Bright Eyes Early Childhood Centre - 24/01/2018

1 Evaluation of Bright Eyes Early Childhood Centre

How well placed is Bright Eyes Early Childhood 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

Bright Eyes Early Childhood Centre has served children and families in its West Auckland location for 33 years. The centre is licensed to provide education and care for 63 children, including 20 up to two years of age.

The centre operates from two restored bungalows that sit side by side. The Tui Room, in one of the bungalows, caters for infants and toddlers up to two and a half years of age. The Kea and Pukeko Rooms are in the adjacent bungalow, and cater for the older children. The Pukeko Room caters specifically for children who are over 4 years of age.

Centre leaders promote mixed age play, and children are grouped by age for a short part of their day. Both bungalows have their own spacious outdoor areas, including a challenging bike track for older children.

The centre philosophy and practices are influenced by Reggio Emilia. This means that there is a focus on promoting high levels of respect for children and for the centre environments.

The centre is privately owned by a group of people interested in providing a high quality early learning service. An early childhood management specialist provides governance and management support for the owners and supervisors. The two supervisors, and most teachers, have worked at the centre for many years and are well known to children and families.

Since the 2014 ERO review, teachers have strengthened their conversations with children so that they challenge their thinking. They have also increased the bicultural and multicultural dimensions of the programme.

The Review Findings

Children experience very good quality education and care. Highly skilled teachers work as a collaborative team to plan and enact a responsive and child-centred curriculum.

Teachers follow children's lead in the programme and adapt their practice to suit children's emerging interests and preferences. They work respectfully with children, engaging them meaningfully in conversation about their play. As a result of being respected as capable and competent learners, children learn to problem solve, to take supported risks, and be resilient.

Babies and toddlers experience calm, nurturing practices. Teachers support younger children to explore and be curious in the varied centre environments. They ensure that children have good connections to the whole teaching team.

The youngest babies have their own comfortable and secure space, where they play and eat together with their dedicated teachers. Teachers are highly responsive to children's care needs, following home routines, and parent preferences. These good practices promote the wellbeing and confidence of the youngest children.

Older children are highly engaged in their play and learning. They show care for their friends and take responsibility for younger children. The indoor environments are very well resourced, and used deliberately by teachers as the third teacher. Children and adults appreciate and make good use of the resources and environment. The outdoor spaces of the Kea and Pukeko rooms are also inviting and appropriately challenging for older children.

The very good management of children's transitions into, through, and beyond the centre, is a significant feature of its success. Teachers work alongside parents to assess children's readiness for moving to a new room. The transition to school programme focuses strongly on developing children's dispositions for learning.

The centre's strategic vision is to create a unique, homely environment based on the core value of respect. Natural materials and open-ended resources reflect the centre's vision and focus, and stimulate children's imagination and creativity. Literacy, numeracy, and science are integrated seamlessly into the context of children's play. A bicultural dimension is also naturally blended through the environment and teachers' practice. Children's diverse cultures are all valued and celebrated.

The supervisors are very good leaders and positive role models for the teaching team. They have high expectations of themselves and teachers to be learners who continually grow and improve their practice. Their respectful and collaborative approach to leadership results in a strong, stable team and trusting relationships. This good practice extends to the positive ways that teachers engage with parents and whānau. As a result, children, parents, and staff are comfortable and at ease in the centre.

The centre is very well governed. The strategic plan, developed collaboratively with staff, provides a strong framework for the centre's future direction. Owners and leaders have a good understanding of how internal evaluation can help them to identify and shape ongoing improvement.

The centre's useful appraisal process requires teachers to critically reflect on and improve their practice. It is well aligned to teachers' professional learning and to the centre's strategic goals.

The centre's cohesive systems for evaluation and reflection are further strengthened by regular written reports to the owners. These reports help the owners to resource strategically in order to sustain and continue to improve outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps identified by owners and leaders include:

  • strengthening the connections between the Tui, and Kea and Pukeko rooms, particularly to increase opportunities for teachers to share professional practice, and for children to experience mixed age play with all age groups

  • redesigning the outdoor environment in the Tui area so that younger children experience an interesting and more comfortable learning space.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Bright Eyes Early Childhood 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 Bright Eyes Early Childhood Centre will be in four years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

24 January 2018

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

Henderson, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20022

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

63 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll

67

Gender composition

Boys 41 Girls 26

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Asian
Samoan
other

9
42
7
6
3

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

24 January 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2014

Education Review

April 2011

Education Review

March 2008

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.