Waiuku Kindergarten - 22/12/2016

1 Evaluation of Waiuku Kindergarten

How well placed is Waiuku 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

Waiuku Kindergarten is a well established service that is licensed for children between the ages of two and five years. The kindergarten offers sessions similar to school hours, to meet the needs of the surrounding community. It operates within the policies and management framework of the Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association. An education manager (EM) visits the kindergarten and provides leadership and curriculum support for teachers.

Children and families come from a wide geographical area, and diverse cultures and social backgrounds. Many families stay for just a short time. In 2015 there was a significant increase in the roll, and in the number of two-year-old children attending. The Association applied for an increase in the licence numbers and appointed an additional teacher to maintain high teacher to child ratios.

The 2013 ERO report suggested that teachers work with the education manager to strengthen self-review processes, embed assessment and evaluation in planning, and further develop practices to affirm the languages and cultural identifies of Māori and Pacific children. Progress has continued in all of these areas.

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

The Review Findings

Children are confident, curious, engaged learners. Developing children's social competence has been a focus for teachers. Children are learning to be caring and respectful of others and meaningful friendships are encouraged. They express themselves creatively and imaginatively, and are independent learners who choose from the range of activities available. Teachers promote positive learning dispositions and attitudes, and learning through play. Younger children are supported to learn at their own level and pace.

Teachers recognise that children come from a range of diverse backgrounds, experiences and abilities, and are developing inclusive environments and practices. Teachers review play areas to support challenge and extended learning for children with special learning requirements. There are opportunities for physical dexterity and development. Teachers should evaluate the suitability of the learning environment for younger learners and make appropriate modifications as needed.

Literacy, numeracy and science are integrated in the broad and varied curriculum. The Enviro Schools programme has recently been introduced and children are learning about natural science, healthy eating and sustainability. Teachers provide good support for children's developing language and communication skills.

Digital systems have been recently introduced to plan for and record children's learning. Through this on-line information, parents are becoming more aware of their children's interests at kindergarten. Sharing between the home and kindergarten is allowing parents to contribute ideas that can be used to strengthen the quality of planning for children's learning. It would now be useful for teachers to record their critical discussions about evaluating their own practices and children's learning.

The new teaching team is sharing strengths and developing a collaborative working approach. Teachers have reviewed the kindergarten's philosophy and are making changes to the curriculum and their practices. They could now evaluate the impact of these changes and identify the resulting outcomes for children.

The Association continues to provide very good support for the kindergarten. The systems and personnel in place to support kindergarten operations, and ongoing review and monitoring, contribute to efficient management practices. Association leaders establish overarching long-term goals so that teachers can align their annual plan with the Association's strategic direction. They are responsive to changing community needs and variable hours of operation provide flexibility for families. Leaders continue to adapt personnel systems, including teacher appraisal, in response to changing requirements.

The Association focuses on continuous improvement in kindergarten operations and educational outcomes for children. They have high expectations for teachers to use evidence based, reflective practices. The Association has a strong commitment to bicultural practices, working in partnership with Māori whānau and each kindergarten's community. Leaders embrace cultural diversity and are currently focusing on strategies to promote success for Pacific learners.

Key Next Steps

Teachers and managers agree that key next steps should include continuing with teacher professional development and evaluating:

  • how the curriculum and environment stimulates rich learning outcomes for children of all stages of development

  • the complexity and continuity of learning in children's assessment records

  • embedding te reo me ngā tikanga Māori and bicultural practices

  • the effectiveness of leadership practices

  • appraisal practices and procedures.

Teachers should prioritise the development of an action plan to address self-identified areas for improvement, and monitor and evaluate progress towards specific goals.

Recommendation

ERO recommends that the Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association continue to provide professional development opportunities for teachers to learn more about effective education and care for younger children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

22 December 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

Waiuku, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5133

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, over 2 years of age

Service roll

62

Gender composition

Girls 32 Boys 30

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Samoan

Cook Island Māori

Niue

Tongan

18

38

3

1

1

1

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

November 2016

Date of this report

22 December 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

May 2013

Education Review

March 2010

Education Review

February 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.