Little Guppies ECLC PreSchool - 23/03/2012

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Little Guppies is a privately owned and operated centre, providing education and care. The centre caters for 40 children over the age of two. The centre philosophy focuses on children developing at their own pace through play and exploration.

Children and their parents are warmly welcomed by teachers on arrival. Children settle quickly and engage in a range of activities. Daily routines are well established and children enjoy their participation in the programme.

Teachers work well as a team. They model values and interactions that foster caring relationships. Teachers work closely alongside children supporting them with their learning. Staff are assisted in their practice through well-planned and targeted professional development. Self review is evident in assessment of children’s learning through narrative stories. However, increased use of open-ended questions by teachers should further develop children’s emerging interests.

Children learn and play in attractive well maintained environments. Spontaneous play and learning experiences stimulate children’s interests. Resources are inviting, encouraging children’s active participation.

Aspects of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are successfully integrated into learning experiences. Teachers encourage and actively involve whānau in the programme by using their knowledge and expertise. Family contributions to children’s learning are valued.

Management and head teachers demonstrate inclusive and supportive leadership. They are committed to developing staff strengths to benefit children. An area for further review and development is to improve the documentation of planning, to capture and support children’s emerging interests.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

2. Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Little Guppies ECLC PreSchool was invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO. ERO also used documentation provided by the centre to contribute to the scope of the review.

The detailed priorities for review were then determined following a discussion between the ERO review team and the management and staff. This discussion focused on existing information held by the centre (including self-review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to positive outcomes for children at Little Guppies ECLC PreSchool.

All ERO education reviews in early childhood focus on the quality of education. For ERO this includes the quality of:

  • the programme provided for children;
  • the learning environment; and
  • the interactions between children and adults.

ERO’s findings in these areas are set out below.

The Quality of Education

Background

Since the March 2008 ERO report, the centre has increased its roll numbers from 10 children from birth to five years, to 40 children from two to five years. Staff provide a calm and inviting atmosphere where children are supported in their play and learning. Positive relationships are evident.

Areas of strength

Programme

The teaching and learning programme clearly reflects the centre’s philosophy and the principles of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. ERO’s evaluation affirms that the programme:

  • effectively incorporates early literacy and numeracy
  • builds on opportunities to involve parents and the wider community
  • involves relevant professional learning and development for teachers that links to their individual goals
  • effectively includes aspects of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori
  • focuses on extending children’s learning through teacher observations and assessment
  • is appropriately recorded for parents in children’s learning stories.

The programme allows children scope to develop and extend their learning.

Interactions

Children’s social and emotional development and engagement with the programme is nurtured through:

  • active participation in collaborative play
  • informative and regular exchanges of information between teachers, parents and whānau about children’s education and care
  • respectful conversations with children about routines
  • staff modelling and fostering warm, respectful and positive relationships
  • teachers being alongside children as unobtrusive partners in learning
  • planned transitions within the centre and into school, involving children and their families.

Children confidently interact with each other and adults.

Learning environment

Children have access to indoor and outdoor areas that include a good range of ageappropriate resources and equipment. Children’s sense of well-being is supported by:

  • spaces that foster play for sustained periods of time
  • displays of their work that reflect their development and learning
  • a caring environment that highly values children’s individual choice and needs.

Areas for development and review

ERO and centre management discussed and agreed on the following next steps.

Learning conversations

Teachers’ ability to use learning conversations in ways that extend children’s learning varies. Using more open-ended questions to extend ideas should further extend their learning.

Assessment practices

Children’s profile stories contain good commentary on teachers’ observations of children’s play and interests. A next step is for staff to strengthen their recorded reflection and plan how they will respond to children’s emerging interests and extend learning.

3. National Evaluation Topic

Overview

ERO provides information about the education system as a whole through its national reports. This information will be used as the basis for long term and systemic educational improvement.

Inclusion of Children with Moderate to Severe Special Needs

As part of this review ERO evaluated the extent to which:

  • transitions ensure the continuing wellbeing, learning, and development of children with moderate to severe special needs
  • children with moderate to severe special needs are supported to be confident and capable learners
  • the service is inclusive of children with moderate to severe special needs.

The centre’s philosophy statement promotes a ‘positive, cooperative and inclusive learning environment’. One child with special needs is enrolled at the centre.

The programme focuses on equitable access to experiences and opportunities. Teachers welcome children with special needs and work in partnership with parents. They liaise with specialists to help them gain an understanding about specific teaching strategies to support children. Children are supported to understand the needs of others.

Areas for development and review

Review of current policies and procedures that support inclusion of children with moderate to severe special needs is the next step for staff.

4. Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Little Guppies ECLC PreSchool completed an ERO CentreManagement Assurance Statement andSelf-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • administration;
  • health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management; and
  • financial and property management.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records of recent use of procedures. ERO also checked elements of the following areas that have a potentially high impact on outcomes for children:

  • emotional safety (including behaviour management, prevention of bullying and abuse);
  • physical safety (including behaviour management, sleeping and supervision practices; accidents and medication; hygiene and routines; travel and excursion policies and procedures);
  • staff qualifications and organisation; and
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

5. Future Action

ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

Kathleen Atkins

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

About the Centre

Type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

40 children over 2 years

Roll number

45

Gender composition

Girls 23,

Boys 22

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 21,

Māori 21,

Other ethnic groups 3

Review team on site

December 2011

Date of this report

23 March 2012

Previous ERO reports

Education Review March 2008

 

23 March 2012

To the Parents and Community of Little Guppies ECLC PreSchool

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Little Guppies ECLC PreSchool.

Little Guppies is a privately owned and operated centre, providing education and care. The centre caters for 40 children over the age of two. The centre philosophy focuses on children developing at their own pace through play and exploration.

Children and their parents are warmly welcomed by teachers on arrival. Children settle quickly and engage in a range of activities. Daily routines are well established and children enjoy their participation in the programme.

Teachers work well as a team. They model values and interactions that foster caring relationships. Teachers work closely alongside children supporting them with their learning. Staff are assisted in their practice through well-planned and targeted professional development. Self review is evident in assessment of children’s learning through narrative stories. However, increased use of open-ended questions by teachers should further develop children’s emerging interests.

Children learn and play in attractive well maintained environments. Spontaneous play and learning experiences stimulate children’s interests. Resources are inviting, encouraging children’s active participation.

Aspects of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are successfully integrated into learning experiences. Teachers encourage and actively involve whānau in the programme by using their knowledge and expertise. Family contributions to children’s learning are valued.

Management and head teachers demonstrate inclusive and supportive leadership. They are committed to developing staff strengths to benefit children. An area for further review and development is to improve the documentation of planning, to capture and support children’s emerging interests.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood centre we encourage management to inform their community of any follow up action they plan to take. You should talk to the management or contact person if you have any questions about this evaluation, the full ERO report or their future intentions.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the centre or see the ERO website, http://www.ero.govt.nz.

Kathleen Atkins

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT REVIEWS

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews. The purpose of each review is to:

  • improve quality of education for children in early childhood centres; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the Government.

Reviews are intended to focus on outcomes for children and build on each centre’s self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting is based on four review strands.

  • Quality of Education – including the quality of the programme provided for children, the quality of the learning environment and the quality of the interactions between staff and children and how these impact on outcomes for children.
  • Additional Review Priorities – other aspects of the operation of a centre, may be included in the review. ERO will not include this strand in all reviews.
  • National Evaluation Topics – This strand contributes to the development of education policies and their effective implementation. The information from this strand is aggregated by ERO for its national evaluation reports. Topics for investigation are changed regularly to provide up-to-date information.
  • Compliance with Legal Requirements – assurance that this centre has taken all reasonable steps to meet legal requirements.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of centre 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 this centre.

Review Recommendations

Most ERO reports include recommendations for improvement. A recommendation on a particular issue does not necessarily mean that a centre is performing poorly in relation to that issue. There is no direct link between the number of recommendations in this report and the overall performance of this centre.