Kiwi Treasures

Education institution number:
40290
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
27
Telephone:
Address:

586 Fraser Street, Greerton, Tauranga

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1 Evaluation of Kiwi Treasures

How well placed is Kiwi Treasures to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Kiwi Treasures is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Kiwi Treasures early learning centre is located in the Tauranga suburb of Greerton. It is a privately-owned education and care service catering for children from birth to five years in a mixed-age setting. The centre is licensed for 25 children including up to 10 under the age of two years. The current roll is 31. Children come from a diverse range of ethnicities and cultures, including seven who identify as Māori.

Since the 2016 ERO report, the centre, previously known as Little Sweethearts Montessori, has changed ownership. It no longer operates under the Montessori philosophy. All teaching staff are new since the last ERO report. A new team leader was appointed in May 2019. All teachers are qualified.

The centre philosophy prioritises the centre's commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi. It promotes whanaungatanga through aroha, kindness and fun, and the development of an environment that supports children to learn holistically.

The Review Findings

A range of activities and experiences that reflect the local community gives children an understanding of their environment and place within it. The daily programme aligns with Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Teachers develop individual plans to meet learning goals identified for each child at the centre. They also create group plans that respond to the strengths and interests of all the children. Learning stories and portfolios are beginning to track children's growth and development over time in relation to their individual learning goals.

Māori concepts and values are embedded in the centre philosophy and in some centre practices. Māori culture is celebrated through waiata, karakia and annual celebrations such as Matariki. Some teachers regularly integrate Māori words and phrases when talking with children.

Children benefit from warm, respectful relationships with teachers. Environments are intentionally prepared to respond to the interests and learning of individuals and groups. Self-management and social skills are promoted.

An area has been set aside to provide a calm area for infants and toddlers to play and explore if they need to. A primary caregiver approach to their education is being developed. Teachers have recently moved towards using more open-ended, natural resources to encourage creativity and thinking. The mixed-age setting means that infants' and toddlers' learning and play is enhanced not only by teachers but by their older peers. Children with additional learning needs are identified and supported. The centre works with whānau and external agencies to ensure their needs are responded to.

Teachers feel well-supported in their roles. Owners and leaders promote a reflective approach which allows teachers time to think about and discuss their practice. A number of major self-review projects have been initiated, a range of minor self-reviews have already begun to improve outcomes for children.

New centre owners have collaboratively developed a clear mission, philosophy and strategic direction which guides centre practice. Projects have been initiated that promote teacher wellbeing and distributed leadership. A strong commitment to ongoing capacity building ensures that provisionally registered teachers are well-supported. There is a good balance of both centre-wide and individual opportunities for professional development. Parents spoken to by ERO appreciate the way the centre responds to the special social and family circumstances of the children enrolled.

Key Next Steps

Centre owners and staff now need to:

  • develop a regular, cyclical approach to curriculum review to promote richness and depth in all areas of play and learning, and to ensure appropriate levels of complexity, particularly for older children

  • continue to strengthen bicultural education through the teaching of local iwi history and places of significance and making Māori language, culture and identity more visible in children's learning stories

  • strengthen partnerships with parents and whānau by, for example, ensuring they are authentically involved in developing individual learning goals

  • continue to support new leaders.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kiwi Treasures 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.

To improve current practice the early childhood service management should review and strengthen policies and procedures about positive guidance.

Darcy Te Hau

Acting Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

25 May 2020

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

Greerton, Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number

40290

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll

31

Gender composition

Male 18 Female 13

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Filipino
Pacific
Other ethnic groups

7
13
4
4
3

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%+

Based on funding rates

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2019

Date of this report

25 May 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2016

Education Review

February 2013

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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 Little Sweethearts Montessori

How well placed is Little Sweethearts Montessori 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

Little Sweethearts Montessori is located in the Tauranga suburb of Greerton and provides a stimulating environment where children can learn through a process of self discovery. The centre was relicensed in 2015 for 25 babies and toddlers from six months to three years of age, and has a current roll 34 children of whom two are Māori.

The centre philosophy has recently been reviewed and underpins a Montessori programme that nurtures a child’s love of learning. Children are given the freedom within limits to choose their own activities, work without being interrupted, respectfully learning from one another and developing the ability to help one another. Staff provide a calm, secure environment where a child’s sense of order, desire to be independent and to help out is acknowledged.

Since the 2013 ERO review the centre has changed its licence, now specifically catering to children under three years of age and developed a special space called the Beginners Nest to support the babies and toddlers in the centre. A new managing directress has been appointed and there has been a complete change of staff.

Little Sweethearts Montessori is one of three centres privately owned by Symon Armstrong who is the director and licensee. The governance team and managing directress manage the staffing, finance and property and also provides overall strategic direction and policy guidelines. A safe, physical and emotional learning environment is provided for children and staff.

The Review Findings

Teachers consistently reinforce Montessori philosophy and values such as independence, choice, and following children's interests. The unobtrusive, responsive and caring interactions with children contribute to a calm, settled and focused learning climate. Children demonstrate high levels of care and respect for each other and resources.

Babies and toddlers work and play in a high quality learning environment. Teachers are well organised and carefully arrange resources and equipment in all Montessori curriculum areas. Activities are challenging, cater for a range of competencies and skills, and are easily accessible to children. There is flexibility within well-managed care routines and daily rhythms. This stimulating and functional learning environment promotes creativity and interest in children’s play.

The wide range of structured Montessori materials helps children to learn basic concepts and explore ideas progressively, with appropriate attention and guidance provided by teachers. Planning meetings focus on individual children. There are examples of high quality learning stories. Babies and toddlers are gaining a sound basis for ongoing learning through meaningful experiences of literacy and mathematics.

The knowledgeable and experienced centre manager is trained in Montessori Education 0 to 3 years, and provides effective leadership for the teaching team. She has worked hard to establish this newly relicensed centre, resulting in significant roll growth. Clear expectations and guidelines, and an open management style assist staff to develop in confidence and contribute their ideas to aspects of centre operations. This style of leadership is promoting positive and co-operative teamwork.

Staff are respectful and supportive of each other. Progress and reviews are well under way, and ensure the right systems, rosters and schedules are in place to facilitate a calm, predictable and orderly daily rhythm for children. Staff continue to reflect upon the programme delivery, curriculum and philosophy.

The centre manager is well supported by the umbrella organisation management team and an internal consultant who provides effective professional development for all staff. Open communication and professional relationships between management and employees are contributing to the successful operation of the service and positive outcomes for children and their families.

Parents feel well-informed and express high levels of confidence in teachers to provide an environment where each child is respected and valued as an individual. Transition processes into the centre and to further early childhood education centres are sensitively managed. Centre management and staff have effective systems in place to promote an emotionally and physically safe environment for children and adults.

Key Next Steps

Agreed priorities are to continue to:

  • build professional capability, collaborative team work and a shared understanding of best practice for babies and toddlers under the Montessori philosophy

  • seek parent aspirations as part of children's individual planning

  • embed the new appraisal process

  • increase teachers use of te reo and tikanga Māori in the daily programme

  • develop the annual plan to identify and monitor centre development and direction.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Little Sweethearts Montessori 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.

The centre has new staff in their first year of employment. Early childhood service management should ensure that they implement the documented appraisal process, including the endorsement process following the guidelines and expectations of the Education Council.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Little Sweethearts Montessori will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

24 June 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

Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number

40290

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll

34

Gender composition

Girls 19 Boys 15

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other

2

30

2

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%+

Based on funding rates

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

April 2016

Date of this report

24 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2013

Education Review

October 2009

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.