Active Kids Early Childhood Centre - 08/06/2017

1 Evaluation of Active Kids Early Childcare Centre

How well placed is Active Kids Early Childcare 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

Active Kids Early Childhood Centre, located in the central business district of Tauranga city, provides full-day education and care for children from birth to school age. The centre is licensed for 60 children including 30 under the age of two years. The roll of 76, includes 21 Māori children and five of Pacific heritage.

This centre is privately owned and governed by a knowledgeable company director. She is supported by an experienced assistant centre manager and team leaders who provide overall professional leadership for the teaching team.

The centre operates three age-based rooms for babies and infants, toddlers and preschoolers.

Active Kids Early Childhood Centre has a positive ERO reporting history. It has responded well to the areas of development identified in the previous ERO report about strengthening self review and assessment practices.

The centre's philosophy makes a commitment to encouraging a passion for learning by creating a stimulating environment.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from participating in a programme that is responsive to their interests, learning and development. They have ready access to a wide range of good quality resources and equipment. There are regular opportunities provided for children to engage with the wider community by undertaking meaningful trips. Children's learning is enhanced by parents' participation in the programme, including sharing their knowledge and interests. 

Children with diverse learning needs are well supported within an inclusive environment. Māori children's language, culture and identity are recognised and affirmed by:

  • some teachers natural integration of te reo Māori in their everyday interactions with children

  • celebrations of events that are important for Māori including Matariki

  • regular inclusion of waiata and karakia in the daily programme

  • the prominence of te reo Māori in the centre environment.

A teacher with Pacific heritage provides useful support and guidance for other teachers to incorporate important aspects of Pacific culture in the programme.

Children under the age of two years enjoy caring and nurturing relationships with their teachers, supported by low child-to-teacher ratios. Close partnerships are established with parents to support home-care routines and respond to family aspirations. There are many opportunities for infants and toddlers to interact and play with their older siblings in the centre.

Individual portfolios, also available in electronic format, provide parents with an attractive record of children's learning and development. These documents are readily available for children to revisit their learning. Teachers make good use of this information to inform programme planning. Useful termly evaluations for each child document their ongoing progress. The centre's responsive and inclusive curriculum supports positive outcomes for children.

Teaching practices effectively contribute to positive learning outcomes. The teaching team reflects the diversity of the centre's community. Teachers have positive and affirming relationships with children and their families. They work well together to share their knowledge and expertise. ERO observed teachers implementing effective teaching strategies to engage children in meaningful learning and promoting their development. Teachers effectively promote children's literacy and mathematics skills. Developing the consistent use of these effective strategies is a priority for this centre. Children’s sense of themselves as successful learners is enhanced through effective teaching strategies and meaningful relationships.

Centre leadership is experienced and knowledgeable. Leaders work well with the company director including accessing meaningful professional learning for teachers. Leaders are respected by teachers and implement useful strategies to build teacher capability, including an appraisal process that meets Education Council requirements. Leaders implement effective self review focused on improving the quality of education and care. Effective leadership has established a culture that supports ongoing improvement.

Centre governance is effective. The director is committed to employing qualified teaching staff and has developed a comprehensive policy framework to guide centre operations. She is well informed about centre operations and works very closely with, and is supportive of, leaders and teachers. She participates in regular training to increase her knowledge and support in her governance role. Good quality governance underpins the centre's commitment to promoting positive outcomes for children.

Key Next Step

The key next step is for leaders to work with teachers to develop agreed expectations for effective teaching and learning at Active Kids Early Childcare Centre. These expectations should underpin teacher professional development and ongoing appraisal.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Active Kids Early Childcare 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 Active Kids Early Childcare Centre will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Waikato / Bay of Plenty

8 June 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

Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number

45949

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

60 children, including up to 30 aged under 2

Service roll

76

Gender composition

Girls 39 Boys 37

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Samoan

Tongan

Other

21

40

2

2

11

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

8 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

April 2014

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.