Miro House Kindergarten

Education institution number:
45117
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
45
Telephone:
Address:

85 Barrington Drive, Rototuna, Hamilton

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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

Not meeting

Premises and facilities

Meeting

Health and safety

Meeting

Governance, management and administration

Meeting

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

Background

Miro House Kindergarten is governed by a charitable Trust, that was restructured two years ago. The curriculum is underpinned by the teaching philosophy of Waldorf education. Since the December 2017 ERO review, the Ministry of Education in 2019, placed the centre on a provisional licence in 2019. A full licence was regained in November 2019.

Summary of Review Findings

Children experience reciprocal relationships with their teachers that supports their social competence and understanding of appropriate behaviour. Positive steps are taken to respect and acknowledge parents’ aspirations. Information and guidance is sought when necessary from agencies to enable adults providing education and care to work effectively with children. The outdoor activity space is being further developed with a long-term plan in place. A philosophy statement guides the service’s operation. An ongoing process of self review helps the service maintain and improve the quality of education and care.

ERO found non-compliances relating to curriculum and health and safety.

Actions for Compliance

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

  • the curriculum being consistent with Te Whāriki
  • the practices of adults in demonstrating an understanding of children’s learning and development, and knowledge or relevant theories and practice in early childhood
  • the curriculum supporting each child to be confident in their own culture and encouraging children to understand and respect other cultures.

[Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, C1, C4, C6]

Since the onsite visit the service has provided ERO with evidence that shows it has addressed the following non-compliances:

  • a letter of approval from the New Zealand Fire Service of the Fire Evacuation Scheme (HS4)
  • electrical sockets in children’s play spaces having safety plugs (HS12)
  • the curriculum being informed by assessment, planning and evaluation that demonstrates an understanding of children’s learning, their interests, whānau and life contexts (C2)
  • medication records having evidence of parental acknowledgement that medicine has been administered HS28)
  • relevant emergency drills being carried out on at least a three-monthly basis (HS8).

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 Miro House Kindergarten will be in consultation with the Ministry of Education.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)

Central Region | Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

9 October 2020

Information About the Service

Early Childhood Service Name

Miro House Kindergarten

Profile Number

45117

Location

Hamilton

Service type

Education and care service

Number licensed for

88 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%+

Service roll

62

Gender composition

Female 33, Male 29

Ethnic composition

Māori 11
NZ European/Pākehā 36
Chinese 6
Other ethnic groups 9

Review team on site

September 2020

Date of this report

9 October 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, December 2017
Education Review, September 2014

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.

1 Evaluation of Miro House Kindergarten

How well placed is Miro House 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

Miro House is a kindergarten which follows the Rudolf Steiner philosophy of education in all aspects of its operations. It is located in the northern suburbs of Hamilton, and children attend from three years to school age. The kindergarten operates four mixed-age classrooms. Mostly, children stay in the same room from enrolment until they go on to school. A high proportion of children transition as a cohort to the adjoining Waldorf School, at the start of the year in which they turn seven. The kindergarten is licensed for 88 children. The current roll is 57 and includes 11 children identified as Māori.

The Rudolf Steiner Early Education Trust (RSECT) has responsibility for the governance of Miro House, in conjunction with three other early childhood services that follow the same philosophy. RSECT develops strategic pathways and the policy framework to ensure compliance with legislative requirements. It also retains responsibility for financial and employment matters.

The current principal was appointed in November 2016. She has completed specialist Rudolf Steiner training, in addition to her teaching qualifications. She is the professional leader of the kindergarten, and manages day-to-day operations. The kindergarten has retained a high proportion of qualified staff, through a period of recent changes in the teaching team.

The Rudolf Steiner philosophy emphasises a child-initiated play-based programme, where rhythms and routines provide a stable and secure basis from which children can grow and develop to their potential. The philosophy advocates for close partnership between the kindergarten and parents as guardians of the physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual nature of every child.

Kindergarten leaders and the RSECT responded positively to recommendation in the 2014 ERO report. They strengthened the alignment of strategic and annual plans and established Rudolf Steiner philosophy-based priorities for teaching and learning. However, RSECT is yet to formalise the annual appraisal of the principal, and this remains a matter to be addressed with some urgency.

The Review Findings

Teachers have established close long-term relationships between teachers, children and their families. Children stay with the same teacher in the same room for their kindergarten years. This approach is consistent with the Rudolf Steiner philosophy. Mixed-age groups promote tuakana teina relationships of care and support between older and younger children. Daily and seasonal rhythms are central to teacher practice and children’s experiences, and include circle and story time, shared meals, regular sharing of verse and purposeful use of symbols. All children, including those who require additional help, are well supported to develop a sense of belonging.

Children benefit from curriculum planning and assessment that is based on the Rudolf Steiner philosophy. The programme successfully engages children’s imagination and creativity, and fosters their wonder for the environment. The curriculum is supported by high-quality resources that are natural, simple, tactile and readily accessible. A focus of the curriculum in the kindergarten years is on the four lower senses of touch, movement, balance and life. Teachers carefully plan for any additional learning and development needs of individual children, in partnership with their parents.

Teachers model purposeful activity. They model skills and activities so that, where possible, children initiate their own learning. There is strong evidence that children develop high levels of oral language, confidence and social competencies. Mathematical and scientific concepts are fully integrated in the regular programme. The rich curriculum motivates and supports children to develop as confident and competent learners.

The inclusive ethos of the kindergarten means that diversity is valued. Language, culture and identity for all children are celebrated. There are many examples of the natural integration of te ao Māori, including the use of te reo. A teacher who is fluent in te reo Māori is contributing to local knowledge and understanding of te ao Māori for children, teachers and families. The principal models the values of manaakitanga and aroha, promotes reciprocal learning and teaching by staff (ako), and demonstrates strong respect for the mana of people and environments. All children including Māori, gain an awareness and appreciation of the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand.

The principal’s leadership is strengthening the Rudolf Steiner pedagogy.This is increasingly evident in teacher practice and kindergarten operations. Teachers appreciate the regular mentoring and constructive feedback they receive to support their practice.

Spontaneous and planned self review is occurring at all levels of the kindergarten, and is increasingly informing planning. The principal recognises the importance of fully implementing the revised teacher appraisal process, which is now better aligned with Education Council requirements. Well-informed leadership and self review that is closely aligned to strategic pathways is enabling the kindergarten community to focus on positive growth and continuous improvement.

The Rudolf Steiner philosophy, vision and desired outcomes for children are very clear and shared with parents at enrolment. Kindergarten leaders ensure that regular information meetings and access to relevant readings build supportive partnerships with parents. These approaches foster coherence amongst parents, teachers and kindergarten leaders, as they work together to support children's growth and development.

Key Next Steps

ERO recommends that the RSECT Board reviews and strengthens their formal support for the principal. This includes establishing relevant development goals following the completion of her annual appraisal, and ensuring a programme of professional support.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

13 December 2017

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

45117

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

88 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

57

Gender composition

Girls 31 Boys 26

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other

11
36
10

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

October 2017

Date of this report

13 December 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2014

Education Review

August 2011

Supplementary Review

August 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.