Kowhai Kids Early Learning Centre

Education institution number:
45230
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
39
Telephone:
Address:

265 Albany Highway, Albany, North Shore City

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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

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

Kowhai Kids Early Learning Centre, previously known as Junior Junction Albany, was relicensed under new ownership in 2019. It is a purpose-built service with three age defined learning spaces. The owner is supported by a team of three head teachers who lead the curriculum and support her vision for the service.

Summary of Review Findings

Adults providing education and care engage in meaningful, positive interactions to enhance children’s learning and nurture reciprocal relationships. The service curriculum is consistent with the prescribed curriculum framework that applies to the service.

The curriculum is inclusive and responsive to children as confident and competent learners. Children’s preferences are respected, and they are involved in decisions about their learning experiences. The curriculum supports children’s developing social competence and understanding of appropriate behaviour. It provides children with a range of experiences and opportunities to enhance and extend their learning and development.

Key Next Steps

Next steps include:

  • continuing to develop the service’s local curriculum using its valued learning outcomes and relevant theories of practice, such as those documented in Te Whāriki.

Next ERO Review

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

Phil Cowie
Director Review and Improvement Services (Northern)
Northern Region | Te Tai Raki

11 August 2021 

Information About the Service

Early Childhood Service Name

Kowhai Kids Early Learning Centre

Profile Number

45230

Location

Albany, North Shore City

Service type

Education and care service

Number licensed for

80 children, including up to 25 aged under 2 years

Percentage of qualified teachers

80-99%

Service roll

60

Ethnic composition

Māori 5, NZ European/Pākehā 18, Chinese 14, Latin American 5, Indian 4, other Asian 6, other ethnic groups 8

Review team on site

July 2021

Date of this report

11 August 2021

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, June 2016
Education Review, January 2013

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 Junior Junction Albany

How well placed is Junior Junction Albany 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

Junior Junction Albany offers full day care and education and can cater for 80 children, including 25 up to two years of age. The centre is staffed by a good number of qualified teachers who are assisted by other staff in training or in support roles. Three rooms cater for infants, toddlers and older children. Environments are relevant for the age groups of children in each room. The multicultural nature of the centre is reflected in the festivals and events celebrated together by staff, children and families.

There are five Junior Junction centres in Auckland and one in Hamilton. The owner delegates responsibility for the day-to-day operation and management of the centre to the centre manager. Team leaders in each room provide assistance to the manager and have leadership and quality assurance responsibilities within their areas.

This is the second ERO review of the centre. In March 2013 ERO reported that the centre was well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children. The good practices identified at that time continue. Progress has also been made in relation to ERO's recommendations for improvement, including those focusing on providing greater challenge in children's learning and play opportunities.

The Review Findings

Children enjoy spending time with their friends and with teachers. They are settled and friendly toward each other and to adults. Children demonstrate that they feel comfortable in the centre and enjoy creative, imaginative play. Routines have become more relaxed since ERO's last review and are flexible to accommodate children's involvement in play activities. Teachers continue to work on promoting children's ability to self-manage, especially during routines.

Teachers are respectful and caring in their interactions with children. Their kind and friendly conversations with children could now be further enhanced to encourage and extend children's thinking. Teachers communicate well as a team to ensure the smooth delivery of the programme. They provide children with a good variety of resources. Some activities prepared by teachers are more teacher directed. Teachers could now think of better ways to present resources so that children are more able to plan their own play and determine what they will use.

Children enjoy a broad curriculum that includes the wider community. Older children visit the elderly each week to enjoy activities and food together. Teachers make good use of other community resources to add interest for children. Each week, external facilitators provide programmes that promote physical activity. This year, the centre is re-instigating the Healthy Heart programme. This provides a leadership opportunity for a staff member and professional learning for all staff to help them promote healthy lifestyles. Teachers are planning to work more with local schools to ensure the programme for the oldest children is promoting appropriate skills and knowledge in preparation for transition to school.

Displays in each room provide clear, visual information about the current programme. Some links to the interests and strengths of individual children are evident. Teachers' good quality and ongoing evaluation guides the planning process. Teachers share learning with parents and families electronically and are receiving good feedback. With these electronic records now being used to document each child's learning, teachers are considering ways to keep learning visible for children. Centre leaders continue to work towards consistent programme management practices across the centre.

A new centre manager oversees the day-to-day operation of the centre supported by three experienced room leaders, whose role includes building evaluative practice and quality assurance. A review of the appraisal system is underway to make the system more useful and bring it up to date with requirements. Opportunities for professional learning for staff are increasing, along with the expectation that they share their new learning with other staff.

Good internal evaluation systems and practices are in place that are focused on improving outcomes for children. These evaluations occur at a centre-wide level and in individual rooms. Evaluations can be strategic or emergent in response to feedback. As part of quality assurance, teachers in each room review their practice against their own room philosophies. These good evaluation practices are supporting the enhancement of teachers' reflective practice.

Clear expectations and good systems are in place to guide staff in their work. Well established systems and practices help staff record and monitor health and safety. Some variance in implementation should be monitored by centre leaders.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders have identified some key next steps for the centre. ERO agrees that these should include:

  • developing strategic planning in consultation with staff to determine development priorities and guide budgeting.

  • improving bicultural practice and the centre's provision for Māori children and their whānau, including building the confidence of staff to be models for the use of te reo Māori.

  • including the additional, recently developed policies in the policy review cycle.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Junior Junction Albany 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 Junior Junction Albany will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

21 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

Albany, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

45230

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

80 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll

61

Gender composition

Boys 33 Girls 28

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Chinese

Indian

Brazilian

Cook Island Māori

other

10

25

9

3

2

2

10

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

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

21 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

January 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 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.