First Steps Puni Rd - 21/03/2014

1 Evaluation of First Steps Puni Rd

How well placed is First Steps Puni Rd to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

First Steps Puni Rd has identified where improvements are needed to enable it to be well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

First Steps Puni Rd is owned by Kidicorp Ltd and is located in Pukekohe, Auckland. The centre operates from two buildings and caters for children from infants through to school age. Up to 20 infants and toddlers are cared for in the smaller house, and up to 50 children in the larger preschool building.

The van participation project that began in 2013 has enabled families who were previously unable to enrol their children in early childhood education to be a valued part of the First Steps Puni Rd centre community. Transport to and from the centre is provided for all those who need it.

The centre’s leadership consists of the overall centre manager and two head teachers, with Kidicorp management personnel providing support in business and curriculum matters. After an extended period of changes to leadership and staffing, the centre has maintained a stable team for well over a year. The centre is now well positioned to make the further changes that are needed to lift the quality of provision.

The Review Findings

Children have fun and are enthusiastic about their experiences in the centre. They are developing their self-help skills and their ability to persist at tasks. Children are learning how to work with and alongside others appropriately. All children are valued and their diverse needs are recognised.

Teachers provide good quality support for children at table-top activities. At these activities they talk with children in ways that help them to build new understandings and make connections to prior events. Teachers also help children to develop meaningful and appropriate foundational skills for reading, writing and mathematics during play.

Outside of the planned activities, children’s play shows that they have multiple ideas and interests. The challenge for teachers is to respond to this child-initiated play so that children can further develop their ideas and learn new concepts. Professional leaders and Kidicorp managers need to ensure teachers can achieve a more challenging programme for children.

Infants and toddlers are well cared for in an attractive, home-like environment. Children enjoy warm and gentle relationships with adults and each other. Staff focus on children’s individual needs and adapt their practices to children’s ages and stages. This young group would now benefit from more age-related equipment and more opportunities to be independent.

Staff have made changes to their programme to help the two-to-three year olds to make a smoother transition from the infant centre to the preschool. As a result, the youngest group of children in the preschool now have a programme that is better suited to their developmental needs.

Teachers are now able to show through their assessment what children are learning or likely to gain from their activities. Centre leaders recognise that they now need to more actively share this information with parents and better communicate with parents about the goals they have for their children. This will help to create a richer partnership with parents and whānau to support each child’s development.

The centre manager has been focused on working with staff to lift the quality of teaching practice. Kidicorp has assisted this focus by providing some professional learning and development for staff and guidance for the manager. The teaching team should celebrate what has been achieved over the past eighteen months. In a relatively short time frame they have created a sound foundation on which to build.

Key Next Steps

The centre manager is very reflective about how the centre can better achieve positive outcomes for children, and with Kidicorp advisors, has identified areas that need improvement. ERO agrees that the key next steps for the centre should include:

  • adapting the programme planning in the preschool so that it provides guidance and expectations that help teachers to deliver a stimulating programme for children

  • ensuring that the programme recognises and responds to children’s cultural backgrounds, and that the centre’s bicultural curriculum and responsiveness to whānau Māori is strengthened

  • establishing a clearer process for self review that is well understood by staff, and developing greater rigour and depth in self review to better facilitate improvements

  • developing useful and manageable plans to help the centre manager and staff achieve centre goals, including better links between the annual and strategic plans.

Recommendation

ERO recommends that Kidicorp managers continue to provide targeted support to strengthen the quality of professional leadership and to take the centre through the next stage of development.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of First Steps Puni Rd 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.

To improve current practice Kidicorp should:

  • provide a more professional work and rest space for staff
  • ensure that staff consistently meet health and safety requirements.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of First Steps Puni Rd will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

21 March 2014

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

Pukekohe, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

10063

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

70 children, including up to 14 aged under 2

Service roll

108

Gender composition

Boys 59

Girls 49

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Indian

Chinese

Tongan

Cook Island Māori

Niue

Other European

Other Pacific

35

57

6

3

3

1

1

1

1

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 2014

Date of this report

21 March 2014

Most recent ERO report(s) as:

First Steps Puni - Preschool

Education Review

March 2011

 

Education Review

April 2008

 

Supplementary Review

March 2005

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.