Early Impressions Learning Centre - 30/11/2017

1 Evaluation of Early Impressions Learning Centre

How well placed is Early Impressions Learning 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

Early Impressions Learning Centre is licensed to provide full day education and care for 50 children, including up to 20 under two years old. Children learn in three age-related groups, although the two older groups frequently mix in a shared outdoor environment. Most enrolled children are Chinese or Pākehā with small numbers of Māori and other cultures.

The centre is operated by the owner who is supported by a team leader in each of the learning areas. They have established a sound management framework, and strongly support the ongoing professional development of staff. Teachers, who reflect the diversity of the centre community, are committed to bicultural practices, and acknowledge the cultural heritage of centre families. The owner, team leaders and six other staff are registered teachers.

In 2014 ERO endorsed many positive aspects of the service including the quality of relationships, support for children's exploration and creativity in the natural environment, the provision for infants, and the commitment of the teaching team. These features continue to be evident in practices. Centre leaders and teachers have responded well to ERO’s suggestions for improvements, especially in relation to enhancing the quality of self review and strengthening bicultural practices.

The Review Findings

Children are happy and confident in the centre. They have very good relationships with teachers and engage in play that interests them. Young children and toddlers enthusiastically explore the attractive outdoor environment, often playing in small groups, supporting each other, and enjoying sustained conversations with teachers. They benefit from inviting indoor spaces, and a good variety of resources that reflect the Reggio Emilia approach to teaching and learning. Children's independence is fostered through many opportunities to make choices and develop self-help skills.

Children in the infant area are supported very well. Teaching philosophies of RIE and Magda Gerber, and a primary caregiver approach to care, enables infants to develop a strong sense of belonging. Capable teachers who respect the competence of these very young children enable them to explore independently, take learning risks, and develop relationships with others. The meaningful experiences these babies have with books, songs, conversations and new words supports their oral language development, and fosters sharing and group play. Children are also becoming familiar with te reo Māori and waiata.

Teachers know children well. They respond to individual interests, and are especially sensitive to children whose first language is not English. Teachers support children to explore open-ended resources, and value the natural world. Adults' conversations with children show genuine interest in the ideas children share. Teachers encourage children to learn early literacy and numeracy skills in meaningful contexts. Teachers working with older children could further challenge children to develop more complexity in their play. This could include helping children to sustain interests for longer periods, introducing more digital technologies and fostering long-term projects.

Teachers discuss children's learning interests. They keep extensive records of children's involvement in the programme, and make clear links with Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. They often analyse the learning opportunities observed in children's play. Teachers recognise they should more formally plan for the progressions in children's learning. Current professional development should help teachers to deepen their programme evaluations, and reflect on the content of children's assessment portfolios.

Parents and whānau are encouraged to be active partners in children's learning. They are invited to centre events and excursions, to participate in surveys, and contribute to cultural celebrations. Inclusive systems and effective communication enable families to share family photos, values, aspirations and information about children's learning. Parents respond positively to the digital programme that allows extended family members to receive and comment on their children's learning stories and photos.

The centre is well managed. The owner and her leadership team lead the operation of the centre efficiently through a sound policy framework and effective health and safety systems. They have developed a new strategic plan with implementation guidelines, and recognise the importance of robust annual evaluation of this plan. Leaders have improved teachers' understanding of internal evaluation, and worked with them to strengthen their bicultural practices. They have identified the need to increase teachers' levels of responsibility. Allocating curriculum leadership roles may be a useful strategy, and could also help teachers to plan more deliberately for their roles in extending children's learning.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders agree that key next steps include:

  • further developing internal evaluation processes

  • continuing to strengthen assessment, planning and evaluation to guide teaching practices, and enhance the focus on children's individual strengths and interests

  • refining the newly developed appraisal process to ensure the requirements of the Education Council are fully met.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Early Impressions Learning 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 Early Impressions Learning Centre will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

30 November 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

Flat Bush, East Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

10346

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll

56

Gender composition

Boys 33 Girls 23

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Chinese
Indian
Fijian
Middle Eastern
Samoan
other Asian
other

3
15
24
2
2
2
1
3
4

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2017

Date of this report

30 November 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2014

Education Review

May 2011

Education Review

May 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.