Newbies Early Learning Centre - 09/02/2018

1 Evaluation of Newbies Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Newbies 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

Newbies Early Learning Centre is licensed to provide full-day education and care for 35 children, including up to five aged under two years. Infants and toddlers have a separate play space. Toddlers can choose throughout the day whether they will play in this space or with the older children, indoors or outdoors.

The service opened in September 2015. The centre owner and head teacher lead a team of two other qualified teachers, one teacher in training, and two unqualified staff.

The philosophy of the service is strongly focused on building respectful, reciprocal relationships with children, their families and the community. Quality professional development for teachers and ongoing internal evaluation are highly valued. The teaching team aims to provide a stimulating environment for children and to give them freedom to make choices around their learning.

The Review Findings

Aspects of the teaching philosophy are very evident in practice. Children are treated with respect and dignity. They benefit from the reciprocal relationships established between teachers and families. A current focus of the teaching team is building partnerships with parents that engage them more deeply in their children's learning.

Children are well supported to develop social competence. They collaborate and sensitively respond to other children and to adults. Teachers skilfully engage children in ongoing conversations and model the effective use of language well. They provide numerous occasions for children to engage with written texts, offering opportunities for children to learn and use new vocabulary.

Infants and toddlers experience a calm environment and consistent caregiving that allows them to establish a sense of wellbeing. Some parts of their daily routine occur in the older children's space. This is allowing them to develop familiarity with all teachers and the environment, supporting more seamless transitions for toddlers when they move into the older group.

The programme for older children has been the subject of internal review. Excursions are starting to feature more often and are providing opportunities for children to engage in more challenging physical activities. Teachers encourage children to talk about their interests and experiences in a group format. They value the knowledge and ideas children bring to these discussions and use it to plan their programme.

All children confidently engage with the resources that they can access and explore their environment. Teachers should now evaluate how effectively the layout and resourcing of the centre enable children to participate freely in a wide range of experiences and empower them to sustain their play and extend their own learning.

The teaching team is committed to supporting children's developing knowledge of the bicultural nature of Aotearoa New Zealand. They weave this knowledge throughout the programme, supported by the use of te reo Māori and waiata. The language and cultural identity of each child could be more strongly reflected in the centre and in learning records.

Children's portfolios contain regular stories about their participation in the programme. These stories are shared online so families have good access to them and can easily provide feedback. Teachers are exploring different ways to document programme plans that are responsive to their needs and to those of the children and their families.

The centre owner has established an appropriate framework of policies and procedures that guide centre practices. A robust system of internal evaluation has been established and teachers are responsive to evaluation findings. Centre leaders are replacing the current teacher appraisal process with an updated process strongly focused on teachers inquiring into the effectiveness and impact of their practices. They are working well towards establishing a culture of continuous improvement.

A strategic plan outlines the vision for the centre, and is supported by an annual plan. Greater alignment of strategic and annual plans, internal evaluation and teacher appraisal would provide a more coherent sense of direction for the future.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps for enhancing teaching practices include:

  • implementing and documenting a process of programme planning and evaluation
  • making children's portfolios a more accurate record of the continuity and complexity of each child's learning over time
  • ensuring that the teaching philosophy reflects current best practice.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Julie Foley
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

9 February 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

Northcote, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

46812

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

35 children, including up to 5 aged under 2

Service roll

46

Gender composition

Girls       23
Boys      23

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Korean
other

  1
41
  2
  2

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

9 February 2018


Most recent ERO report(s)

 

No previous ERO reports

 

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.