Active Explorers Cambridge Terrace - 28/08/2017

1 Evaluation of Active Explorers Cambridge Terrace

How well placed is Active Explorers Cambridge Terrace 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

Active Explorers Cambridge Terrace, formerly I Kids Cambridge Terrace, is located in central Wellington. The centre is licensed for 66 children, including 26 up to two years of age. All-day care is offered. Infants and toddlers are allocated space, resources and staff separate to those of older children.

Significant governance and management changes have occurred since ERO's 2014 review. In December 2015, the centre was purchased by Evolve Education Group, which owns a number of early learning services nationally. In addition, there have been recent changes to the Evolve management personnel who oversee the centre. Day-to-day operation is delegated to a centre manager. A head teacher and acting head teacher guide curriculum implementation for each age group. At the time of ERO's review, the centre was seeking several new teaching staff. A cook is also employed.

ERO's February 2014 report identified key next steps around parent partnership, the bicultural curriculum, and assessment, planning and evaluation. These remain areas for improvement.

The Review Findings

Children are provided a range of interesting activities. Teachers are attentive, and closely observe children’s play and interests. Regular group events and celebrations extend the curriculum. Teachers liaise with parents and outside agencies to support children with diverse needs. They should now consider how children’s cultures, languages and identities can be better integrated into the centre environment, daily programme and assessment documentation.

Respectful relationships are evident between teaching staff and children up to the age of two. Teachers have recently starting introducing aspects of RIE and Pikler philosophies, so that they can respond more effectively to the needs and characteristics of infants and toddlers. Deepening assessment practices should inform more purposeful learning interactions with these children. 

Parents are well informed about centre operations. They have regular opportunities to discuss their child’s learning and activities with teachers. A range of whānau events occur. Teachers have recently started gathering families' learning aspirations and cultural information. Leaders agree this information should now be incorporated into individual children's planning.

Teachers acknowledge that assessment, planning and evaluation requires improvement. Significant support is required to develop and implement a robust cyclic process. Documentation should clearly demonstrate:

  • the service's priorities for children's learning

  • specific plans to add challenge and complexity to children’s play

  • intentional teaching strategies in action

  • individual learning and progress over time

  • reciprocal learning partnerships with parents and whānau

  • the use of cultural information to improve children’s learning outcomes.

Assessment information should then be used to inform and evaluate how well the planned group programme supports children's learning.

Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are reflected in the environment. Leaders should now support all teachers to build their capability and confidence to use meaningful reo Māori in everyday conversations with children. In addition, all management levels should support the development and implementation of strategies which actively promote the educational success of Māori children.

Useful documents guide appraisal as well as support for teachers with provisional certification. A next step is to provide more robust oversight and monitoring of implementation, in relation to the following:

  • usefulness of goals in raising quality of practice

  • developing improvement goals and desired outcomes

  • quality of feedback in relation to how well goals have been met

  • depth of self-reflection

  • quality of evidence that demonstrates achievement of goals.

It is a priority for Evolve and the centre to build staff stability and sustainability at all levels. Effective internal evaluation capability should be built, at centre and management level. ERO's review identified increased support and monitoring is required, to build quality within the curriculum and centre operations. 

Key Next Steps

The centre requires support to develop:

  • assessment, planning and evaluation processes

  • culturally responsive practices

  • learning-based partnerships with parents and whānau

  • strategies for promoting the educational success of Māori children

  • meaningful, challenging implementation of appraisal and provisional certification support

  • effective and sustainable leadership

  • internal evaluation.

Recommendation

The service will provide ERO with an action plan that shows how the priorities for improvement will be addressed. ERO will request progress updates.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Active Explorers Cambridge Terrace 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. 

Actions for compliance

Evolve and centre management must fully implement the recommendations set out by Public Health. These changes should then be regularly monitored.

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to curriculum. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance, to clearly demonstrate how:

  • the curriculum is informed by assessment, planning and evaluation (documented and undocumented) that reflects children's learning, their interests, whānau and life contexts. [Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, C2]

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Active Explorers Cambridge Terrace will be in three years.

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

28 August 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

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

60061

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

66 children, including up to 26 aged under 2

Service roll

61

Gender composition

Girls 33, Boys 28

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Indian
Chinese
Other ethnic groups

3
38
6
4
10

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

July 2017

Date of this report

28 August 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

February 2014

Education Review

October 2010

Education Review

May 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.