Greta Point Early Childcare Centre - 02/03/2017

1 Evaluation of Greta Point Early Childcare Centre

How well placed is Greta Point Early Childcare 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

Greta Point Early Childcare Centre is a community-based, not-for-profit centre situated at the National Institute of Weather and Atmosphere (NIWA) in Wellington. It is open five days a week and licensed for 21 children, including eight up to two years.

Children learn in an open-plan indoor space. There is a special area for infants and toddlers as required. The outside area has recently been reorganised to support curriculum initiatives. The centre has a focus on sustainability and respect for nature.

A committee governs the centre. The newly appointed manager and assistant manager have responsibility for daily operation and teaching and learning. They have undertaken an audit to determine the priorities for ongoing improvement.

The areas for development identified in the May 2014 ERO report have been progressed.

The Review Findings

Children's needs are central to decision making. Their sense of belonging is fostered by staff. The play spaces are well considered, allowing children to engage in individual and small-group activities. Children are challenged to be creative, problem solve and enjoy the complexities of an environment that offers a range of learning experiences.

The curriculum is based on local, authentic topics and inclusive of manawhenua knowledge. A name gifted to the centre, Te Akau Tangi Whare Tiaki o Ngā Tamariki is about being the children who sit on the back of a weeping taniwha. This reflects the location of the centre close to Wellington Harbour. Children explore the harbour and nearby bush through visits, resources, wall displays and books.

The structure of the day is flexible in response to children's rhythms and needs. Children choose activities within the environment and confidently engage in the programme offered. Sustained play is evident as children interact with peers and staff. Teachers plan strategies to meet children's specific needs.

Whānau and families are warmly invited and welcomed into the centre. They are well informed about children's learning and care. To strengthen their planning, teachers should continue to seek and act upon families' aspirations for their children's learning.

The leader and teaching team are creating a learning culture. Teachers are promoting improvement using internal review processes to support their decisions. Spontaneous reviews have assisted staff to make necessary changes in the environment and programme.

It was timely for the newly appointed managers to audit centre practices using Ministry of Education and ERO resources. The process provided clear insights into the needs of the centre, particularly in relation to health and safety.

Significant improvements have been made to assessment, planning and evaluation. ERO supports teachers' decisions to prioritise the outcomes of the children's' portfolio audit to further improve planning for learning.

The centre's philosophy is a statement that guides centre operation. Information is currently being gathered to inform a philosophy review. This is planned to determine what is valued and is most important for Greta Point Childcare.

An example of including children's lives in the centre was when parents visited Antarctica as part of NIWA research. Through this children participated in learning about ice, cold and life in such a region.

The carefully considered, streamlined process for the appraisal of teachers should provide constructive support for their professional learning, when fully implemented.

The intent of the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi is visible throughout centre operation. Teachers continue to learn about the history of the centre's location. The bicultural commitment is interwoven with their respect for the language, culture and identity that each child and their family brings to the service.

Key Next Steps

Management and ERO agree teachers should:

  • complete the philosophy review
  • continue to strengthen assessment practices
  • strengthen internal evaluation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Greta Point Early Childcare 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 Greta Point Early Childcare Centre will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

2 March 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

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

60288

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

21 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll

24

Gender composition

Girls 15, Boys 9

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Other ethnic groups

14

10

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

50-79%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2017

Date of this report

2 March 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

May 2014

Education Review

April 2011

Education Review

March 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.