Mt Royal Early Learning Centre - 21/09/2018

1 Evaluation of Mt Royal Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Mt Royal 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

Mt Royal Early Learning Centre in Mt Albert is privately owned and provides full day care for up to 24 children, including up to four children under two years of age. The centre caters for a diverse community. Children play as a mixed-age group for the majority of the day. The owner manages the centre with the support of a supervisor and a team of teachers, most of whom are qualified.

The centre's ERO reporting history has not always been positive. In response to concerns raised in the 2016 ERO report, the centre engaged a number of external advisers to help staff improve the quality of the environment, teaching and learning practices, and compliance with regulations and legislation. As a result, centre staff have made, and are continuing to make progress with improving these areas.

The Review Findings

Children are settled and play happily with and alongside their peers. Teachers have a focus on children's wellbeing. They warmly greet children on arrival in the centre and help them to engage with the programme. Children make choices from the resources offered, and sometimes play in friendly groups with high levels of discussion. They enjoy long periods of uninterrupted play and teachers' conversations help to extend children's activities.

Children are enthusiastic and highly engaged in their weekly visits to local forested areas. The Māori value of kaitiakitanga is embedded in teachers' rationale for this programme. Children are learning about sustainability and the protection of natural environments.

Children are making good use of natural materials found in and around their own playground and provided by teachers. It would be useful to build on these experiences to engage in thought-provoking conversations and extend children's learning.

Children up to two years of age are included in programme activities. Teachers could more closely monitor these children's engagement in the programme and provide alternative activities when necessary, for their ongoing learning.

The roll includes a small number of Māori and Pacific children. Teachers have strong partnerships with whānau and have received good support to increase their understanding of children's languages and cultures. Teachers focus on supporting all children to appreciate the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand and their multicultural community. Teachers should continue to strengthen their understanding of children's cultural backgrounds and include references to individual children's cultures in their portfolios.

Teachers and whānau share warm, respectful relationships. Whānau willingly contribute time and ideas to enhance the programme. They speak highly of the teachers and enjoy the quiet, homely atmosphere provided for children.

The owner and staff have had considerable external support. Teachers have made improvements in their teaching and assessment, and internal evaluation practices. They have also addressed health and safety requirements and improved learning environments.

The owner has reviewed and updated policies and procedures to match recent legislation and regulatory requirements. There is further work to be undertaken to ensure that the policy information includes reference to legislation, and is collated to make information easily accessible. A further review of the centre's philosophy should make mention of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and te Tiriti o Waitangi as underpinnings for centre practices.

Key Next Steps

The owner now needs to support teachers to continue making progress in providing good quality programmes for children. Next steps and further developments include:

  • embedding improved assessment and planning processes

  • teachers' reflective practices, including developing more focused internal evaluation to provide useful information about the effectiveness of teachers' work with children

  • understanding Te Whāriki as a tool for improving professional practice and maintaining higher levels of commitment to quality practice

  • continuing to refine policies and procedures.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

21 September 2018

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

Mount Albert, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

10351

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

24 children, including up to 4 aged under 2

Service roll

24

Gender composition

Girls 13 Boys 11

Ethnic composition

Māori
Indian
Pacific
other ethnic groups

4
7
5
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

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2018

Date of this report

21 September 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2016

Supplementary Review

March 2013

Supplementary Review

July 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.