Twinkle Toes Educare - 03/02/2015

1 Evaluation of Just For Kidz Preschool & Kindergarten

How well placed is Just For Kidz Preschool & Kindergarten to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Just For Kidz Preschool & Kindergarten is a new early childhood centre. Ongoing external support is likely to assist the centre as it develops its curriculum and programmes.

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

Background

Just For Kidz Preschool & Kindergarten is a privately owned early childhood centre in Hamilton providing education and care services for children from six months to school age. It is located in facilities that include a converted house and an adjoining purpose-built space. The centre opened in December 2012 on a full licence. In February 2013 conditions were placed on the licence by the Ministry of Education (MoE). These conditions were met, and the centre resumed operating on a full licence in January 2014, for a maximum of 49 children of whom 15 can be under two years of age. There were 47 children on the roll at the time of this ERO review, of whom 24 identify as Māori. This is the first review of this mixed-age centre.

The owner retains responsibility for all matters of finance, staff employment and the annual appraisal of the centre manager. Responsibility for curriculum development, programme planning and the oversight of children up to the age of two years, is delegated to the centre manager. In addition, the manager has responsibility for oversight of children up to two years of age. There is a head teacher who has responsibility for children over two years of age.

The centre philosophy states that teachers will provide a programme appropriate for all children’s needs in a safe and nurturing environment, and will work in partnership with parents and whānau, as they develop children’s social skills and the ability to learn and work with others.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from positive and affirming relationships with their teachers. They enjoy a sense of belonging that is fostered by the small home-like setting. Teachers work successfully to promote children’s social skills and confidence to participate in shared activities. They model respect and compassion for others, and demonstrate effective examples of positive guidance.

Māori tamarki's sense of identity and belonging is embraced and promoted through the regular and confident use of te reo Māori by teachers and children. The daily programme includes waiata, himene and karakia, and the annual celebration of Matariki is enjoyed by children and their parents and whānau. In addition, other Pacific and Asian cultures are acknowledged and celebrated. A feature of the centre is the range of relevant languages other than English spoken by staff, which promotes a culture for inclusion and children’s wellbeing.

Teachers are committed to children learning through play and exploration. The inside and outside play areas and resources provide opportunities, especially for younger children, to make choices and follow an interest. Literacy and mathematics are naturally integrated into activities and teachers conversations with children. Learning experiences in self-directed, creative and imaginative play are enjoyed by children. Outdoor spaces and equipment enable children to set their own physical challenges. Centre leaders recognize that resources to support and extend the learning and exploration of older children need reviewing and development.

Teachers have worked hard, with some restrictions of time and space, to establish and maintain ‘Journey of Discovery’ portfolios for each child, which include well-illustrated examples of children’s participation in the programme. These include learning stories that acknowledge children’s interest and development, and along with parent ideas and wishes, form the basis of planning and evaluation for individual children. Teachers from time to time identity a programme focus related to either a shared interest or seasonal festival.

There are visually effective displays of children involved in learning that reflect aspects of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. These displays inform parents about the skills and attitudes towards learning that are valued and promoted by teachers.

The service provider and centre manager have successfully established positive working relationships with staff. They recognise the importance of revisiting their philosophy and longer-term plans to bring greater shared understanding of overall direction. There are opportunities for teachers to reflect on their practice, and participate in externally facilitated professional development and learning. There is a high level of cooperation and a shared commitment to supporting children and their parents and whānau. A recent parent survey indicates high levels of confidence and trust in the teachers.

Key Next Steps

ERO identified that there is a need to clarify roles, delegations and resourcing for the effective governance, management and the educational leadership of the centre. In addition, the following areas require further development:

  • review of the centre philosophy to provide an agreed basis for planning and practice
  • creation of a strategic plan to provide a longer term direction for centre improvement and sustainability
  • review of curriculum, routines and resourcing, including for mathematics, to effectively respond to the interests and capabilities of all age groups.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Just For Kidz Preschool & 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.

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 Just For Kidz Preschool & Kindergarten will be within two years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

3 February 2015

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

Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

46052

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

49 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll

47

Gender composition

Girls 25

Boys 22

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Samoan

Asian

Other Pacific

24

14

3

1

5

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80% Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:5

Meets minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2014

Date of this report

3 February 2015

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.