Lollipops Educare Takapuna - 20/12/2013

1 Evaluation of Lollipops Educare Takapuna

How well placed is Lollipops Educare Takapuna 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

Lollipops Educare Takapuna is located on the North Shore, Auckland. It caters for an ethnically diverse community and is licensed for 50 children, including up to 17 children up to two years of age. Children are grouped in three rooms, the Cubs room for infants, the Tigers room for toddlers and the Lions room for older children. Outdoor playing spaces lead out from each of the rooms.

Lollipops Educare Takapuna is a family-owned and managed service. The centre operates under the auspices of the Lollipops Educare management organisation which provides support through a framework of policies, procedures and regulations. The centre manager and supervisor are responsible for the daily management of the centre. A team leader supports provisionally registered teachers and is currently in the process of transitioning to a supervisor role.

The centre’s philosophy focuses on children’s empowerment and holistic development, supported by family and community and relationships. It also aims to provide a child-centred learning environment that is age appropriate and recognises the importance of children’s attachment to parents and their teachers.

Changes to the exterior of the building and the internal layout have provided children with access to the outdoors, and improved the indoor outdoor flow. Children now have areas for quiet play and defined curriculum areas.

The 2010 ERO report noted the centre’s effective practices for promoting children’s social competence and positive relationships between teachers, children and parents. These characteristics continue to be evident. The report recommended developments to programme planning, bi-cultural provision and self review. Staff have responded positively to these recommendations.

The Review Findings

The centre has an inclusive family atmosphere and teachers know their children and families well. Teachers’ respectful interactions reflect a programme that is responsive to children’s interests and routines. Teachers help children to take responsibility for their own learning and build their levels of independence. This enables children to develop a sense of wellbeing in the centre.

Children play and learn together cooperatively and creatively. They enjoy conversations using their home languages and English with each other and their teachers. There are opportunities for children to follow their own inquiries in a range of curriculum areas. Teachers also provide a transition to school programme which focuses on the development of literacy skills, maths and science. Teachers demonstrate a commitment to bi-cultural practices.

Programmes reflect the centre philosophy and Te Whāriki principles. Some teachers use strategies to observe and identify children’s emerging interests and themes in their play. This enables teachers to plan for learning outcomes that are significant and relevant for children. A greater focus on what children’s prior experience and interests mean for their learning could bring a deeper level to the programme planning.

Assessment records are available to parents and children and provide good information about children’s involvement in the programme and relationships in the centre. Opportunities are also provided for parents and whānau to respond to their child’s ongoing learning and development through on-line e-portfolios.

The centre manager and the supervisor support teachers to have a shared understanding of the centre’s philosophy and of effective approaches to their practice. Teachers could now evaluate programmes in more depth, with a greater focus on what they are recognising about children and their own teaching practice. This more targeted evaluation would provide useful information to promote continual improvement in professional practice.

Centre management are continuing to develop their use of self review through a variety of approaches. A greater focus on working with evidence from a range of perspectives would enrich their decision making and help identify priorities for development. It should help centre managers to provide an ongoing improvement focus for children’s learning. It would also support centre’s practices and processes that prepare children as they prepare for the transition to school.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre management discussed key next steps to enable ongoing centre improvement and agree that these should include:

  • integrating children’s interests and parents’ aspirations in curriculum planning and programmes
  • strengthening understandings of self review as a means of on-going improvement
  • continuing to develop and distribute leadership roles.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the management of Lollipops Educare Takapuna 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:

  • administration

  • health, safety and welfare

  • personnel management

  • financial and property management.

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 Lollipops Educare Takapuna will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

20 December 2013

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

Takapuna, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

10297

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 17 aged under 2

Service roll

55

Gender composition

Girls 31

Boys 24

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Chinese

South African

Korean

American

British

Dutch

French

Indian

Italian

Japanese

Jewish

Venezuelan

German

Hungarian

Singapore

3

12

7

6

5

3

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

1

1

1

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:5

Meets minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2013

Date of this report

20 December 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

November 2010

 

Education Review

October 2007

 

Education Review

November 2003

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.