Shalom Kindergarten - 03/07/2013

1 Evaluation of Shalom Kindergarten

How well placed is Shalom 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

Shalom Kindergarten is located in the Tauranga suburb of Otumoetai and was established in 1984 as a community-based early childhood service attached to City Church Tauranga. The service is governed by the church and serves families from the greater Tauranga area. The kindergarten has a clearly defined commitment to provide Christian education and care for children from 2 years to school age and maintains a high staff-to-child ratio.

Since ERO’s last review in May 2010, there have been changes to centre leadership, licensing status, kindergarten hours and aspects of the programme. There have also been some changes to teaching staff and the service is continuing to address some of the areas for review and development identified in the report. Teachers have been involved in professional development and self review related to strengthening partnerships with parents and families, and improving the quality of teaching.

Due to a small drop in roll numbers during 2012, centre management has consulted with parents and reviewed session times. Families and staff have responded positively to the changes, particularly the more flexible hours. The service also assists parents with alternative care arrangements for their children.

The Review Findings

Shalom Kindergarten aims to provide quality care and education based on Christian principles where children are valued, loved and encouraged to learn through play. The staff have recently reviewed the service’s philosophy. The manager is proactive in promoting the Christian philosophy and sustaining positive relationships with children, parents and the wider community.

The new head teacher has been successful in establishing respectful and trusting relationships amongst staff. She is knowledgeable about ‘good practice’ in early childhood education, open to new ideas and is working with staff to raise the bicultural dimension in the centre. The experienced manager expressed confidence in the head teacher’s ability to provide sound professional leadership.

Respectful and positive relationships between teachers and children are highly evident. There is a positive caring atmosphere where children are able to enjoy their play and explore their interests. Children benefit from many opportunities to experiment with literacy and mathematical concepts in the context of their play. They willingly engage in conversations with their teachers and other children.

The centre is well resourced, giving children access to interesting learning experiences and equipment. Teachers provide a supportive environment that encourages children to take risks and challenge themselves. They recognise the importance of children being able to engage in self-initiated play and exploration, revisit areas of interest, and develop more complex games and ideas.

Key Next Steps

The following areas are recognised by the manager and agreed to by ERO as important for the ongoing development of the service. There is a need to review:

  • teacher appraisals to more closely align with strategic aims
  • the purpose of children’s portfolios and consider them as a progressive literacy learning resource
  • the use and purpose of the outdoor area to promote and extend children’s learning through play.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Shalom 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 Shalom Kindergarten will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

3 July 2013

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

Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number

40046

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to none aged under 2

Service roll

83

Gender composition

Boys 46

Girls 37

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Other

70

8

5

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2013

Date of this report

3 July 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

July 2010

 

Education Review

September 2007

 

Education Review

October 2004

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.