DOP 10

10.  Management and educators should implement policies, objectives and practices which:

(a)  reflect the service's philosophy, quality curriculum, current theories of learning and development, the requirements of the DOPs and legislation;

(b)  acknowledge parents/guardians and whānau needs and aspirations for their child;

(c)  reflect the unique place of Māori as tangata whenua and the principle of partnership inherent in Te Tiriti o Waitangi;

(d)  are inclusive, equitable and culturally appropriate;

(e)  are regularly evaluated and modified by an on-going, recorded process of internal review.

Policies are essential tools for management and educators. They are agreed statements of purpose about particular aspects of a service’s management and programmes. As such, they assist the service to meet its charter requirements and the aims of its statement of philosophy, and they contribute to services’ responsibility to account to government.

Policies alone will not ensure quality in an early childhood service. It is the practices and procedures used to implement a policy that determine whether it will contribute to the development of a quality service and to children’s learning and development.

Effective policy:

  • expresses a rationale that explains a service’s objectives, procedures, and practices and that is consistent with the service’s charter and philosophy;
  • provides an agreed framework to guide management, educators, and parents/whānau so that people know what is expected of them;
  • ensures that the procedures, practices, and systems of the service are easily understood;
  • identifies who, in practice, is responsible for specific tasks;
  • is regularly reviewed to ensure that it achieves its stated purpose.

To implement policies and objectives, services develop plans. Management and educators can adopt a range of approaches to planning:

  • strategic or long-term plans, which identify broad goals and provide direction for achieving them;
  • operational or management plans, which are developed from strategic plans and which specify objectives to be met in a given time, and which outline systems, processes, and financial considerations to achieve these objectives;
  • financial plans and budgets, which identify how money will be spent.

10.  Management and educators should implement policies, objectives and practices which:

(a)  reflect the service’s philosophy, quality curriculum, current theories of learning and development, the requirements of the DOPs and legislation;

Management and educators can implement such policies, objectives, and practices by:

  • referring frequently to their statement of philosophy when developing policy and objectives;
  • ensuring that the service’s curriculum is in accord with recognised quality curriculum, such as Te Whāriki;
  • keeping up to date with contemporary developments and theories in learning and development, and applying this knowledge to the service’s policies, objectives, and practices;
  • ensuring that educators have regular access to professional development;
  • regularly revisiting the DOPs and discussing their practical implications for the service;
  • developing procedures to ensure that the service keeps up to date with new legislation.

Bicultural Approaches
Ētahi Ara Tikanga Rua

Māori pedagogy incorporates philosophical and spiritual beliefs, preferred learning styles, conditions conducive to learning, methods of transmitting knowledge, and appropriate people to pass on this knowledge.

For many Māori, quality curriculum implies:

  • the use of te reo;
  • an environment in which children connect culturally with people, places, and the past so that the culture is visible and validated;
  • approaches based on current theories of learning and development for Māori.

Educators and management can ensure that their service’s policies, objectives, and practices acknowledge Māori approaches to pedagogy and curriculum.

Scenarios
Ētahi Take

A service’s philosophy includes the aim of a bicultural curriculum. In consultation with whānau and the local Māori community, educators and management develop an environment that provides strong visual and kinaesthetic experiences through the use of natural materials and Màori symbols. All children in the service hear and experience te reo as a working language. The children begin to speak Māori as part of their vocabulary.

One of management’s objectives at an ā‘oga ‘āmata is to help children become confident in the social conventions associated with food. After discussions with educators and parents, they decide upon a new lunchtime routine. Children assist with laying out the mats in preparation for the meal. Eating is preceded by grace and an acknowledgment of thanks for food and the people who prepared it. Children are encouraged to assist one another by pouring one another’s drinks or passing food. Educators sit with the children, and the meal is a time of social interaction and enjoyment. Later, everyone helps clear away.

Signposts
Ētahi Tohu

  • Co-operative play and collective responsibility are encouraged.
  • The service’s policies and procedures reflect its statement of philosophy and charter.
  • Policies on child management within the service and on the management of child abuse are clear and readily accessible to parents/whānau.
  • Management keeps up to date with new legislation by reading the Education Gazette, the New Zealand Gazette, Pitopito Kōrero, and Pānui.  

Reflective Questions
He Pātai hei Whakaaro iho

  • How does our curriculum reflect our service’s philosophy?
  • What needs to happen before our service’s strategic plan can include objectives and milestones for developing a bicultural framework?
  • What can we do to develop an understanding of Māori theories of human development and Māori approaches to education?

Recommended Reading
Ngā Pukapuka Āwhina

Metge, J. Learning and Teaching: He Tikanga Māori. Research paper. Wellington: Department of Education, 1984.

Moss, P. and A. Pence, eds. Valuing Quality in Early Childhood Services: New Approaches to Defining Quality. London: Paul Chapman Publishing, 1994.

Rouse, J. Ngā Painga o Ngā Mahi Atawhai Kōhungahunga: Quality in Early Childhood Education. Wellington: Early Childhood Development Unit, 1996.

10.  Management and educators should implement policies, objectives and practices which:

(b)  acknowledge parents/guardians and whānau needs and aspirations for their child;

Management and educators can implement such policies, objectives, and practices by:

  • ensuring, through formal and informal discussions, that they understand parent/ whānau needs and aspirations for their children;15
  • developing strategies to ensure that these aspirations are taken account of in the service’s procedures and routines;
  • using internal review to evaluate how effectively the service is meeting these aspirations.

Bicultural Approaches
Ētahi Ara Tikanga Rua

The whānau is a vital influence on the development of tamariki Māori. Management and educators can take such an influence into account by consulting extended families where appropriate.

All parents/whānau are empowered when they join with management and educators to develop a shared vision and assume shared responsibility for the learning and development of children.

Scenarios
Ētahi Take

Management and educators at a service identify a number of options for acknowledging the aspirations of parents and  whānau. They develop policies to promote written communication and discussions, both formal and informal, between parents and educators. Educators regularly seek parents’ perspectives on their children’s learning and development, and management, educators, parents, and whānau co-operate in reviewing the service’s charter and philosophy.

Signposts
Ētahi Tohu

  • Educators understand and act on the aspirations of parents/whānau for their children.
  • Parents/whānau have ready access to the service’s policies and procedures.

Reflective Questions
He Pātai hei Whakaaro iho

  • How do we encourage parents/whānau to express their hopes and aspirations for their children?
  • How do we ensure that these are taken into account in our service’s policies, practices, and programmes?
  • How does our service demonstrate an understanding of whānau dynamics? How does this understanding influence the way we work?

Recommended Reading
Ngā Pukapuka Āwhina

Hirini, P. “He Whakaaro mō te Ariā Whanaungatanga: He ata Rapu: Towards an Understanding of Whanaungatanga”. He Pukenga Kōrero, vol. 2. no. 12 (Autumn 1997): pp. 43–50.

New Zealand Playcentre Federation. Hugs and Hassles: He Awhi, He Pōrearea: Parents and Children Growing Together. Auckland: New Zealand Playcentre Federation, 1989.

Patterson, J. Exploring Māori Values. Palmerston North: Dunmore Press, 1992.

Royal-Tangaere, A. Learning Māori Together: Kōhanga Reo and Home. Wellington: New Zealand Council for Educational Research, 1997.

10.  Management and educators should implement policies, objectives and practices which:

(c)  reflect the unique place of Māori as tangata whenua and the principle of partnership inherent in Te Tiriti o Waitangi;

The Treaty of Waitangi plays a significant role in the revitalisation of Māori language and culture. It is a fundamental reference point for both Māori and non-Māori.

Early childhood services have made a significant contribution to this process. This is evident in the development of kōhanga reo, and it is also seen in Te Whāriki, which includes many strategies for implementing bicultural programmes.

Te Tiriti o Waitangi has many implications for management and educators in early childhood services in Aotearoa New Zealand. They include:

  • recognising Māori as tangata whenua;
  • working in partnership with Māori to develop plans and policies for services;
  • working in partnership with Māori to foster the learning and development of their children;
  • addressing equity issues to achieve genuine opportunities for participation by Māori and quality outcomes for Māori children;
  • ensuring that service programmes support the revitalisation of te reo Māori and tikanga Māori.

Bicultural Approaches
Ētahi Ara Tikanga Rua

Management and educators can address the implications of Te Tiriti o Waitangi by:

  • developing a shared understanding of what partnership means;
  • reflecting a commitment to partnership in their service’s statement of philosophy and charter;
  • consulting with Māori whānau in order to establish a collaborative approach to the management of the service and the learning and development of children;
  • ensuring that the curriculum is culturally appropriate;
  • encouraging the use of te reo and tikanga Māori in the service’s greetings, farewells, and daily routines. 

Scenarios
Ētahi Take

A service is located in an area where Māori do not appear to have a strong presence. Management and educators wish to consult tangata whenua in the development of their charter but are unsure about how to consult local Māori and how to appoint an appropriate person to represent the service. They approach the local marae, which gives them advice and support.

A cluster of local services decides to run a winter series of seminars for the community on Te Tiriti o Waitangi. They approach the Office of Treaty Settlements and receive assistance and advice on topics, resources, speakers, and interesting ways to attract people to attend.

Signposts
Ētahi Tohu

  • Educators and management are conversant with Te Tiriti o Waitangi and can demonstrate a commitment to the Treaty within their service.

Reflective Questions
He Pātai hei Whakaaro iho

  • What do we understand about the unique place of Māori as tangata whenua?
  • How do we ensure that management and educators understand the principle of partnership inherent in Te Tiriti o Waitangi?
  • How is this principle of partnership reflected in the policies, objectives, and practices of our service?
  • How do we develop a shared understanding of Māori values and beliefs? What professional development is available to assist us in this process?
  • How does our service encourage educators to extend their knowledge and use of te reo Māori and tikanga Māori?

Recommended Reading
Ngā Pukapuka Āwhina

Chapman, B. Your Culture, My Culture: A Pākehā Perspective. Auckland: New Zealand Playcentre Federation, 1989.

Orange, C. The Story of a Treaty. Wellington: Allan and Unwin/Port Nicholson Press, 1992.

Tauroa, H. Healing the Breach: One Māori’s Perspective on the Treaty of Waitangi. Auckland: Communications Arts Ltd, 1989.

Te Whāiti, P., M. McCarthy, and A. Durie, eds. Mai i Rangiātea: Māori Well-being and Development. Auckland: Auckland University Press/Bridget Williams Books, 1997.

10.  Management and educators should implement policies, objectives and practices which:

(d)  are inclusive, equitable and culturally appropriate;

For quality early childhood education, it is essential that services’ policies, objectives, and practices do not create barriers to participation for any child, parent, guardian, or whānau.

For this to occur, some components of the curriculum may need more emphasis than others so that the service can work towards the goal of equitable opportunities for all. For example, the allocation of resources, staffing, and support processes may need to be reconsidered to ensure that all children can partake in particular learning experiences.

Management and educators can work towards equitable outcomes for all by:

  • developing and promoting policies on inclusion, equity, and culturally appropriate procedures in all service practices and programmes;
  • seeking the views of parents/whànau on how inclusive and equitable their service’s practices and programmes are;
  • identifying barriers to participation for any child, parent, or whānau;
  • implementing strategies to remove these barriers;
  • evaluating how effectively their service is meeting goals for inclusion and equity.

Bicultural Approaches
Ētahi Ara Tikanga Rua

Whānau values and whanaungatanga (relationships) develop within a framework of joint responsibility and accountability. Culturally appropriate service policies and practices will be collaborative and reciprocal and will help to ensure equitable opportunities for all parents/whānau.

Services can work towards such policies and practices by:

  • recognising that for many Māori, children’s learning and development are supported by including whānau in decision making;
  • ensuring that the curriculum reflects the cultural heritage of Māori;
  • devising policies and a strategic plan for bicultural development.

Scenarios
Ētahi Take

Following an internal review, a service identifies the need to update and expand its materials and resources that reflect Māori culture and perspectives. In financial plans and the budget, management gives priority to funding the purchase of  appropriate, additional resources and to professional development for educators on te reo and tikanga Māori.

A service commissions an external evaluation on whether its practices are inclusive, equitable, and culturally appropriate. It particularly wants to know how effectively it is meeting the requirements of children with special needs and whether their families feel welcome and comfortable within the service. The evaluation identifies two main barriers: educators’ negative attitude and lack of skills; and the impact of management’s rules and protocols on the service. Management releases the evaluator’s report to the local community for discussion. As a result, the service revises many of its policies and procedures, educators change some of the ways they work with children, and management and educators together undertake professional development on education for children with special needs.

Signposts
Ētahi Tohu

  • All children in the service interact and play together, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or ability.
  • Educators are aware of children excluded by groups and use their skills to ensure that these children are included.

Reflective Questions
He Pātai hei Whakaaro iho

  • How do the policies of our service reflect an ongoing concern for equity?
  • What procedures do we have for identifying barriers to participation for any child, parent, or whānau member?
  • How do we gather and act on the views of parents/whānau about equity and inclusiveness in our service?
  • How do we monitor our progress in implementing policies, objectives, and procedures to achieve equity?

Recommended Reading
Ngā Pukapuka Āwhina

Education Review Office. What Counts as Quality in Childcare. Wellington: ERO, 1996.

Education Review Office. What Counts as Quality in Kindergartens. Wellington: ERO, 1997.

Education Review Office. What Counts as Quality in Playcentres. Wellington: ERO, 1998.

Rōpū Hanga Tikanga. Whānau Tupu Ngātahi: Families Growing Together. Auckland: New Zealand Playcentre Federation, 1990.

10.  Management and educators should implement policies, objectives and practices which:

(e)  are regularly evaluated and modified by an on-going, recorded process of internal review.

Internal review improves the quality of a service through reflection, analysis, and planned action. Management and educators can use this process to evaluate how well the policies, objectives, and practices of their service are meeting the aims of the statement of philosophy and the requirements of the charter, which include the DOPs. Internal review also encourages a service to be open to continual improvement.

A review may serve as a starting point for a wider evaluation of policies, procedures, and practices. Reviews can take many forms and may be:

  • constant, ongoing, and informal – for example, management’s and educators’ reflections on daily practice;
  • planned and regular – for example, reviews of policies or the charter;
  • triggered by a specific issue or event – for example, the mandating of the revised DOPs

Successful internal reviews:

  • involve both management and educators in establishing their scope, purposes, and processes;
  • focus on significant policies and issues that determine the quality of the service;
  • identify priorities for action and bring about worthwhile change;
  • build a service-wide commitment to the importance and value of review.

Results, issues, needs, and recommendations identified during internal review form the basis of future action. They may stimulate management and educators to develop new policies, revise strategic and management plans, and change existing practices.

The Process of Internal Review
Te Mahi Arotake o Roto

Internal review can be thought of as a continuous, six-step process.

Preparation
  • Preparing for a review involves:
  • deciding on the scope of the review (what is to be reviewed – strategic or management plans? policies? programmes and practices?);
  • setting objectives (to improve planning? to audit resources? to address issues identified in an ERO report?);
  • deciding who will be included (who will carry out the review? who will be consulted?);
  • selecting processes to be used;
  • deciding how to record and communicate results;
  • setting a time frame.
Gathering Information

Methods of gathering information may include:

  • informal conversations;
  • questionnaires;
  • interviews;
  • planned discussions with children and with groups of parents/whānau;
  • observations;
  • analysing ERO reports and other formal evaluations;
  • assessing the service’s performance against policies, objectives, and other criteria.
Analysing Results

The analysis should identify:

  • areas that are working well;
  • areas where change is required;
  • issues, concerns, or trends;
  • suggested priorities for action;
  • costs of recommended changes and courses of action
Recording and Communicating Findings

Management and educators will communicate findings to parents, whānau, and, where appropriate, to the community at large. All those involved can then identify priorities for action and participate in decisions about change.

Planning and Acting

Analysis of results and recommendations for change generally lead to an action plan that sets out:

  • what is to be done;
  • why it is to be done;
  • who will take responsibility;
  • what resources will be required;
  • when changes and action will occur;
  • how the effectiveness of changes and action will be assessed.

Management and educators should collaborate to ensure that the plan of action is implemented and, as time goes on, adapted where necessary.

Evaluating Outcomes

Evaluating the outcomes of internal review involves:

  • monitoring the implementation of the action plan;
  • evaluating the effectiveness of changes and action;
  • reporting on changes and action to parents/whànau and the local community;
  • making recommendations for the next internal review.

Bicultural Approaches
Ētahi Ara Tikanga Rua

Effective internal reviews involve working in partnerships with parents/whānau. Management and educators can work towards a bicultural approach to internal review by:

  • consulting with local Māori on effective ways to achieve such a partnership;
  • involving parents/whānau from the start;
  • consulting parents/whānau on the equity and inclusiveness of service programmes and practices;
  • ensuring that review processes are culturally appropriate – for example, it may be necessary to attend hui for the purposes of consultation and reporting.

Scenarios
Ētahi Take

Through a process of internal review, a service recognises that its procedures, policies, and practices no longer reflect the wide diversity of families in the community. This leads to changes in terminology from, for example, “mother help” to “caregiver” or “whānau support”. Changes in terminology are reflected in new approaches. In the procedures for gathering and recording information about family or whānau backgrounds, specific questions are replaced by the opportunity for family and whānau to decide what they wish to share. Over time, the attitudes of educators and management also change.

Signposts
Ētahi Tohu

  • Policies, objectives, and procedures are reviewed regularly; updated versions are dated and signed by management.
  • Reviews result in significant, worthwhile change.
  • Management, educators, and parents/whānau are involved in reviews.

Reflective Questions
He Pātai hei Whakaaro iho

  • What are our current processes for internal review? How do they ensure that we meet the changing needs of children, parents/whānau, and the community?
  • How do we ensure that parents/whānau are actively involved in all internal review processes?
  • How do we involve whānau and tangata whenua in evaluating the effectiveness of our service?
  • How can we find out how whānau and local Māori regard our service’s commitment to the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi?

Recommended Reading
Ngā Pukapuka Āwhina

Cubey, P. and C. Dalli. Quality Evaluation of Early Childhood Education Programmes: A Literature Review. Occasional Paper no. 1. Wellington: Wellington Institute for Early Childhood Studies, 1996.

Ministry of Education. Governing and Managing New Zealand Schools: A Guide for Boards of Trustees. Part Two. Wellington: Learning Media, 1997.

Sylva, K. “Evaluating Early Childhood Education Programmes”. Early Childhood Development and Care, vol. 58 (1990): pp. 97–107.

Footnotes

15 Refer also to DOPs 4(c), 5(b), and 8(a) to (c).


Last updated: 24 August 2010