Grace Community Preschool - 31/08/2018

1 Evaluation of Grace Community Preschool

How well placed is Grace Community Preschool 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

Grace Community Preschool is licensed to provide full-day education and care for 57 children aged over two years. It has a Christian philosophy that is integral to all aspects of its operation and serves the multicultural community of New Lynn.

Most children are cared for in large free flowing areas where they have easy access to covered outdoor and open spaces. A group of up to ten children, transitioning to school, participates in an early language and mathematics programme in a separate room.

The preschool is one of four owned and operated by the Manukau Christian Charitable Trust. The Trust employs a general manager to oversee the preschool, an education advisor who provides programme support, and a head teacher to lead day-to-day management. There are 13 staff including five qualified teachers, five teacher aides and three support staff.

The preschool's philosophy strongly values equity and access to education for all children. Leaders and teachers work closely with whānau and external agencies to promote children's attendance and family engagement.

The 2015 ERO report identified children's strong sense of belonging, respectful relationships, and well-resourced responsive programmes that valued parent and community involvement. These positive aspects have been strengthened. Some good progress has been made with next steps identified in the report including building teachers' understanding of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, increasing challenge in children's learning and play and promoting tikanga and te reo Māori. Developing more robust self-review, assessment and planning has begun, and is an ongoing priority.

The Review Findings

Children are warmly welcomed into the preschool. It is inclusive and successfully nurtures their sense of belonging. They confidently choose their own learning activities and benefit from varied learning opportunities that both support and challenge them. The environment provokes children's exploration, curiosity and imaginative and physical play.

Children are happy, settled and engaged. They are learning how to establish and maintain relationships with their peers and adults through socialising and practising social expectations. One particularly good example of this is during self-selected meal times.

Teachers respond well to each child's culture, abilities and needs. They use children's home languages as part of creating a language rich environment that reflects all cultures and successfully supports children to feel included. Teachers engage in warm conversations that encourage children's language development.

The newly introduced online platform for programme planning and recording learning stories enables teachers to respond to, and cater more effectively for individual children's needs. The intention is to strengthen and embed these digital processes, and at the same time maintain physical copies of children's individual portfolios. Leaders are aware that work is still necessary to ensure that portfolios are consistently high quality.

The vision for children's care and learning is well embedded. There is strong alignment between the preschool's policies, procedures and vision. Leaders value and recognise individual teachers' strengths. This supports leaders and staff to build a positive organisational culture and develop the capacity of every teacher. The already established policy framework guides practice, and leaders should continue to use their review process to ensure that all current legal requirements are met.

Leaders are deliberate in ensuring equitable access for all children to an early childhood education. They have established strong relationships with whānau, external agencies and local schools that support good quality outcomes for all children.

Leaders are increasingly providing opportunities for teachers to lead programme planning. This is building teachers' confidence in implementing Te Whāriki. Leaders are also reviewing the appraisal process to better meet individual teachers' needs.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders have identified that next key steps are to:

  • establish strategic planning that is strongly aligned to their valued outcomes for all children

  • use internal evaluation to identify the impact of programmes on outcomes for children

  • build teacher knowledge and increased use of Te Whāriki, to develop more individualised learning programmes that focus on positive learning outcomes for all children

  • increase teacher collaboration in programme development and planning as part of better integrating the special character of the centre

  • extend the appraisal process to include a 'teaching as inquiry' approach.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Grace Community Preschool 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 Grace Community Preschool will be in three years.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

31 August 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

New Lynn, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

46192

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

57 children aged 2 years and over

Service roll

65

Gender composition

Girls 36 Boys 29

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Samoan
Indian
Cook Islands Māori
Niuean
Other ethnic groups

17
4
16
7
5
4
12

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2018

Date of this report

31 August 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2015

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.