1

4

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2014

Date of this report

17 September 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 2011

 

Education Review

May 2008

 

Education Review

June 2005

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.