Leapfrogs Early Childhood Centre - 15/12/2014

1 Evaluation of Leapfrogs Early Childhood Centre

How well placed is Leapfrogs Early Childhood 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

Leapfrogs Early Childhood Centre is located in Henderson, Auckland. The owner and two centre managers work with registered teachers to provide early education and care for up to 126 children, including up to 35 children under two years old. The roll reflects Henderson’s multi-ethnic community, with 50 percent of children of NZ European/ Pākehā descent, 13 percent Māori, 13 percent Asian and 12 percent of Pacific descent. The purpose built facility is well maintained.

The centre’s philosophy is based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and is strongly influenced by partnerships with parents and whānau. Each of the six rooms expands on the philosophy making it relevant for the children in that room. These philosophy statements are regularly reviewed throughout the year.

Since the 2011 ERO report, the owner and managers have merged three centres under one licence and reviewed centre operations. A curriculum leader has been appointed to lead planning and assessment in the centre. There are team leaders in each of the six rooms, with each room catering for different aged groups of children. The managers continue to build good partnerships with parents and whānau and the wider community.

The Review Findings

Children enjoy learning at this centre. They have a good sense of belonging and look forward to attending and playing together.

Teachers support children’s transition into the centre and group similar aged children together in each room. As children progress through the rooms, teachers support them to develop new relationships with their peers. Parents have conversations with teachers about their children on a regular basis, further supporting the transition process.

Centre learning environments are attractive and well maintained. Play areas are organised to encourage children to play and explore freely. Children move without restraint between indoor and outdoor play areas. The refurbished outdoor areas for all age groups are well used and provide opportunities for children to enjoy uninterrupted play. Teachers affirm and encourage the children. They provide good role models for children’s language development.

Preschoolers have many opportunities to participate in learning activities through play. Good relationships and communication with local schools help teachers to reflect on the effectiveness of their programmes. A feature of the preschool room is the way that the centre’s values of self respect, sharing and caring are promoted. This fosters the development of children’s sense of self responsibility.

Infants and toddlers participate in activities that interest them. ERO notes, however, that children’s access to play space is more limited in the under two areas. There is a need to ensure that children have access to sufficient resources to create their own play in these areas.

Centre managers and teachers work well together and share common understandings about the importance of good quality early childhood education experiences and effective teaching practices. They provide supportive learning environments that are responsive to the needs of children. They use the emerging interests of individuals to plan for groups of children. Learning stories provide an effective way for teachers to report to parents/whānau about what children are learning over time.

Centre managers support targeted professional development for teachers. They value the strength that individuals bring to their roles and meet regularly with teachers to reflect on their practice. An effective annual appraisal system supports ongoing teacher development.

Teachers use self review as a tool for exploring the quality of planning, assessment and teaching practice in the centre. Input from staff and parents provides feedback on the effectiveness of programmes. Managers should now formalise their self-review work plan to align this planning to strategic goals.

Staff reflect the diverse community of the centre. Children and teachers celebrate cultural events throughout the year. Centre managers and teachers are committed to raising children’s awareness of the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand. Using te reo Māori confidently is a challenge for many teachers. The Ministry of Education resource, Tātaiako - Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners, could further teachers’ knowledge, appreciation and use of te reo Māori within the centre.

Key Next Steps

In order to build on current good practices, the owner and centre managers agree that key next steps are to consider further ways of:

  • developing a work plan to align management planning to the centre strategic plan
  • documenting self-review processes more fully
  • developing staff confidence in the regular use of te reo Māori.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Leapfrogs Early Childhood 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 Leapfrogs Early Childhood Centre will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

15 December 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

Henderson, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

25413

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

126 children, including up to 35 aged under 2

Service roll

105

Gender composition

Boys 53

Girls 52

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Asian

Indian

Cook Island Māori

other Pacific

other European

other

13%

50%

13%

7%

6%

6%

4%

1%

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:5

Meets minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2014

Date of this report

15 December 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

This is the first review under the merged licence

 

Previous reviews as:Leapfrogs Early Childhood Centre 1

 

Education Review

November 2011

 

Previous reviews as:

Leapfrogs Early Childhood Centre 2

 

Education Review

November 2011

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.