Little Adventurers' Early Learning Centre - 22/11/2017

1 Evaluation of Little Adventurers' Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Little Adventurers' Early Learning 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

Little Adventurers’ Early Learning Centre is a privately owned and operated service in Porirua. It provides education and care, five days a week, for children to school age, including infants and toddlers.

The centre is licensed for 55 children including up to 20 children up to two years of age. At the time of this evaluation, 30 children who identify as Māori and five as of Pacific heritage were enrolled at the centre.

Since the August 2014 ERO evaluation, management roles have been defined and a number of new teaching staff have been appointed. All teachers are fully qualified, with three staff members currently in training. Day-to-day operation of the centre is the responsibility of the centre supervisor supported by the teaching team.

The previous ERO report identified areas requiring further improvement. These included: implementing a robust appraisal system; developing a system that supports a consistent approach for assessment, planning and evaluation; defining leadership roles and responsibilities; and strengthening self review and internal evaluation.

These are areas of ongoing development for the centre.

The Review Findings

Children participate in a play based curriculum. They experience warm and positive relationships with their teachers. Teachers work alongside them and use many teaching strategies to support their learning.

Infants and toddlers experience a calm, welcoming and unhurried learning environment. They have opportunities to learn alongside older peers. Supporting children’s wellbeing is a key focus for the centre.

Waiata, toi, pakiwaitara and te reo Māori are used to extend children’s learning experiences in the programme. Specific professional learning and development as well as iwi support has strengthened leaders and teachers' knowledge of kaupapa Māori concepts. Encouraging consistent use of te reo Māori in everyday practice should further enrich children's learning.

The centre has developed a range of approaches to encourage parent participation in their child’s learning. Learning partnerships with whānau Māori are developing in the centre.

Leaders acknowledge that they need to gain more knowledge to better support children of Pacific heritage. Establishing learning partnerships with the Pacific community is a key next step. These partnerships should assist the centre to design a programme that supports their children’s learning in this context.

Leaders and teachers continue to grow their understanding of effective assessment and planning that promotes knowledge of learning and of children as capable and confident learners. A next step is to ensure a framework is in place that provides ongoing support to build teachers’ capability, to enable them to plan for learning that promotes positive outcomes for children.

The philosophy has recently been reviewed in consultation with leaders and teachers. The centre should consider ways they can consult with parents, whānau and families collectively, to determine what educational success looks like to them. Developing clear indicators of good practice from this approach should aid leaders and teachers to measure how well these practices have supported the shared, valued outcomes.

Leaders have recently developed a new internal evaluation framework. They are working alongside the teaching team to build their evaluative understanding and capability. This has the potential to improve teacher practice and to enable them to evaluate the impact of this on children’s outcomes.

The centre's appraisal system focuses on growing and further developing the teaching team. Specific developmental goals focus on the centre-wide priorities. Further consideration is needed to ensure that this process builds leaders' and teachers' professional growth and high quality practice that supports children's learning.

Collaborative leadership is promoted. The teaching team is supported to lead aspects in the programme.

Key Next Steps

ERO and the centre's leaders agree that the key priorities for improvement include:

  • encouraging consistent use of te reo Māori in everyday practice

  • developing learning partnerships with the Pacific community

  • providing ongoing support to build teachers’ planning capability

  • considering ways to further consult with the centre's community and developing clear indicators of good practice

  • enhancing the goals setting component of the staff appraisal system.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Little Adventurers' Early Learning 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 Little Adventurers' Early Learning Centre will be in three years.

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

22 November 2017

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

Porirua

Ministry of Education profile number

46064

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

55 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll

78

Gender composition

Girls 41, Boys 37

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Pacific
Asian
Other ethnic groups

30
32
5
6
5

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2017

Date of this report

22 November 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2014

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.