BestStart Waihopai Kindy

Education institution number:
80049
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
39
Telephone:
Address:

168 Kelvin Street, Invercargill Central, Invercargill

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BestStart Waihopai Kindy - 30/03/2020

1 Evaluation of BestStart Waihopai Kindy

How well placed is BestStart Waihopai Kindy to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

BestStart Waihopai Kindy is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

BestStart Waihopai Kindy has had a change in ownership and name since the 2015 ERO review. Since 2016, the service has operated under the BestStart Educare Limited management structure. BestStart is a large national organisation that owns early childhood education centres across New Zealand. There has been a change in licensing numbers and a small increase in the number of children since the change in ownership. The service provides full-day education and care for up to 42 children, from two years of age to school age. There have also been significant changes in staffing since 2018, including a new leadership team.

The centre manager teaches and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the kindy. She also manages the adjacent Kelvin Street BestStart service. A newly appointed BestStart area manager supports the kindy. All teachers are fully registered and qualified in Early Childhood Education.

The kindy's philosophy emphasises relationship building (whanaungatanga) and knowing the holistic learning and care needs of each child and family: wellness of the mind (hinengaro), body (tinana) and spirit (wairua). This includes play-based approaches to teaching and learning experiences that are reciprocal (ako).

Children learn and play in two large learning areas and an outdoor area. The kindy caters for families from an increasingly diverse range of cultural backgrounds.

The service has responded effectively to many of the recommendations in the 2015 ERO report. There has been progress in monitoring strategic goals, enhancing internal evaluation practices and communicating children's progress to families.

The Review Findings

The kindy's philosophy is evident in the day-to-day practices of teachers who know children and their families well. Teachers are responsive to children's interests and strengths. Children's sense of belonging is nurtured through caring and respectful relationships and established routines.

Children and their families, including small numbers of Māori and Pacific children and whānau, are supported into the centre programme. As a result, children appeared settled and engaged. They enjoy a range of learning experiences with easy access to the environment and resources. These learning areas accommodate families, resourced play and creation activities, a group area for special events, and activities that include music, dance and active movement. The external area includes a vegetable garden, compost system and worm farm to promote environmental care and sustainable practices (kaitiakitanga). The local curriculum fosters children's creativity. A planned excursions programme provides opportunities for children to learn about the natural world and their place in it.

Children are encouraged to learn about Māori and other cultures. Bicultural perspectives are evident in practice and within the learning environment. Children have opportunities to participate in wider community events that celebrate culture and identity.

Teachers work collaboratively, utilising individual strengths to support children's social and emotional development. A recent review has strengthened encouragement and development of children's oral language and problem-solving skills. Teachers regularly communicate with families/whānau about their children's learning and wellbeing. Children with identified needs have individualised care and learning opportunities, with support from families and external expertise.

New centre leaders are collaboratively developing an understanding and use of best teaching and learning practices that align with the centre's philosophy. Leaders are supported by managers in further strengthening teachers' abilities to reflect on their practices and to engage in evaluations that improve outcomes for children. Internal evaluation practices are increasingly responsive to areas identified for improvement.

The kindy benefits from the BestStart organisation's policies, procedures and systems that support and promote positive learning and care outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

Centre managers have identified, and the ERO onsite evaluation has confirmed, that the service needs to continue to strengthen aspects of assessment, planning and evaluation. This includes:

  • development and review of the localised curriculum
  • consistency of assessment practices that reflect children's learning
  • improved support for transitions to local schools.

The service needs to further develop learning partnerships with families/whānau that recognise and reflect family aspirations, languages, cultures and identities. This includes improving the responsiveness to family/whānau feedback, to enhance outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of BestStart Waihopai Kindy 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.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)

Southern Region - Te Tai Tini

30 March 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

Invercargill

Ministry of Education profile number

80049

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

42 children, two years and over

Service roll

30

Gender composition

Boys 20, Girls 10

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Indian
Other ethnicities

3
12
4
11

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

December 2019

Date of this report

30 March 2020

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

July 2015

Supplementary Review

July 2013

Education Review

May 2012

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.

YMCA Early Learning Centre - 14/07/2015

1 Evaluation of YMCA Early Learning Centre

How well placed is YMCA Early Learning 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

YMCA Early Learning Centre is a full-day education and care centre in central Invercargill. It caters for up to 35 children aged from birth to school age. Infants, toddlers, and older children each have their own rooms at the centre. All the children play in the same space at the start and end of the day, and they share the outside playground. 

The centre is owned by Southland YMCA Education Ltd. The YMCA organisation supports the management of the centre. A manager and head teacher have responsibility for the day-to-day running of the centre. The centre has a high proportion of qualified staff.

The centre leaders have made significant progress on all the recommendations identified in the 2013 ERO report. This report recommends that they continue to develop these areas.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from caring, respectful, and trusting relationships with their teachers. They play and learn in a very settled and secure atmosphere. Children and teachers have genuine conversations. Teachers listen carefully to the children and give them time to respond. The low adult-to-child ratios in the infant and toddler rooms strongly support these aspects. 

The teachers provide a rich range of purposeful learning experiences for the children. For example, as part of the well-established “bush programme” older children visit the Otatara Scenic Reserve every week. Children go on frequent excursions in the local community, including to regular gym sessions. The programme also has an emphasis on early literacy and mathematics learning.

The leaders and teachers have a shared understanding of the centre’s philosophy and values. The philosophy is visible in action in the way children help make decisions about the programme and take on real tasks around the centre. In the older children’s room teachers and children plan and work on extended projects together.

The leaders and teachers go out of their way to support the participation and wellbeing of all the children at the centre. They:

  • provide a van to pick up children from families who find it hard to get to the centre
  • work closely with other agencies who can support children and their parents
  • adapt their programme to fully include children with diverse needs
  • communicate with parents in both formal and informal ways.

The programme values and affirms the children’s home cultures. The teachers maintain Māori children’s connections to their cultural identity through frequent reading and telling of traditional stories, taking part in Polyfest, using waiata and karakia, and developing interesting wall displays. There has also been a recent emphasis on Samoan culture and language. 

The teachers have a useful format for planning for individual children’s learning. They incorporate parents’ wishes for their children in the planning. Teachers assemble attractive records of children’s learning. These show the wide variety of experiences children have and include evidence around their individual goals. Next steps in this area are for teachers to:

  • ensure they understand and apply the planning format consistently
  • show more clearly how they are making a difference for children.

The teachers should put a system in place to check that individual children’s learning is discussed regularly with all parents.

Governance and leadership

The centre leaders have developed a useful strategic plan that sets out priorities for the centre and gives guidance for future action. The plan will be even more useful with clearer monitoring of the goals and reporting to the YMCA governing board.

Teachers’ use of self review and ongoing professional development has led to positive changes at the centre. Asking more evaluative questions in the planned reviews will help the centre leaders and YMCA board be assured about the quality of their work. The appraisal system for staff members should be consolidated and would benefit from a formal observation component.

Key Next Steps

The key next steps for the centre leaders are to improve the systems for monitoring aspects of the centre’s operations, and sharing best practice throughout the centre. This should include:

  • enhancing consistency in planning for and recording children’s learning
  • consolidating the appraisal system
  • checking for and dealing with hazards.

The YMCA governing board should ensure it receives better information to inform it about the progress and performance of the centre.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of YMCA Early Learning 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of YMCA Early Learning Centre will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

14 July 2015

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Invercargill

Ministry of Education profile number

80049

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

35 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll

45

Gender composition

Girls: 24

Boys: 21

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific or Pacific / African

Indian

12

26

3

4

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

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2015

Date of this report

14 July 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Supplementary Review

July 2013

 

Education Review

May 2012

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.