Glenbrae KIDS Early Learning Centre - 04/08/2017

1 Evaluation of Glenbrae KIDS Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Glenbrae KIDS Early 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

Glenbrae KIDS (Knowledge, Identity, Discovery, Success) is a new service that provides full day education and care for up to 60 children, including up to 10 under two years. Most children have Māori or Pacific heritage and are well supported to take pride in their cultural identity. The centre is a large open-plan environment, with a suitable area sectioned off for infants. The outdoor environment has been thoughtfully designed to reflect the multicultural diversity of the community.

The centre has strong links to the local community, with a mission to 'provide a high quality, culturally responsive early learning service'. The leaders operate a Whānau First policy to ensure the service is affordable for low income families. The managers and almost all staff are local residents.

The service is governed by the Totara Seed Trust. Two trustees work collaboratively with the manager to operate the centre. They delegate curriculum leadership to the head teacher. There are eight registered teachers who reflect the cultures and speak many of the languages of the centre's community. They regularly participate in professional development opportunities linked to centre goals and their internal evaluation topics. Teachers are currently focused on further developing their bicultural practices.

The Review Findings

The centre is a lively, welcoming environment for children and their whānau. Children arrive with enthusiasm and quickly connect with teachers and their friends. They confidently communicate with adults and other children, eagerly investigate resources and engage in play that interests them. Children play independently and show respect for each other as they learn to work cooperatively together. They benefit from the interesting outdoor areas and culturally rich learning opportunities. Leaders agree that some formal rules for riding bikes would help the older boys to be more aware of safety expectations.

Teachers support children's learning well. Their genuine conversations and questions encourage children to explore their ideas for play and develop a sense of themselves as capable learners. Teachers expect children to make choices about their play and develop independence and self-help skills. Those working with infants provide opportunities for them to enjoy many tactile experiences. Teachers regard young toddlers as competent learners and support them to take learning risks.

Teachers plan the curriculum for four groups. The three age related groups have primary caregivers who ensure the programmes are responsive to the individual and collective interests of their groups. The Big Kids club for four year olds operates in the afternoons. This transition to school group has a focus on structured literacy and numeracy activities. While this programme reflects the aspirations of some parents, it is not always compatible with Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. At times this programme confines children to a small room for long periods. Teachers express enthusiasm for reviewing this programme and developing a project approach to learning for the Big Kids.

Leaders and teachers maintain very good communications with parents and whānau. In addition to regular daily contact they communicate via social media and have many centre events that involve the community. Teachers are developing meaningful learning partnerships with whānau. They develop individual learning plans for each child, which they share at parent interview evenings. Whānau receive a report on their children's progress each year. Parents value their children's assessment portfolios and many provide feedback on children's learning stories. Teachers have also established a close relationship with the neighbouring school to facilitate smooth transitions for children.

The centre is well managed and effectively led. The experienced leadership team has developed a strong management framework, clearly documented policies and appropriate personnel processes. Leaders have a good understanding of internal evaluation. An established appraisal process supports teachers to maintain good evidence for endorsing their practising certificates. Leaders have a commitment to high quality practice and provide good support for teachers' professional development and growth as educational leaders. Further documentation of discussions, inquiries and teachers' reflections would strengthen the depth of evidence for some practices.

Key Next Steps

Leaders agree that key next steps for centre development include:

  • a review of the philosophy to include more specific links to te Tiriti o Waitangi, Te Whāriki, and learning outcomes for children

  • establishing curriculum leadership roles for teachers to distribute programme responsibilities and develop their curriculum knowledge

  • continuing the development of assessment portfolios to enhance teachers' critical reflections and increase the visibility of their roles in children's learning

  • reviewing and modifying the programme for the Big Kids club and increasing the use of literacy and numeracy in the context of play. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

4 August 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

Glen Innes, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

46696

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

60 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll

64

Gender composition

Girls 35 Boys 29

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Cook Islands Māori
Tongan
Samoan
Niue
other

23
6
9
10
8
7
1

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2017

Date of this report

4 August 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

No previous ERO reports

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.