River Kids Early Learning Centre

Education institution number:
34106
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
36
Telephone:
Address:

2 Donny Avenue, Hamilton Central, Hamilton

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River Kids Early Learning Centre

ERO’s Akanuku | Assurance Review reports provide information about whether a service meets and maintains regulatory standards. Further information about Akanuku | Assurance Reviews is included at the end of this report.

ERO’s Judgement

Regulatory standards

ERO’s judgement

Curriculum

Meeting

Premises and facilities

Meeting

Health and safety

Meeting

Governance, management and administration

Meeting

At the time of the review, ERO found the service was taking reasonable steps to meet regulatory standards.

Background

River Kids Early Learning Centre is a privately owned service. Tamariki play and learn in two age-based rooms. The service has a high number of tamariki Māori attending and a smaller number from other ethnic groups. A centre manager leads a teaching team of qualified and unqualified kaiako.

Summary of Review Findings

The service curriculum is informed by assessment, planning and evaluation that demonstrates an understanding of tamariki learning, their interests, whānau, and life contexts. Tamariki are given opportunities to develop knowledge and an understanding of both parties to Te Tiriti o Waitangi. The curriculum supports the right of each tamaiti to be confident in their own culture and to acknowledge other cultures.

Adults providing education and care engage in meaningful, positive interactions with tamariki to enhance learning and the development of social competence.

A philosophy statement guides the services operations.

Key Next Steps

Next steps include:

  • increase the involvement of whanau Māori in the design and implementation of the service’s curriculum

  • further strengthen the local curriculum to include the history, protocols and legends of the area.

Next ERO Review

The next ERO review is likely to be an Akarangi | Quality Evaluation.

Phil Cowie
Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)
Central Region | Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

31 August 2022 

Information About the Service

Early Childhood Service Name

River Kids Early Learning Centre

Profile Number

34106

Location

Hamilton

Service type

Education and care service

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 14 aged under 2

Percentage of qualified teachers

80-99%

Service roll

39

Review team on site

June 2022

Date of this report

31 August 2022

Most recent ERO report(s)

Akanuku | Assurance Review, October 2020; Education Review, August 2018

General Information about Assurance Reviews

All services are licensed under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008. The legal requirements for early childhood services also include the Licensing Criteria for Education and Care Services 2008.

Services must meet the standards in the regulations and the requirements of the licensing criteria to gain and maintain a licence to operate.

ERO undertakes an Akanuku | Assurance Review process in any centre-based service:

  • having its first ERO review – including if it is part of a governing organisation

  • previously identified as ‘not well placed’ or ‘requiring further development’

  • that has moved from a provisional to a full licence

  • that have been re-licenced due to a change of ownership

  • where an Akanuku | Assurance Review process is determined to be appropriate.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

All early childhood services are required to promote children’s health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements. Before the review, the staff and management of a service 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.

As part of an Akanuku | Assurance Review ERO assesses whether the regulated standards are being met. In particular, ERO looks at a 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 certification; ratios)

  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

As part of an Akanuku | Assurance Review ERO also gathers and records evidence through:

  • discussions with those involved in the service

  • consideration of relevant documentation, including the implementation of health and safety systems

  • observations of the environment/premises, curriculum implementation and teaching practice.

River Kids Early Learning Centre - 20/10/2020

ERO’s Akanuku | Assurance Review reports provide information about whether a service meets and maintains regulatory standards. Further information about Akanuku | Assurance Reviews is included at the end of this report.

ERO’s Judgement

Regulatory standards
ERO’s judgement

Curriculum

Meeting

Premises and facilities

Meeting

Health and safety

Meeting

Governance, management and administration

Not meeting

At the time of the review, ERO identified non-compliance with regulatory standards that must be addressed.

Background

River Kids Early Learning Centre is a privately owned service, located in central Hamilton. All day education and care for children is provided in two-age specific rooms. This is the centre’s first ERO review since a change of ownership and issue of a full licence in 16 December 2019.

Summary of Review Findings

Children experience meaningful and respectful relationships with their teachers. Their social and emotional competencies are supported through the curriculum. Adults providing education and care promote a language-rich environment that supports children’s learning. A range of experiences and opportunities is provided to enhance and extend children’s learning and development both indoors and outdoors. The unique place of Māori as tangata whenua is acknowledged, providing children with opportunities to build an understanding of the cultural heritages of Aotearoa/New Zealand.

An ongoing process of internal evaluation helps the service maintain and improve the quality of education and care. ERO found an area of non-compliance related to governance.

Actions for Compliance

ERO found an area of non-compliance in the service relating to:

  • safety checks that must be undertaken and the results obtained before a worker has access to children.

[Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA7A].

Since the onsite visit the service has provided ERO with evidence that shows it has an amended policy and procedure related to the Children’s Act 2014 and police vetting.

Recommendation to Ministry of Education

ERO recommends the Ministry follows up with the service provider to ensure that non-compliances identified in this report are addressed promptly.

Next ERO Review

The next ERO review of River Kids Early Learning Centre will be in consultation with the Ministry of Education.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region | Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

20 October 2020

Information About the Service

Early Childhood Service Name

River Kids Early Learning Centre

Profile Number

34106

Location

Hamilton

Service type

Education and care service

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 14 aged under 2.

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%+

Service roll

76

Gender composition

Male 44; Female 32.

Ethnic composition

Māori 35
NZ European/Pākehā 19
Other ethnic groups 22

Review team on site

September 2020

Date of this report

20 October 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

First ERO review of the service

General Information about Assurance Reviews

All services are licensed under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008. The legal requirements for early childhood services also include the Licensing Criteria for Education and Care Services 2008.

Services must meet the standards in the regulations and the requirements of the licensing criteria to gain and maintain a licence to operate.

ERO undertakes an Akanuku | Assurance Review process in any centre-based service:

  • having its first ERO review – including if it is part of a governing organisation
  • previously identified as ‘not well placed’ or ‘requiring further development’
  • that has moved from a provisional to a full licence
  • that have been re-licenced due to a change of ownership
  • where an Akanuku | Assurance Review process is determined to be appropriate.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

All early childhood services are required to promote children’s health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements. Before the review, the staff and management of a service 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.

As part of an Akanuku | Assurance Review ERO assesses whether the regulated standards are being met. In particular, ERO looks at a 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 certification; ratios)
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

As part of an Akanuku | Assurance Review ERO also gathers and records evidence through:

  • discussions with those involved in the service
  • consideration of relevant documentation, including the implementation of health and safety systems
  • observations of the environment/premises, curriculum implementation and teaching practice.

First Steps Donny Ave - 22/08/2018

1 Evaluation of First Steps Donny Ave

How well placed is First Steps Donny Ave 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

First Steps Donny Ave is situated in the Chartwell suburb of Hamilton. It is licensed for 50 children including up to 14 children under the age of two years. At the time of this review 38 children were enrolled, including a small number of Maōri children, and children from a range of ethnic groups. The centre provides all-day education and care in two aged-based rooms.

Since the last ERO review in 2014 the centre has changed its name from Kids to Five on Donny to First Steps Donny Ave. The governing organisation has also changed its name from Kidicorp to BestStart Education and Care and has become a not-for-profit organisation. A professional service manager and business manager provide support for the centre. The centre operates under the Central North Island Waikato regional management team within BestStart.

The centre has a new leadership team including recent internal appointments of a centre manager, and a new assistant manager and head teacher. There have also been significant changes within the teaching team. Most are fully-registered and qualified early childhood teachers or in training for their qualifications.

Through the centre's recently reviewed philosophy the team aims to build strong relationships with children and families to create building blocks for all future learning and development. Teachers aim to recognise and respond to individual children’s strengths and evolving interests. They have developed a strong commitment to honouring the bicultural partnership and multicultural diversity of New Zealand.

The centre has a positive reporting history with ERO and has responded well to address the areas identified in the 2014 ERO review.

This review was part of a cluster of six reviews in the BestStart organisation.

The Review Findings

Children experience a broad and rich curriculum. Regular trips into the local community and educational visitors enrich children's learning. A feature of the programme is the extra curricula, optional activities that parents can enrol older children into. This provides opportunities for small group learning. During these periods the younger toddlers remain at the centre, benefitting from a quieter environment. Literacy and mathematics are well integrated and a recent project approach extends older children's ideas and problem solving. Children’s holistic development is supported and they develop a strong sense of wellbeing and belonging.

Children's learning is individually planned for in partnership with parents. Portfolios, which are available online, capture children’s interests, strengths and learning dispositions. Goals are regularly reviewed and the new individual development plan process has strengthened the evaluation of these goals. Assessment now needs to prioritise the documenting of individual children’s language, culture and identity and show evidence of how complexity of learning has been added through intentional teaching. Children's identities as capable learners are celebrated and shared.

Responsive teaching strategies support children to achieve success. Oral language and communication skills are strongly supported by knowledgeable teachers. Transitions into and within the centre and on to school are individualised and well considered for children. Children are well supported to become confident and independent learners.

Māori children have their culture and language promoted. Children learn about areas of local significance and celebrate festivals and events. Te reo and tikanga Māori are promoted by teachers. Teachers share a commitment to their ongoing learning with support from whānau and role models within the team.

Children with additional learning needs experience inclusive practice and teachers work well with external agencies where required. Children up to the age of two benefit from a calm, unhurried and peaceful environment. Respectful care and individualised routines supports all priority learners.

The new leadership team is focussing on building relationships with children and families. They have established a shared understanding of the philosophy and are developing a team culture which is supportive and collaborative. Strengthening internal evaluation and appraisal inquiry goals are next steps for the centre. A strategic approach to strengthening the shared understanding of the revised Te Whāriki, early childhood curriculum is also required. Families have been well informed through a time of change in staffing at the centre.

BestStart's vison is to make a positive difference in the lives of children. Governance and management have developed clear strategic goals with guidelines and expectations for centre practice and curriculum. Regional leadership and management support centre leaders and teachers to enact the vision and goals of the service. There are comprehensive, well-established systems and practices that enable the organisation to monitor, evaluate and plan for improvement across the organisation.

Key Next Steps

The next step for First Steps Donny Ave is to strengthen internal evaluation.

Long and short term reviews and teacher inquiry goals need to be manageable, and purposeful. More in-depth reflection and analysis is required to show how teaching practice has been impacted and what the outcomes for children were as a result of the reviews and inquiries.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of First Steps Donny Ave 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 First Steps Donny Ave will be in three years.

Adrienne Fowler

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

22 August 2018

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

34106

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 14 aged under 2

Service roll

38

Gender composition

Boys 21 Girls 17

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Middle Eastern
Chinese
Other ethnic group

6
24
4
3
1

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

July 2018

Date of this report

22 August 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2014

Education Review

August 2011

Education Review

November 2008

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.