Creators @ Home Christian Homebased Childcare - 26/09/2014

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Creators @ Home Christian Homebased Childcare is a new home-based service that opened in October 2012. The service caters for children from birth to school age. It operates under the governance of the Creators Educational Trust, which is a charitable trust. The service director and management team oversee the quality of education and care provided by the services early childhood centre, after school care programmes and homebased education and care. Management reports to the trust.

The service philosophy reflects what management and staff value and believe is quality education and care. At Creators they believe in children experiencing loving relationships and developing a Christian worldview. Value is placed on children learning in an environment that embraces parents as partners in their child’s learning. Children experience a learning environment that nurtures their creativity, encourages innovative learning, and reflects New Zealand’s bicultural heritage and Māori as tāngata whenua.

Creators @ Home based network is overseen by two qualified teachers, who visit children in educarers’ homes. The visiting teachers are responsible for supporting educarers to implement the early childhood curriculum and ensure regulation requirements are met in the educarer’s family home setting.

Children learn in a wide range of varied contexts within educarers homes and the wider community. The learning programme is underpinned by the Reggio Emilia approach to education, which gives priority to providing child-centred education, with an emphasis on positive relationships and learning in the natural environment.

Children experience positive and trusting relationships with educarers that foster their well being and sense of belonging. Educarers work closely with families in the best interest of children. Educarers are well supported in their role through regular visits and guidance from qualified experienced visiting teachers.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO will review the service again within three years.

2 The Focus of the Review

All ERO education reviews in early childhood focus on the quality of education. For ERO this includes the quality of:

  • the programme provided for children
  • the learning environment
  • the interactions between children and adults.

The Quality of Education

Background

The service has a shared vision which states that ‘every child has a unique talent, gift or ability that reflects God’s image. Creators believe that education should be fun and exciting where children learn that their identity is securely fixed in God’s love. From this foundation children will feel confident to explore, learn and discover the world’. During this review ERO visited two educarers homes and attended a children’s art class alongside the visiting teachers.

The trust provides governance for the service, while the director and visiting teachers provide management and leadership for the service. They have established a collaborative team culture that is focused on positive outcomes for children and their families.

Since this home-based network opened, management has focused on developing self-review processes to monitor, embed and continually improve the quality of the service.

Areas of good performance

The Creators director and visiting teachers are strong advocates for children and their families. Key priority areas for the service have been developing a strategic and annual plan. Self review has included the service philosophy and positive guidance practice within the service. Guidelines and expectations for practice have been developed for educarers. A sound framework for self review has been established and focuses on ongoing improvement to the quality of education and care for children. Another area that is currently under review is recognising Māori as tāngata whenua and developing practices to value New Zealand’s bicultural heritage.

Children enjoy a wide range of varied contexts within educarers homes and the wider community. Visiting teachers encourage educarers to access local play groups to provide children with opportunities to develop friendships and socialise with others. Educarers are supported to network, with one another in their roles, and get together monthly to attend an external art class for children. Some educarers further enrich the programme through regular excursions to places of interest in the wider community, such as visiting the zoo, nature walks, parks, bus trips and other stimulating experiences outside the home.

Educarers and children establish close and trusting relationships. Children’s wellbeing and sense of belonging is fostered in a small family group environment. Parents and educarers work closely together and share in the experiences that children have. Visiting teachers support educarers to identify children’s interests and discuss ways of extending learning through identified interests. Individual assessment booklets celebrate children’s time in the service and capture the rich range of experiences they receive. Stories and photographs are shared with children and families.

Visiting teachers visit home environments and monitor the education and care provided for children. They support educarers to implement the early childhood curriculum. Visiting teachers develop educarers capacity in their role. Educarers are provided with relevant guidelines that clearly outline the services expectation for education and care. Professional readings and workshops further empower educarers to fulfil their role. After each home contact educarers and parents receive written feedback from visiting teachers about the positive outcomes observed for children over the month.

The service’s vision, values and beliefs are reflected in educarer’s homes and promoted by management and visiting teachers. This shared approach is supporting children to develop as confident and capable learners.

Area for development and review

Management has identified and ERO agree that the key next step for ongoing review and development is to continue strengthening communication between families and the service to support children’s holistic development.

3 Management Assurance on Compliance Areas

Overview

Before the review, the management and staff of Creators @ Home Christian Homebased Childcare completed an ERO Home-Based Education and Care Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • curriculum standard
  • premises and facilities standard
  • health and safety practices standard
  • governance management and administration standard.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on outcomes for children:

  • emotional safety (including behaviour management, prevention of bullying and abuse)
  • physical safety (including behaviour management, sleeping and supervision practices; accidents and medication; hygiene and routines; travel and excursion policies and procedures)
  • staff qualifications and organisation
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

4 Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO will review the service again within three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

26 September 2014

About the Service

Location

Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

46044

Service type

Homebased Network

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Service roll

34

Gender composition

Girls 21

Boys 13

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Tongan

24

7

3

Review team on site

July 2014

Date of this report

26 September 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports