Learning Unlimited Childcare Centre - 08/06/2016

1 Evaluation of Learning Unlimited Childcare Centre

How well placed is Learning Unlimited 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 Unlimited Childcare Centre is located in a remodelled house. It provides all day care and education for 30 children over two years of age. Since the last ERO report in 2013 there has been a new owner/manager and supervisor appointed to the centre.

ERO's 2013 report noted that teachers responded well to each child's individuality within a welcoming and inclusive environment. It also noted that there was a commitment to bicultural practice and working partnerships with centre families to promote learning. These positive features continue to be evident throughout the centre.

The centre philosophy emphasises emotional intelligence and social competencies within the four principles of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. The principles of empowerment, holistic development, family and community, and relationships underpin the programme.

The Review Findings

Children are happy and settled at the centre and are respected as individuals. They enjoy learning together with their peers and teachers and play independently. They have access to a variety of resources and move freely between the indoor and outdoor environments. Children are engaged in sustained play and have good opportunities to be curious and creative.

Teachers' interactions with children are respectful and affirming. They work alongside children in ways that are inclusive and foster their wellbeing. Teachers' welcoming and caring approach supports children's sense of worth. Teachers could now consider how to strengthen interactions that would increase children's critical thinking skills and opportunities for complex play.

Programme planning and assessment is responsive to children's group interests. Teachers' knowledge of children as learners informs decisions about the programme. Children's portfolios and teachers' records of children's learning are a useful account of their learning and development over time.

Bicultural practice is fostered across the centre. Teachers acknowledge the distinctive place of Māori in Aotearoa/New Zealand. The use of te reo and tikanga Māori are valued and encouraged. Centre staff have identified the need to continue to strengthen their bicultural commitment across the centre. Teachers also continue to respond to and affirm other cultures within the centre.

The centre is establishing a culture that supports ongoing improvement. There is a strong commitment to providing a high quality service which encourages teachers to enquire into their practice. Self-review systems continue to be reviewed and strengthened.

Leaders are deliberately working to build a centre culture that promotes collaboration, teamwork and communication between teachers, children and parents, in order to support positive learning outcomes for children.

The centre is well governed and managed. Strategic and annual plans guide centre operations. The centre's policy framework is a useful and meaningful document. Ongoing self review of these systems and processes ensures that centre operations are maintained.

Key Next Steps

The manager and centre supervisor agree that the key next steps for the centre are to:

  • deepen the evaluative aspect of centre self review, strategic and annual plans

  • further strengthen planning, assessment and evaluation for individual children's interests

  • review some programmes in order to further promote child-led learning

  • continue to develop and implement a meaningful appraisal system that supports teachers to reflect on their practice.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

8 June 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

Northcote, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20566

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

38

Gender composition

Boys 19 Girls 19

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Chinese

Korean

others

1

10

18

2

7

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2016

Date of this report

8 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 2013

Education Review

April 2010

Education Review

March 2007

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.