Mana Early Learning Centre - 20/06/2014

1 Evaluation of Mana Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Mana 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

Mana Early Childhood Centre is one of nine centres owned and administered by Artemis Early Learning Limited. Leadership of strategic planning, the education programme and the management of staff is the responsibility of the Centre Manager (CM).

A professional services manager located in Christchurch provides advice and support to strengthen practice and promote improvement. Registered teachers share the duties associated with implementing the programme. There are six provisionally registered teachers in the centre.

The centre’s philosophy recognises the role of families as the first teachers of their children. At Mana ELC children are grouped in one of four flexible, age-defined rooms. Each room has staff, resources and an environment appropriate to a specific age group. Daily sessions operate from 7.30am to 5.30pm, from Monday to Friday. The centre serves a diverse community.

The centre operates within a well-maintained purpose-built building in a property where children can access outside equipment and activities. Teachers place high value on the centre’s links with its community, using the local environment to support children’s learning.

At the time of the April 2011 ERO review this service was one of two licensed centres on the site. It is now amalgamated to one service. Areas for review and development in that report included consistency of learning journey books, a review of the strategic and annual planning and documentation for inducting new whānau to the centre. These areas are being appropriately addressed.

The Review Findings

A nurturing environment supports a culture of care and learning. Children are confident and appreciate the opportunities to interact with adults. Appropriate ratios of adults to children promote opportunities for one-to-one interaction. Children access a suitable variety of learning materials and resources. Teaching staff know the children and their families well.

Building and maintaining positive and enduring relationships in the centre are highly valued. Staff are friendly and welcoming. They are inclusive of the cultures of children, providing space and time for all to participate in te ao Māori within the curriculum.

Leaders are committed to strengthening the team’s understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi partnership and establishing what families aspire to, to achieve success for Māori children as Māori.

Provision for infants and toddlers varies. Children are generally encouraged to explore the play spaces and use a full range of learning materials. The room for the youngest centre members is suitably resourced for those children who are not yet mobile. Through a self-review process, changes made in that room have added value to the care and learning. The children show confidence in making choices and leading their learning.

The recent appointment of a CM and other staff has been well managed to minimise disruption to children and families. Staff demonstrate respect, trust and responsiveness to improvement. Teachers are considering and using practices of self review. They are beginning to use evidence to reflect on and improve their teaching.

The friendly culture and teachers’ support for each other fosters confidence and willingness to improve. They are reflective, committed and proud of their roles. It is now time to systematically and rigorously critique teaching in an intentional way.

The CM enthusiastically embraces new learning in her role of leading staff. She has developed a cooperative, collaborative team. Some areas of her work could be better supported by Artemis as she prioritises aspects that have the most positive impact on children.

This includes implementing professional support for provisionally registered teachers, strengthening the appraisal system to be more robust, focused and useful, evaluating the curriculum and conducting the formal induction of new staff.

The centre philosophy and values are reflected in practice. The programme is implemented with teachers playing a leading role. Managers and ERO agree a next step is to consider and develop a shared understanding of child-led play.

A stronger emphasis on identifying children's significant learning linked to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum should lead to outcomes that benefit children. Across the rooms, literacy and numeracy are well integrated into the programme in meaningful ways.

Key Next Steps

Teachers should continue to:

  • strengthen their approach to assessment, planning and evaluation through a shared understanding of child-led learning
  • explore with whānau what success for Māori children as Māori means at this centre
  • extend their shared understanding and use of self review to improve decision-making and promote improvement.

The centre owner should:

  • develop a more focussed support process based on centre needs and priorities
  • support teachers to develop their understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi partnership
  • provide leadership to staff to help them to define with whānau their understanding of success for Māori as Māori.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

20 June 2014.

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

45059

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

77 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll

109

Gender composition

Girls 55, Boys 54

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

10

89

2

8

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1 : 4

Meets minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1 : 8

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

April 2014

Date of this report

20 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

April 2011

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.