Karaka Learning Centre 2 - 19/03/2012

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Karaka Learning Centre 2 previously operated as Karaka Learning Centres Numbers 1, 2 and 3. The service was unified under one licence in 2011. The change was made for administrative purposes and the centres continue to be identified as Centres 1, 2 and 3. The service is situated alongside another merged licence service in the Karaka Learning Centre complex. The service provides full day care for children from three months to school age in a semi-rural setting.

Children enjoy positive relations with each other and with teachers. Parents are welcomed into the service, often staying to settle children. They are kept well informed of their child’s progress in a variety of ways.

The service is well resourced with some very attractive, spacious, outdoor play areas. However, older children’s access to the outdoors is very restricted by the timetable.

The service provider has used external support to develop new management systems. He is beginning to distribute leadership responsibilities within the service. This could include giving supervisors in each centre more responsibility for the programmes they provide for children.

Centre managers should now review the effectiveness of centre routines in promoting children’s interests and engagement in learning. They should consider how effectively they support the centre motto, guiding children to ‘learn to love to learn’. They could seek external support to improve the effectiveness of the early literacy and mathematics programmes that are designed to establish the foundations of early reading, writing and mathematics. They should consider the extent to which they regard children as capable learners, learning through play in authentic contexts.

There are examples of good practice evident across the service, particularly in the provision for children aged two to three. It would be useful to identify and use the good practices as a model for all teachers.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the centre again in three years.

2. Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Karaka Learning Centre 2 was invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO. ERO also used documentation provided by the centre to contribute to the scope of the review.

The detailed priorities for review were then determined following a discussion between the ERO review team and the management and staff. This discussion focused on existing information held by the centre (including self-review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to positive outcomes for children atKaraka Learning Centre 2.

All ERO education reviews in early childhood focus on the quality of education. For ERO this includes the quality of:

  • the programme provided for children;
  • the learning environment; and
  • the interactions between children and adults.

ERO’s findings in these areas are set out below.

The Quality of Education

Background

Karaka Learning Centre 2 comprises three well established centres recently merged under one licence. A supervisor runs each centre autonomously, but follows the expectations of the owner and the Karaka Learning Centre approach to teaching across the service.

Areas of strength

Teachers know children well and have good knowledge of their strengths and interests. Staff engage respectfully with children, negotiating their participation in the programme and care routines. Effective behaviour management strategies are consistently used to build positive social skills.

One centre has developed a comprehensive, child focused philosophy with all staff to guide teaching and learning in their centre. Discussions have helped to create a shared team approach and understanding of good practice. Their philosophy could become a useful foundation for strengthening self-review and staff performance appraisals. This model could be used service-wide to review the programme, interactions and impact for children.

Each centre follows their own individual planning and assessment processes. Children’s interests inform some aspects of programme plans. Learning stories are written regularly with some good examples that document children’s interests and learning, and show progress over time. As noted in previous ERO reports, assessment and planning remains an area for developing greater consistency of practice.

Parents are welcomed into the service and encouraged to contribute their thoughts to children’s learning stories. They are kept well informed through newsletters, informal discussions, parent evenings and a website.

The learning environments are well resourced with age-appropriate resources. Some centres have good indoor to outdoor flow. Open-ended resources invite children to explore, and provides opportunities for challenging physical activity. The baby room has a good focus on activities to stimulate the senses. Babies benefit from joining in with toddlers for much of the day. A separate room enables them to enjoy quiet periods when needed.

Areas for development and review

The quality of the programme, planning, assessment and self-review across the service is variable. Centre managers could use identified good practice as a model to develop greater consistency of practice across the three centres. The implementation of a robust performance appraisal procedure that includes a developmental component would assist this process.

It would be timely to review the programme offered to older children. Current teaching practices in reading, writing and mathematics do not align with early childhood education theories, nor do they align with effective primary school teaching approaches. Centre leaders should now review the centre’s practice against current good practice in early childhood education, and the early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki. They should consider the extent to which they regard children as capable learners, learning through play in authentic contexts.

3. Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Karaka Learning Centre 2 completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they have attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • administration;
  • health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management; and
  • financial and property management.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records of recent use of procedures. ERO also checked elements of the following areas that have a potentially high impact on outcomes for children:

  • emotional safety (including behaviour management, prevention of bullying and abuse);
  • physical safety (including behaviour management, sleeping and supervision practices; accidents and medication; hygiene and routines; travel and excursion policies and procedures);
  • staff qualifications and organisation; and
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

In order to improve current practice centre managers should:

  • review the current policy for reporting suspected child abuse to make sure that it is consistent with good practice
  • develop a system to ensure that the police vetting of non-registered staff is kept current.

During the course of the review ERO identified an area of non-compliance. In order to address this, centre managers must:

  • ensure that the service curriculum is inclusive, and responsive to children as confident and competent learners. Children’s preferences are respected, and they are involved in decisions about their learning experiences.

[Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care

Centres 2008. Reg. 43.C7].

4. Recommendations

ERO and the centre managers agree that managers and staff:

  • identify and document good practices evident to increase consistency across the centres

  • review centre practices against current early childhood theory and engage in professional development to ensure formal sessions for older children are more relevant and meaningful.

5. Future Action

ERO is likely to review the centre again in three years.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

About the Centre

Type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

115 children, including up to 29 aged under 2

Roll number

130

Gender composition

Girls 75, Boys 55

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 95, Māori 17, Samoan 5, Chinese 4, other European 4, Tongan 3, other 2

Review team on site

January, 2012

Date of this report

19 March 2012

Previous three ERO reports

 

Previously reported as Karaka Learning Centres No 1, 2 and 3.

Karaka Learning Centre No 1, February 2009

Karaka Learning Centre No 2, November 2008

Karaka Learning Centre No 3, March 2011

To the Parents and Community of Karaka Learning Centre 2

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Karaka Learning Centre 2.

Karaka Learning Centre 2 previously operated as Karaka Learning Centres Numbers 1, 2 and 3. The service was unified under one licence in 2011. The change was made for administrative purposes and the centres continue to be identified as Centres 1, 2 and 3. The service is situated alongside another merged licence service in the Karaka Learning Centre complex. The service provides full day care for children from three months to school age in a semi-rural setting.

Children enjoy positive relations with each other and with teachers. Parents are welcomed into the service, often staying to settle children. They are kept well informed of their child’s progress in a variety of ways.

The service is well resourced with some very attractive, spacious, outdoor play areas. However, older children’s access to the outdoors is very restricted by the timetable.

The service provider has used external support to develop new management systems. He is beginning to distribute leadership responsibilities within the service. This could include giving supervisors in each centre more responsibility for the programmes they provide for children.

Centre managers should now review the effectiveness of centre routines in promoting children’s interests and engagement in learning. They should consider how effectively they support the centre motto, guiding children to ‘learn to love to learn’. They could seek external support to improve the effectiveness of the early literacy and mathematics programmes that are designed to establish the foundations of early reading, writing and mathematics. They should consider the extent to which they regard children as capable learners, learning through play in authentic contexts.

There are examples of good practice evident across the service, particularly in the provision for children aged two to three. It would be useful to identify and use the good practices as a model for all teachers.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the centre again in three years.

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood centre we encourage management to inform their community of any follow up action they plan to take. You should talk to the management or contact person if you have any questions about this evaluation, the full ERO report or their future intentions.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the centre or see the ERO website, http://www.ero.govt.nz.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)