Little Wonders Childcare (Roslyn) - 18/07/2017

1 Evaluation of Little Wonders Childcare (Roslyn)

How well placed is Little Wonders Childcare (Roslyn) 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 Wonders Childcare (Roslyn) is privately owned and one of eight Little Wonder Childcare services across New Zealand. These services are currently in a transition phase to new ownership.

A centre manager has responsibility for the centre and is new to the role since the 2015 ERO review. She manages two Little Wonder Childcare services in Dunedin. Since her appointment staffing has been stable. The centre manager is supported by a team of head teachers who have day-to-day responsibility for the education programmes. The centre is full day and licensed for 100 children aged three months to five years. The children receive education and care across five classrooms.

Since the ERO review in 2015 the owner and leadership team have made significant improvements to the service and addressed all of ERO’s recommendations. These included management of staffing changes and establishing organisational expectations and systems to monitor the quality of centre processes and teaching practices.

The Review Findings

A useful centre philosophy reflects the teachers’ values and beliefs and identifies the key learning priorities for children. Comprehensive strategic and annual plans identify the service's vision and goals. These plans have been carefully designed to build the service across all aspects of the operation.

Teachers work with intention and purpose, using a range of effective strategies, to affirm children and extend their thinking. They are collaborative and enthusiastic about their work. The learning programmes in each room are specifically planned to support children’s interests and engagement with learning. Teachers' shared understanding of the intended learning is building children’s confidence, independence, and social abilities. 

Teachers enable children to learn through their interests. Children play and work for sustained periods of time alone, alongside others, or with teachers. They follow well-established routines and their teachers have clear expectations for behaviour. Children have positive relationships with one another and their teachers, and show a strong sense of wellbeing and belonging.

Other features that contribute to positive outcomes for children include:

  • strong support for oral language development, as well as early mathematics and literacy

  • teachers regularly reflecting on and evaluating the impact of programmes and teaching on children's learning

  • teachers seeking regular input from parents and making good use of their responses

  • good processes and support for children transitioning into, across and out of the centre

  • well-considered support for children with additional needs.

Children in the infant and toddler rooms receive a high level of care. The calm, relaxed environments and nurturing relationships ensure children’s emotional needs are being met. Teachers work with parents to ensure routines are consistent with home life. Teachers are very responsive to young children's verbal and non-verbal cues. They use every opportunity to promote oral language, grow children’s independence and extend their social development.

Teachers value te reo Māori, and Māori knowledge, perspectives and tikanga. The centre environment, resources and programmes reflect this commitment. As a result, children have many opportunities to learn about New Zealand's bicultural heritage. Teachers see this as an area for ongoing development and learning.

The service is managed well by an able and collaborative centre manager. She has built leadership and teacher capability through provision of relevant professional development. She and the head teachers make good use of teachers' individual strengths and interests to enrich children's learning. Leaders and teachers show a sound understanding of effective internal evaluation. This has led to well-informed change and ongoing improvement in centre systems, practices and programmes.

The leaders have identified that they now need to consolidate the changes made. They are aware that their next steps are to continue to:

  • use internal evaluation to build good practice

  • strengthen bicultural development and the integration of Māori perspectives

  • review, refine and build assessment, planning and evaluation practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Little Wonders Childcare (Roslyn) 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 Wonders Childcare (Roslyn) will be in three years.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Te Waipounamu)

18 July 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

Dunedin

Ministry of Education profile number

46150

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

100 children, including up to 35 aged under 2

Service roll

109

Gender composition

Girls: 60
Boys: 49

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other

  9
87
13

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

1:9

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2017

Date of this report

18 July 2017

Most recent ERO report

 

Education Review

September 2015

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.