Massey University Auckland Early Learning Centre - 19/05/2016

1 Evaluation of Massey University Auckland Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Massey University Auckland 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

Massey University Auckland Early Learning Centre, previously named Massey Uni At Albany ECE - Kids Dept, operates on the campus of Massey University in Albany. It caters predominantly for the children of students and staff of the university. It provides full day education and care. The centre is licensed for 40 children from four months to school age, with provision for twelve children up to the age of two years.

The service has a history of positive ERO reports. The 2012 ERO report noted high ratios of staff to children as a factor contributing to good quality education and care. Since 2012, a new manager has been appointed to lead the service. Many changes have been implemented to continue the service’s growth and development. Staffing has remained stable.

The centre was operating as an incorporated society with a management committee. Over the last two years, the service has formed strong links with Northern Auckland Kindergarten Association (NAKA). On the 1st of January 2016 the service became part of the NAKA organisation. At present, the service is reviewing and modifying its management frameworks to better align with NAKA’s expectations. NAKA has already provided the service with valued administrative and professional advice to support improvements within the service.

The Review Findings

Children attending this centre are encouraged to be confident, independent and settled learners. They make choices from a wide range of activities and resources provided by teachers, and have quickly reformed friendships begun last year. The warm welcoming atmosphere created by staff has helped families establish relaxed and positive relationships with the centre. Parents are comfortable to share information about their children. There are lively conversations between teachers and children. Children play with purpose and pleasure. Their play is sustained and focused.

Teachers are thoughtful and careful about transitioning children into the infant and toddler room. The support that they provide for children helps children to develop trust and a sense of belonging. Teachers have embraced aspects of the teachings and theories of Pikler, particularly in regard to respecting children. This is a key component in the centre’s philosophy. This philosophy of respect helps the youngest children to have a sense of ownership and feel comfortable in the company of teachers. Children enjoy high levels of conversation and support for language development.

Teachers have changed the way that they assess and plan programmes for children. Detailed, recorded systems encourage teachers to identify children’s individual dispositions, strengths and interests and to plan accordingly. The effectiveness of the planning cycle is heightened by teachers' regular and detailed evaluations. The manager identified the need to continue to develop and embed these systems.

The centre caters for children from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Some children have English as an additional language. Teachers use a number of effective strategies to communicate with children and their families. Festivals and celebrations important to children and their families are part of the centre's programme. Teachers approach families as unique and special members of the centre community. This helps to create partnerships for sharing information about children.

Teachers include te reo me ngā tikanga Māori in programmes. They are aware of the need to continue to build their use of te reo Māori and their understanding of biculturalism.

The service environment has been significantly altered and improved in the past three years. Spaces are better organised. There is now better access for the teachers of the infants and toddlers to undertake necessary care routines. A wall has been removed to enable mixed age groups to play together. As a result, children have more frequent opportunities to learn from each other in tuakana-teina relationships.

Alterations to the outdoor area are continuing. Infants and toddlers benefit from a much larger outdoor deck. Older children have been given opportunities to be part of the planning and decision-making about changes to their playing spaces.

Management of the service is efficient, thoughtful and well organised. Teachers have embraced distributed leadership opportunities. The teachers work well as a collegial and cohesive team. They are responding positively to new appraisal requirements and are developing their skills to reflect on their practice.

At present, the manager and teachers are reviewing and updating policies, procedures and management planning to match the expectations of NAKA. They are viewing their merger with NAKA as a positive step for the future of the service. They are looking forward to ongoing shared professional learning and development.

Key Next Steps

In discussions between ERO and management the following matters were identified as key next steps for the service. These include continuing to:

  • develop assessment and planning records to more clearly indicate how the teaching and learning programmes support children’s individual interests
  • strengthen bicultural practices
  • encourage more parent involvement and relevant input into children’s portfolios and the programme.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Massey University Auckland 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 Massey University Auckland Early Learning Centre will be in four years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

19 May 2016

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

Albany, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

10001

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Service roll

43

Gender composition

Girls 22 Boys 21

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Chinese

American

Japanese

Samoan

Vietnamese

19

12

5

3

2

2

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

January 2016

Date of this report

19 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Previous reports as:

Massey Uni At Albany ECE - Kids Dept

Education Review

November 2012

Education Review

September 2009

Education Review

September 2006

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.