Eastern Suburbs Pre-School Inc - 16/01/2018

1 Evaluation of Eastern Suburbs Pre-School Inc

How well placed is Eastern Suburbs Pre-School Inc 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

Eastern Suburbs Pre-School, located in the Owhata area of Rotorua, is an education and care service licensed for 35 children, including up to 15 children under two years of age. It is owned by a non-profit-making incorporated society and governed by a committee of parents. The centre operates from 8.30am to 3.30pm daily during the week. All teachers are fully qualified. The parent community is made up of diverse cultures. Teachers oversee playgroup sessions on Tuesday and Thursday mornings where families are able to attend with their children from birth to the age of five. At the time of this ERO review there were 37 children, including three Māori children on the roll.

A new centre manager has been appointed and took up her position in May 2016. A teacher already on the staff was appointed as the new head teacher. There have been no other changes to the teaching team.

The 2016 ERO report identified the following areas requiring review and development:

  • strategic planning

  • self review

  • policies and practices in relation to the 2008 regulations

  • documentation relating to the Vulnerable Children’s Act

  • assessment, planning and evaluation practices to ensure teachers are adding complexity to children’s learning and development

  • the implementation and use of strategies to develop social competencies for all children

  • appraisal, teacher registration and endorsement processes.

While the 2016 ERO report recommended external support to bring about improvements to these important areas, this support was not provided. However, centre leaders and teachers have made good progress and improvements to these areas.

Leaders and teachers have participated in professional development accessed by the centre to further build children's social competency and to develop their understanding and knowledge of Māori cultural values and practices.

The centre philosophy aims to work in partnership with families to enable children, through free play, to reach their learning potential.

The Review Findings

Leaders and teachers have worked effectively to improve centre leadership. Strong progress is evident in:

  • documented strategic planning to guide centre direction

  • up-to-date policies and practices to support the service to meet regulatory requirements

  • systems and processes for formal and informal self review that contribute to ongoing development and improvement

  • clear and documented expectations for assessment, planning and evaluation practices that support teachers to respond to children's interests and needs

  • appropriate, documented feedback to teachers about their practice and professional contributions.

Children are socially competent, confident, calm and settled. Their diverse languages and cultures are respected and celebrated. Māori children benefit from the value placed by teachers on whanaungatanga, including tikanga practices, use of te reo Māori and respect for the natural world. Children with identified learning needs are well supported in partnership with appropriate specialist agencies. Children up to two years of age attend playgroup sessions with their families and caregivers. Well-planned transitions are implemented for children entering the centre, and as they move on to school. The centre curriculum and environment are promoting children's sense of well-being and belonging.

The centre manager provides professional and informed leadership. She has established strong relational trust amongst committee members, the teaching team and families. She models good practice for teachers and provides regular and targeted feedback about their strengths and next steps for improving their teaching practice. Sound leadership promotes centre sustainability and positive outcomes for children and their families.

Teachers are a collegial and collaborative team. They have established a culture of shared leadership and decision making. ERO observed teaching practices that consistently demonstrated:

  • deliberate, calm and meaningful responses to children's ideas, interests and needs

  • strategies that empower children as competent decision makers and leaders of their learning

  • in-depth understanding of the value of play-based learning and exploration

  • well planned and attractive environments that engage children in learning

  • positive and reciprocal partnerships with whānau, families and the community.

These practices contribute to a safe, calm and welcoming environment for learning and care for children and their families.

Committee members meet regularly to make decisions about centre operations. The centre manager, teachers and committee members work in a positive and professional partnership that contributes to centre sustainability and effective governance. They provide a safe, well-maintained and well equipped environment for children and teachers.

Key Next Steps

For ongoing centre improvement, the committee and leaders need to:

  • develop and document an operations manual to guide governance roles and responsibilities and to support succession planning

  • make greater use of specific and measureable criteria for best practice to add rigour to self-review systems and processes

  • further enrich the presence of local Māori history and places of significance in the curriculum

  • establish clear expectations for documenting children's learning to ensure consistency of practice.

Recommendation

ERO recommends the Ministry of Education provide ongoing professional development for centre leaders to continue to build their leadership.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Eastern Suburbs Pre-School Inc 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 Eastern Suburbs Pre-School Inc will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

16 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

Owhata, Rotorua

Ministry of Education profile number

40095

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

35 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll

37

Gender composition

Boys 23 Girls 14

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other

3
28
6

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:2

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2017

Date of this report

16 January 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2016

Education Review

June 2012

Education Review

June 2009

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.