Learning Curves Childcare Centre - 19/02/2016

1 Evaluation of Learning Curves Childcare Centre

How well placed is Learning Curves 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

Learning Curves Childcare Centre, located in Blockhouse Bay is a family owned service providing care and education for children from around two years old to five years of age. The centre is licensed for 39 children. The capable teaching team caters for individual children in a mixed age environment.

The centre is well led by the owner and has long term staff who are well qualified, effective practitioners. Staff continue to build strong partnerships with families and whānau.

The centre has a history of positive ERO reports. The good features noted in the 2012 ERO report remain evident in this review. Managers promote ongoing centre improvement and have continued to develop self-review processes across centre operations. Programme evaluation has also improved and is contributing to strengthened teaching approaches and positive learning outcomes for children.

The Review Findings

Children show high levels of engagement in group and individual play. They have many choices within the broad range of opportunities provided. Teachers are proactive about and responsive to children’s interests, needs and strengths. They use questioning and conversations well to extend children’s thinking, knowledge and curiosity. Children are encouraged to participate in decision-making about programmes and routines.

The learning programme is based on Te Whariki, the early childhood curriculum and aligns well with the centre’s values and priorities. It incorporates bicultural perspectives that provide relevant learning contexts for Māori and all other children. Teachers are clear about what they value in the curriculum. Te reo Māori, waiata and tikanga are integrated in the programme and children are encouraged to participate in pōwhiri on special occasions. Children know the importance of powhiri for introducing and getting to know visitors.

Teachers plan collaboratively and use good processes for evaluating the effectiveness of the programme. Good records of this work show how teachers build on children’s interests and use these as the basis for the learning programme. Children are experiencing more consistent teaching approaches as staff build on and sustain their good practices.

The centre environment offers children appropriate indoor and outdoor challenges. The centre layout and equipment invites exploration and caters well for children's interests. Teachers encourage children’s creativity and make good use of centre resources to extend their learning. Literacy and mathematics concepts are incorporated in both indoor and outdoor activities and enhance children's learning through a variety of play.

Teachers communicate with parents, including Māori whānau, about their aspirations for their children. They know parents well and are responsive to their feedback. Teachers' bicultural professional development has supported more meaningful interactions with Māori children and their whānau. A well-considered programme has been developed with neighbouring schools to support children’s transition from the centre to school.

The centre owner has a strategic approach to leadership and professional learning. She has developed good processes to enable teachers to reflect on the centre's provision, including opportunities for children in the mixed age group setting. Staff have many opportunities to participate in centre evaluation, develop their leadership skills, and make use of current education research. They have access to a range of professional learning opportunities to extend their own learning and qualifications.

Teacher development is guided by a good appraisal process that is well linked to the learning programme and centre goals.

The centre is well managed. Ongoing and well documented self-review occurs across all areas of centre operations. The annual management plan is comprehensive and relevant. Good processes are maintained for developing and reviewing centre policies and procedures. The effective management of health and safety practices is evident.

Centre leaders have identified relevant development priorities that include a refocus of the strategic plan to better reflect the centre’s long term direction. ERO supports the owner's goals to continue to distribute leadership opportunities within the staff and to continue strengthening the centre’s bicultural and transition to school programmes.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Learning Curves 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 Learning Curves Childcare Centre will be in four years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

19 February 2016

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

Blockhouse Bay, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20494

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

39 children, including up to 9 aged under 2

Service roll

41

Gender composition

Boys 23 Girls 18

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Indian

Asian

Fijian

Samoan

6

21

7

5

1

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

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2016

Date of this report

19 February 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2012

 

Education Review

November 2009

 

Education Review

October 2006

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.