Bunnies Childcare and Preschool - 02/03/2015

1. Evaluation of Bunnies Childcare and Preschool

How well placed is Bunnies Childcare and Preschool 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

Bunnies Childcare and Preschool is a purpose built, privately owned centre located in Cambridge. It is licensed to provide education and care for 100 children, including up to 24 children under the age of two. Of the 130 children currently attending the centre approximately 20% are Māori. Since the last ERO review two separate entities, Bunnies Licensed Childcare and Bunnies Licensed Pre-school, have been amalgamated under the one licence and now run as one, integrated centre. The centre is organised into three units, one for children 0 to 2 years, one for children 2 to 3 ½ years and one for children from 3 ½ years to school age. The centre is open from 7.00am to 5.30pm daily.

Each unit has its own supervisor and teaching team. An experienced, long-serving manager has overall responsibility for strategic and day-to-day management for the whole centre on behalf of the owners. Staffing has been consistent for a long period.

A feature of the centre is the well-designed and spacious indoor and outdoor environments. The centre aims to provide a rich learning environment that is safe, inclusive, responsive and empowering. This philosophy is consistently well implemented in all units. The centre responded positively to the areas for development and review identified in the former centres’ respective ERO reports.

The Review Findings

Bunnies Childcare and Preschool is well-placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children. Children are well supported to be capable and confident learners who make choices about their own learning and play. Respectful and reciprocal relationships throughout the centre empowers the children to take responsibility for the wellbeing of themselves, others and the wider group.

Children in each unit benefit from rich programmes that respond to their emerging interests and learning. Teachers thoughtfully plan and prepare the centre environment to support and extend children’s learning. The programme is strongly aligned to the early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki. As children progress through the centre, each unit effectively builds each child’s independence, social and physical skills and their mathematical, literacy and science understandings. Transitions for children from one unit to another, and to school are flexible and well managed. Teachers provide high-quality support for language development. The bicultural curriculum, including the use of te reo Māori and the celebration of national Māori festivals such as Matariki, is developing. Effective use is made of the strengths within the teaching team to enrich the programme.

Children in the preschool unit benefit from a project approach, which is well designed to foster the development of research, investigation, thinking and problem solving skills. Strategies such as open-ended questioning and brainstorming throughout the centre provide a strong foundation for project learning. Children are given opportunities to modify the environment, and plan and lead learning and exploration of interests.

Teachers provide a calm and nurturing environment for infants and young toddlers. The unit is well-designed and resourced to stimulate children to explore their world and safely practise their developing physical skills. Individual care routines are developed in collaboration with parents and whānau and are responsive to children’s changing needs.

Parents spoken to by ERO feel well informed about their children’s learning and progress. They appreciate the strong emphasis that the manager, supervisors and teachers place on forming strong relationships with families. Staff are approachable and very responsive to parent queries and concerns. Parents have many opportunities to contribute to their children’s learning.

The manager and supervisors provide effective and efficient leadership. They have developed a successful team approach across the centre underpinned by good communication and strong professional relationships. Professional development for teachers is well-resourced in response to individual staff needs identified through robust staff appraisal.

The centre philosophy and policies are well articulated and guide centre practice. The manager has developed and continues to strengthen effective strategic planning and self-review frameworks.

Key Next Steps

The following next steps have been identified:

Assessment practices: More consistent and focussed identification of children’s learning and useful next steps. Consistent monitoring of children’s learning and progress over time is likely to enhance the responsiveness of the learning programme.

Bicultural programme: Continuing to develop teaching resources based on local tribal histories and stories is likely to enhance children’s identity development. Continuing to explore Ministry of Education documents such as Ka Hikitia, Tātaiako and Te Whatu Pōkeka will strengthen teacher understanding and use of teaching practices that are effective in engaging not only Māori but all learners.

Owner / manager relationship: formalising meetings and strengthening documentation of decision-making and reporting enhances strategic management and leadership.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Bunnies Childcare and Preschool 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 Bunnies Childcare and Preschool will be in four years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern Northern Region

2 March 2015

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

Cambridge, Waikato

Ministry of Education profile number

34123

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

100 children, including up to 24 aged under 2

Service roll

130

Gender composition

Girls 52%

Boys 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Other European

Other

20%

68%

7%

5%

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

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2015

Date of this report

2 March 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

These are available at www.ero.govt.nz

Education Review (Bunnies Licensed Childcare)

May 2012

 

Education Review (Bunnies Licensed Pre-school)

May 2012

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.