Kids Castle Education and Care Centre

Education institution number:
60355
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
41
Telephone:
Address:

37 Burns Street, Dannevirke

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1 Evaluation of Kids Castle Education and Care Centre

How well placed is Kids Castle Education and Care Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Kids Castle Education and Care Centre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Kids Castle Education and Care Centre is located in Dannevirke. It is a privately owned, mixed-age early learning service licensed for 32 children, including twelve children up to two years of age. Of the 41 children on the current roll, 12 are Māori.

Strategic direction and day-to-day operation are the responsibility of the centre owner and manager who works with the head teacher to realise the service's vision. The majority of the teaching team are long serving.

The centre has received targeted support through a Ministry of Education programme, Strengthening Early Learning Opportunities (SELO) in relation to assessment for learning, teacher appraisals and internal evaluation. Since the October 2016 ERO report, significant progress has been made by leaders and teachers to improve service-wide systems and processes.

Kids Castle Education and Care Centre is a member of a Kāhui Ako, Dannevirke Community of Learning/Tamaki Nui a Rua Hapori O Te Ako.

The Review Findings

The centre philosophy emphasises kaiako and tamariki working together to explore, share their kete of knowledge and manaaki others. This has been reviewed in collaboration with parents and whānau to reflect Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum and the valued outcomes for children.

Children experience a calm, welcoming, inclusive environment. Their sense of belonging is strongly evident. They confidently lead their own learning as independent and collaborative explorers and communicators. Teachers view children as confident and capable learners.

Respectful, nurturing relationships are visible in the responsive interactions that occur between children and teachers. Effective strategies used by staff support children's social and emotional competencies and promote their language development and evolving ideas and understandings.

A wide range of resources invite children's investigation and participation. The outdoor environment is used extensively to foster children's imagination, science, exploration and physical skills that are integrated throughout the programme. Children have many opportunities to follow their interests and engage in sustained play.

Younger children benefit from a mixed-age setting where they actively explore and work alongside their peers. Teachers are responsive to their needs and deliberate in their actions to grow children's skills and knowledge. Tuakana teina relationships contribute to their sense of security and belonging.

Centre practices integrate te ao Māori through te reo Māori, waiata and tikanga. There is a commitment to growing teachers' practice and they continue to strengthen this through working with Rangitāne iwi.

Assessment, planning and evaluation has been strengthened to better reflect the learning happening for children. Teachers know children well and use this knowledge to more deliberately plan and respond to their needs, skills and interests. Multiple perspectives of development, along with teachers’ observations and parent contributions, provide rich evidence to draw from and contribute to goals developed for each child.

Through learning stories assessment, teachers capture children's progress over time and identify and evaluate teaching strategies and learning outcomes. Teachers regularly share information about children's learning and progress with families. Learning partnerships with parents and whānau are emerging. Gathering parent and whānau voice is an ongoing focus. Many parents contribute to the curriculum and share aspirations for their children that are reflected in individual children's assessment.

Children with additional learning needs are supported to achieve positive outcomes. Teachers use information from parents and ongoing professional education to help progress the learning of these children.

The centre has a strong presence in the community and continues to develop reciprocal relationships with local schools through their involvement with the Kāhui Ako. This is strengthening children's learning pathways as they transition to school.

There is a deliberate focus on growing staff leadership capability and a clear commitment to developing staff knowledge and skills through ongoing professional learning and the sharing of good practice. Teachers work collaboratively as a team. Their skills and strengths are acknowledged and valued.

A newly implemented appraisal system is in place. This provides a sound framework to promote teacher growth and supports inquiry into practice. There is a strategic focus on improving teaching and learning.

A comprehensive system of policies and procedures helps guide practice and centre operation. An established framework for internal evaluation is in place and used to inform change and improvement. Continuing to embed newly implemented systems, processes and practices and using internal evaluation should support staff to measure the impact of practice on outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

To sustain good practice, leaders and teachers should:

  • continue to embed systems, processes and practices

  • use internal evaluation to know the impact of their practice - what is working, what is not working, and why.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kids Castle Education and Care Centre 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.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

1 July 2019

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

Dannevirke

Ministry of Education profile number

60355

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

32 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Service roll

41

Gender composition

Females 23, Males 18

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

12
24
5

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%+

Based on funding rates

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:5

Meets minimum requirements

Over 2

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2019

Date of this report

1 July 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2016

Education Review

July 2013

Education Review

May 2010

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 Kids Castle Education and Care Centre

How well placed is Kids Castle Education and Care Centre 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

Kids Castle Education and Care Centre is a privately owned service located in Dannevirke. The centre is licenced for 32 children, including 12 children up to the age of two. Of the 41 children enrolled, 20 identify as Māori. Parents are offered a choice of sessional and full-day childcare.

The centre's philosophy recognises the importance of partnerships with family/whānau in the holistic growth and development of each child.

The centre has recently developed a natural bush and garden area that includes Māori artefacts from the local area. An official ceremony celebrated the development of this space with members from local Iwi attending.

The owner/manager and head teacher provide governance, management and pedagogical leadership for a team of three qualified, registered teachers.

The July 2013 ERO evaluation findings identified the need to improve aspects of assessment, self review and appraisals for teachers. Limited progress has been made in addressing these areas for improvement.

The Review Findings

The centre philosophy is highly evident in practice.

A warm and welcoming environment supports children to settle quickly as they transition into and out of the daily sessions. Children have ample opportunity to participate in a wide choice of activities and resources. The environment supports children to problem solve, investigate and develop their physical skills.

Children's curiosity is nurtured and supported. They play cooperatively for sustained periods and their social competence and independence is promoted. There is space for non-mobile children to safely explore the environment.

Teachers know children's strengths, needs and abilities. Care routines are carefully managed to ensure consistency between home and the centre. Peaceful and respectful practice is modelled by staff and children.

Children with diverse needs are supported by teachers. Staff work in collaboration with parents and whānau and seek advice and guidance from appropriate agencies when necessary.

Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori is effectively woven throughout the programme. Children have opportunities to learn waiata, tikanga and their whakapapa.

A strategic goal for the service is to have a stronger focus on strengthening relationships with their whānau Māori. Current professional development with the local iwi should improve the way teachers support and promote educational success for Māori children.

Assessment and planning documentation requires strengthening to improve practice. Leaders acknowledge the need to continue to improve practice in this area, including revisiting individual children's learning to ensure that this is extended over time. Specific guidance through a clear policy should make clear the expectations of teachers. Leaders should monitor implementation and evaluate effectiveness. Profile books are attractive records of children's participation and enjoyment in the daily programme.

An annual appraisal cycle has not yet been established for the teaching team. This key next step was identified in the July 2013 ERO report and it has not yet been sufficiently addressed. Consideration should be given to defining the roles and responsibilities of service leaders to provide greater clarity about who is accountable for all areas of centre operation and providing targeted professional development to improve practice.

Self review continues to require strengthening. Developing a more rigorous process to guide understanding of review and internal evaluation are key next steps.

A recently developed annual plan guides centre activities. Children's emotional and physical wellbeing are promoted through regularly reviewed health and safety practices.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre leaders agree to:

  • develop a curriculum policy or procedure to guide assessment, planning and evaluation to better inform planning and evaluation practices and monitor implementation

  • implement a rigorous annual appraisal system for leaders and teachers

  • strengthen self review and internal evaluation processes.

There has been limited progress made in addressing the key next steps identified in July 2013 ERO report, therefore a greater sense of urgency is now required to address these issues.

Recommendation

Since the onsite phase of the review ERO has requested an action plan from the governing authority that shows how the priorities for improvement will be addressed. ERO will request progress updates against the plan.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kids Castle Education and Care Centre 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.

Action for compliance

ERO identified an area of non-compliance relating to governance and management practices. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following area:

  • implement a system of regular appraisal.
    Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA7

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Kids Castle Education and Care Centre will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

6 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

Dannevirke

Ministry of Education profile number

60355

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

32 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Service roll

41

Gender composition

Boys 21, Girls 20

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

20

21

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%+

Based on funding rates

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

August 2016

Date of this report

6 October 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

July 2013

Education Review

May 2010

Education Review

June 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.