Dec 2013 Review Submitted by Karen Payne (parent and ECE Registered Teacher)

 

Kids Campus T.P.S. Childcare Society Inc, Tauranga

Address:  70 Humber Crescent, Tauranga
Number of Children:  42 children in total (including 9 under-2s)
Hours:  7.00am to 5.20pm
Management:  The centre is an incorporated society governed by a committee of elected parents, whānau and manager. 

Kids Campus is situated in a quiet part of the Gate Pa suburb beside Kopurererua reserve.  

I arrived just after 11am and saw the centre sat just past a corner in the road.  I noticed there was no designated parking area for parents but found it relatively easy at this time to find a park.

Upon entering I was greeted by Sharon a long standing staff member and Sharon showed me around.   

I was impressed by what I saw inside which had a lovely flow with little areas for babies to explore.

Sharon got me an information form and began to tell me about what the centre. 

They supply a cooked lunch every day and parents and whanau are asked to contribute to morning and afternoon tea by donating fruit or crackers.

The centre was very neatly sorted into little areas of play and looked well-resourced for the number of children.

Sharon said there was a staff-child ratio of 1 to 5 and they allocate a key teacher to each child to help children settle and build strong relationships with staff.  She mentioned that they employ a mix of trained and untrained staff.  Most staff are of Māori descent.  

I noticed a strong bi-cultural focus to the centre with carvings surrounding the inside and outside areas. You can tell that the Māori culture is weaved through the daily programme with karakia before kai and the staff spoke  quite a bit of Te Reo Māori alongside English with the children.

Kids Campus has one male staff member who was away the day I visited but it was explained to me that he was responsible for running the transition to school programme for the 4 year olds. Although other staff were unclear as to exactly what happened I was assured that they offered children experiences that readied them for school. It would have been good to get a clearer idea of what they offered in this area, but I was told the Education Review Office had given them lots of praise and encouragement for their transition to school programme.

The daily programme consisted of free play for most of the day alongside two set group times, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Children would go to their set teacher-based groups and given an activity.   

I was told that a plan for children’s learning based on children’s current strengths and interests and parents ideas is put into place for each child and evaluated on monthly basis.  

I thought that the outside area was amazing.  It was a large area with lots of natural shading on a sunny day and lots of weaving paths with areas to explore.  There were carvings on the fence, a little whare (Māori hut) for pretend play, and two sandpits (one under cover and one open).   It is great to see children having access to lots of open space to play and have fun in.

After being shown the outdoor areas we went back inside.  It was now lunch-time for the children. The children were all very quiet and were watching a DVD of a cartoon.  This seemed to be the routine at lunch-times - to have lunch in front of the T.V.  I was surprised as lunch-times are usually times for social conversations and catch-ups and I had not expected to see the TV on.   

I liked the feel of the centre - it did not have a large number of children and it had a very homely, warm and loving feel.  And, I was impressed by the warmth between children and teachers and the professionalism of the teachers.