BestStart Avondale

Education institution number:
20280
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
69
Telephone:
Address:

18-20 Wolverton Street, Avondale, Auckland

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1 Evaluation of Kiwicare Avondale

How well placed is Kiwicare Avondale 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

Kiwicare Avondale in Auckland offers sessional or all day education and care for up to 100 children including 25 under two years of age. There are three separate areas for learning in the centre, the Burgundy Nursery for infants, the Burgundy Toddlers and the Blue House for older children.

Each area has a head teacher who reports to the centre management team. The centre's philosophy advocates that teachers and whānau work together to support children to be lifelong learners. Partnerships with families encourage parent feedback about and participation in children's learning.

The centre benefits from a culturally diverse community of children, teachers and parents and is welcoming and inclusive. Children and their families are able to communicate in their first language to teachers who understand them and respond to their preferences and requests for support.

The centre is involved in purposeful networks with groups such as Odyssey House, Early Learning Projects - Kelston Community and the District Health Board to promote better opportunities for children and families who need support.

Since the 2013 ERO review, the BestStart organisation has taken ownership of the centre. This organisation provides policies and management frameworks to guide staff in their work. The Manager of the complex is also responsible for Kiwicare Wolverton, an associated centre situated nearby. Flexibility of staffing provides teachers with opportunities to move between the two centres. Extensive renovations and upgrade projects in the teaching environments are ongoing since the 2013 change of ownership.

The centre has responded well to the development priorities identified in the 2013 ERO report. These include building teacher capability in planning, assessment and evaluation, and fostering the development of children's language and negotiation skills. The centre has plans for further developing bicultural practice and knowledge.

The Review Findings

The centre's philosophy values children's holistic development and learning. The curriculum is based on the principles of Te Whariki, the early childhood curriculum, and is clearly reflected in learning programmes. Teachers respect children's individuality and their capabilities as learners. Displays of children’s different languages and experiences reflect responsive teaching.

Very good relationships with parents/whānau are evident. Teachers incorporate family aspirations for their children in programme planning. Parents have responded positively to the meaningful information that teachers provide about their children’s progress. The centre's recent implementation of an internet portal has proven to be effective in developing partnerships with parents/whānau that are focused on children's learning.

Children confidently choose from different areas of play that link to their current interests. They are cooperative and often collaborative in their play. Teachers adapt the learning environment to encourage children's curiosity and imagination.

Provision for children up to two years of age is a positive feature of this centre. Teachers are sensitive to their preferences and requirements. They interact with infants and toddlers in a calm, caring manner and encourage children to independently explore the environment. Two specified areas are equipped very well to cater for younger children.

The centre has a strong commitment to biculturalism. The 10 Māori children on the roll are well supported in their learning and development. Teachers use and promote te reo me ōna tikanga Māori. BestStart has recently employed a bicultural advisor to support the organisation's goal of each centre providing a culturally responsive curriculum.

Centre managers and teachers are committed to social responsibility. The principle of equity is evident in the very effective way in which children’s diverse and special learning needs are catered for. The centre’s inclusive approaches and use of external agencies support children’s individual requirements well.

BestStart has implemented good quality appraisal systems. Newly appointed teachers are well supported by the centre manager and BestStart personnel. Teachers are offered opportunities to develop leadership skills as part of their professional development.

BestStart's efficient systems for monitoring service operations are used to identify centre strengths and develop plans for improvement. Centre operations are guided by a shared vision. Parents and the community have helped to inform the service's vision and direction. Teachers have responded positively to the collaborative work culture that has been established. Evaluative practice is improving, evidenced by a substantial internal review of professional practice for teacher development.

Key Next Steps

Centre and BestStart managers agree that teachers could be further supported to:

  • extend the quality of their conversations and interactions to develop children's language and thinking

  • deepen professional knowledge and the use of internal evaluation

  • continue developing bicultural learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kiwicare Avondale 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 Kiwicare Avondale will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

13 October 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

Avondale, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20280

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

100 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll

116

Gender composition

Boys 53% Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Indian

Chinese

Samoan

other Asian

other Pacific

other European

6%

20%

25%

17%

7%

15%

8%

2%

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%+

Based on funding rates

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2016

Date of this report

13 October 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2013

Education Review

April 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.

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

Kiwicare Avondale is well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.

Context

Kiwicare Avondale is one of a number of centres owned and operated by a private company. This centre and another in the immediate area of Avondale operate in tandem to provide carefully managed care and education for up to 250 children up to five years of age. The centres provide full-day and part-day services for the local multicultural community. The centres also provide a variety of other services, including a Discovery Group that operates as a playgroup, attended by parents and children. Teachers provide programmes in designated age-related spaces, which are referred to as ‘houses’.

Staff are appointed in accordance with the managers’ aspirations for the centres. Teachers represent the cultures of the local community and are frequently able to speak in children’s home languages and to support their development of English. The centres are staffed with a mix of qualified registered teachers and teacher assistants. Professional support staff provides teachers with leadership and mentoring.

The centre’s philosophy clearly outlines the vision that sets the direction for the service. It mentions the values of managers and teachers, and informs the programmes for infants, toddlers and older children. Policies and procedures have been developed and documented to provide a framework for the operation of the centres.

Review Findings

Children and their families are warmly welcomed and are settled into the programme. Children are able to make selections from a wide range of resources and equipment. They are also involved in small group activities planned to extend their learning and development. Children respond calmly to routines. The virtues component of the philosophy is extensively used to develop children’s understanding of and skills in social competence.

Teachers are positive and caring with children. They work closely with them, supporting their play and encouraging their knowledge and learning. Some teachers use effective teaching strategies that encourage children’s cooperation and thinking.

The service has promoted the inclusion of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori in teaching programmes. Some teachers frequently use te reo Māori with children and Māori protocols guide some practices. Effective links have been made with local Māori community members. Teachers and managers have developed strong relationships with families. Consultation is frequent and parents are encouraged to contribute their ideas and their aspirations for their children’s development.

Teachers identify children’s needs in order to provide programmes that support both those who need extension and those who need additional developmental support. Programmes are designed to cater for individual learning needs. Comprehensive planning programmes guide daily activities to engage children’s interest. Appraisal processes support the improvement of teachers’ capabilities to promote positive outcomes for children.

The centre environments are attractive and well resourced. Good quality equipment and materials, including information and communication technology resources, are accessible to children and reflect their ages and stages of development. Outdoor areas include equipment to strengthen children’s physical abilities. Most houses have designated space for physical activity during wet weather.

Transitions of children into and within the service are well managed. Children nearing transition readiness spend parts of each day in the house that they will next attend, supported by their current teachers.

Managers have established leadership structures aimed at ensuring consistency across centres. Much work has gone into realising the vision and strategic direction of establishing an organisational culture of ongoing improvement. Personnel taking responsibility for leadership provide training and induction, and support managers’ agreed priorities for embedding the organisational culture. Management of centre sites is efficient and effective.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre managers agree that the next steps for the centre are to:

  • continue to build teachers’ skills in using effective planning, assessment and evaluation processes
  • continue to develop bicultural practice and knowledge
  • continue to expand conversations with children to foster the development of their language and negotiation skills and to show that their input and ideas are valued
  • continue to support long-serving senior leaders towards gaining qualifications in the Kiwicare diploma course.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kiwicare Avondale 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.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

18 June 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Avondale, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20280

Licence type

All Day Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

100 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll

126

Gender composition

Boys 71 Girls 55

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Chinese

Indian

Samoan

Tongan

Cook Island Māori

Other Asian

Other

25

15

28

21

7

7

2

15

6

Percentage of qualified teachers

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

April 2013

Date of this report

18 June 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review 

April 2007

November 2003 

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

  • 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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.