Learning Unlimited Childcare Centre - 05/04/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

Learning Unlimited is well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.

Context

Learning Unlimited is a well established early childhood service in a residential area of Northcote, Auckland. The centre provides all day care and education for 30 children over two years of age. The owner and three staff are fully registered early childhood teachers. A fourth teacher has almost completed her training. Several staff have given long service to the centre, while others are recent appointments.

Key features of the centre’s philosophy are to recognise and respond to each child’s uniqueness and to work in partnership with centre families to promote learning. Staff review this philosophy each year to help to ensure that this commitment continues to be reflected in the programme and in teachers’ practice.

Teachers continue to access professional learning to support their work in promoting children’s emotional intelligence and social competence.

Learning Unlimited has a positive ERO reporting history. Previous reviews have acknowledged the strength of relationships within the service and the welcoming and inclusive environment. Well developed and effective self-review practices underpinned centre operations. This review finds that these features of the service continue to be evident.

Review Findings

Children are settled and confidently communicate with teachers and their peers. They play collaboratively and enjoy positive relationships with each other and with staff. Sensitive support helps children to settle into the centre and become familiar with the daily routines. It enables them to feel comfortable and ready to participate in play of their choice.

Children have good opportunities to engage in early literacy and mathematics learning. Teachers consider ways to meet parent aspirations while promoting this learning in a child-centred way. They also continue to review routines and programme provision to ensure that these cater well for the current group of younger children.

The centre owner and the supervisor have established systems and expectations to help teachers maintain their focus on a child-initiated programme. The ongoing review of programme planning and evaluation, and the assessment of children’s learning, is helping teachers to focus on showing the continuity of each child’s learning.

A clear commitment to learning success for Māori children is explicit in the centre’s comprehensive Treaty of Waitangi policy and procedures. Centre managers continue to seek ways to deepen teachers’ bicultural understanding and embed practices that demonstrate Treaty of Waitangi policy expectations.

The focus on whanaungatanga is evident in the inclusive practices and welcoming tone in the centre. Staff value and respond to the significant input from families. They communicate frequently with families and provide clear and accessible information about the service, the programme and children’s learning. Integrating the cultural richness, that exists amongst staff and families including that of families from Pacific nations, is an area of focus for development.

Clear policies and procedures underpin centre operations and provide good guidance for staff. The centre owner maintains effective internal review practices. There is a clear expectation for ongoing reflection to identify ways to improve the service. Changes to the leadership structure are imminent. The owner plans to review this new structure regularly. The honest and constructive appraisal system challenges teachers to identify and plan for their specific development needs.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Learning Unlimited 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.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

5 April 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Northcote, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20566

Licence type

All Day Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 0 aged under 2 years

Service roll

32

Gender composition

Boys 16

Girls 16

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Chinese

Samoan

other

12

2

11

3

4

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

No children under 2 years

Choose an item.

 

Over 2

1:7

Exceeds minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2013

Date of this report

5 April 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

April 2010

March 2007

March 2004

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

  • 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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.