Care-A-Lot Childcare Centre - 12/01/2018

1 Evaluation of Care-A-Lot Childcare Centre

How well placed is Care-A-Lot 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

Care-A-Lot Childcare Centre is a small centre based in an adapted house in Devonport. It provides all day education and care for children over two years old and is licensed for up to 21 children.

The centre has had a change of ownership and management since its 2014 ERO review. It is now owned and governed by Gluga 123 Ltd. The owners have three other centres and have appointed centre directors who each oversee the management and operation of two centres.

The centre’s philosophy promotes respectful and trusting relationships. It encourages a learning programme and environment where individual strengths and interests are acknowledged, and children lead their own learning. The philosophy promotes bicultural practices and recognises the growing diversity in the community. It is linked to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

Centre leaders have responded positively to suggestions for ongoing improvement made in the 2014 ERO report. These next steps related to the implementation of strategic goals, identifying and documenting children’s interests, and responding to children’s learning.

The Review Findings

Children are happy, confident and competent learners. They move freely around an attractive, peaceful learning environment. They are provided with a range of provocations and resources that allow them to make choices and initiate their own play. Their oral language and curiosity are fostered, and their self-management skills are nurtured. Children play independently or join activities that are initiated by teachers. Teachers promote an inclusive curriculum.

Teachers have warm, positive, and respectful relationships with children. They work collaboratively to promote an environment that is conducive to learning. Good adult-to-child ratios allow teachers to have sustained conversations with children, encouraging them to think, inquire, and build on their prior knowledge. Teachers are knowledgeable about the curriculum. Literacy, numeracy, and natural science are integrated into the programme. Teachers are well placed to increase support for children to develop more complex play.

Teachers are committed to modelling and promoting a bicultural curriculum. They integrate te reo and tikanga Māori practices meaningfully into the programme. Centre displays showcase children’s pepeha. Matariki is celebrated and the team has begun to establish partnerships with the local marae.

The centre environment is attractively presented. Wall displays acknowledge children’s work and allow them to revisit prior learning. Well positioned photos, resources and provocations help connect children to their cultural identity.

Teachers have a good understanding of the principles and strands of Te Whāriki, and weave it into planning and assessment practices. Programme planning and assessment focuses on responding to children’s interests and identifying further challenges. An online portfolio system keeps parents informed of their children’s learning. Although parent aspirations are recognised, teachers could now explore how parent input might contribute more to children’s portfolios and their next learning steps.

Teachers have a positive relationship with parents, whānau and the wider early childhood and school community. Centre leaders value parental and community involvement.

Centre owners/directors have a clear vision for the centre. They have established a new governance and management structure. Centre directors and teachers have a strong commitment to providing good quality service with a focus on continuous improvement. They have established meaningful self-review processes. These capture multiple perspectives, promote professional dialogue, and are supporting ongoing centre development.

Key Next Steps

Next steps for centre development should include:

  • identifying ways of increasing complexity and challenge in the programme
  • linking parent aspirations and input to learning stories and programme planning
  • continuing to strengthen and document internal evaluation in all areas
  • developing and implementing a robust appraisal system that aligns with new Education Council requirements.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Care-A-Lot 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 Care-A-Lot Childcare Centre will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

12 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

Devonport, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20031

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

21 children over 2 years of age

Service roll

20

Gender composition

Boys 13 Girls 7

Ethnic composition

Pākehā
other

19
1

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

12 January 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2014

Education Review

February 2011

Education Review

January 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.