ABC Educare - 27/10/2017

1 Evaluation of ABC Educare

How well placed is ABC Educare 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

ABC Educare is a privately owned early learning service located in Moturoa, New Plymouth. It is licensed for 80 children, including 25 up to two years old. There are three main learning areas designed for infants, toddlers and young children. Each area has its own team of teachers.

The quality of education is overseen by the manager who is responsible for governance and management, and the professional leader who mentors teachers and leads curriculum and review. Many staff are long serving.

The centre philosophy states a commitment to providing high quality education and care for each child, underpinned by relationships with whānau and community and holistic teaching and learning through authentic experiences.

ERO's January 2015 report identified the need to strengthen strategic planning, self-review, assessment, success for Māori learners, and the appraisal process. The centre has responded well to these areas.

The Review Findings

The values of whanaungatanga, manaakitanga, ako, aroha, whakaute and purei, expressed in the philosophy are evident in practice. Respectful relationships between children, teachers and families contribute to children's strong sense of belonging and wellbeing.

Children participate in a programme that is responsive to their interests. Educators effectively notice, recognise and extend these interests by providing a wide range of learning opportunities. A well-resourced environment supports children's engagement in authentic learning experiences.

Teachers support children to be confident, capable and self-managing learners. Children are highly engaged in sustained play. Tuakana teina is evident within a child-led programme where their independence and problem solving skills are encouraged.

An effective policy guides assessment, planning and evaluation of children's learning. There is a wellconsidered approach to the documentation of assessment of children's learning. Since the previous ERO review, there has been a deliberate focus by leaders on supporting teachers' capability through developing a shared understanding of good assessment practice.

Through assessment and planning processes, teachers notice, recognise and respond to the strengths and interests of children. Teachers' observations of children in everyday activities builds a picture of their interests.

The curriculum effectively integrates bicultural values and practices in meaningful ways. Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are integrated throughout the programme. Parents' and whānau aspirations for their children's learning are sought and used to guide practices. They are valued as partners in their child's learning and many have long standing relationships with the centre. Sharing of information and involving parents in events are centre priorities.

A local kaumatua supports teachers and children's understanding of authentic Māori learning contexts. Teachers show a commitment to continuing to strengthen educational success for Māori learners.

Separate learning areas cater for the specific needs and interests of those children up to two years of age. Transitions are responsive to individual needs and rhythms. Key teachers effectively support children's sense of belonging and security as they transition into and within the centre. Older children benefit from careful consideration to growing literacy and mathematical knowledge to support their transitions to school.

Children who require additional learning support and their families are well catered for within an inclusive learning environment. Teachers appropriately plan and implement successful strategies to respond to individuals' needs. Staff work in collaboration with parents and whānau and seek advice and guidance from appropriate agencies when necessary. Suitable professional learning opportunities are provided to build teachers’ knowledge and practice.

Leaders and teachers have identified that strengthening partnerships to support Pacific learners' language, culture and identity is a next step. ERO agrees.

There is a collaborative approach to internal evaluation with clear expectations for teacher practice and learning outcomes for children. Reviews are ongoing and responsive to the identified priorities, plans and actions. Leaders and ERO have identified that further strengthening of internal evaluation is required. This includes having a clear evaluative question to guide inquiry and measureable indicators to show what best practice looks like.

A successful induction and mentoring programme contributes to teacher growth and development. The centre manager and professional leader model collaboration, with a strong focus on continual improvement. Teachers are valued and acknowledged for the strengths, skills and expertise they bring to the centre. They regularly seek professional learning and development and access a range of research to support their practice.

A revised appraisal process supports teachers' practice. The quality of feedback should be strengthened to be more strongly focussed on teachers' development needs.

A strategic plan with clear governance roles and responsibilities, supports continued improvement and sustainability of operation over time. A good range of operational guidelines is in place to build consistency of teaching practice.

Key Next Steps

Leaders, teachers and ERO agree to continue to further strengthen:

  • internal evaluation to better evaluate the impact of actions on improving learning outcomes for children

  • aspects of the appraisal system

  • understanding and practices that promote success for Pacific learners.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of ABC Educare 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 ABC Educare will be in three years.

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

27 October 2017

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

New Plymouth

Ministry of Education profile number

50506

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

103

Gender composition

Boys 53, Girls 50

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Pacific
Other ethnic groups

30
62
2
9

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2017

Date of this report

27 October 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

January 2015

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.