Newmarket Childcare Centre - 01/05/2018

1 Evaluation of Newmarket Childcare Centre

How well placed is Newmarket Childcare Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Ongoing unresolved issues regarding the lease and relocation of the centre have contributed to a lapse in some practices and documentation and in the maintenance of the premises. However, the lease has recently been extended, and discussions are now underway with the Ministry of Education (MoE) to make longer term decisions about relocation options.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

Newmarket Childcare Centre is licensed to provide full day education and care for 34 children including up to 10 under two years old. While there are withdrawal spaces for infants and the oldest group, children generally play as a mixed group both indoors and in the playground. The enrolled children are mostly Pākehā but there are also small numbers with Māori or other cultural heritage.

The service is community based and governed by an elected parent committee. Day to day management is delegated to the centre manager/supervisor and an assistant supervisor leads the curriculum programme. The service is founded on a philosophy that embraces bicultural and multicultural respect, positive partnerships with parents and a commitment to support children to become confident learners.

Five of the teaching team are registered teachers. Several staff have been at the centre for many years. They have established strong links with the community and know families and children very well. Teachers individually participate in professional development opportunities and are supported to develop their leadership skills.

In 2014 ERO endorsed many positive aspects of the service including the quality of relationships, children's engagement in learning and the effectiveness of the mixed age grouping. ERO suggested several improvements, especially in relation to programme management, teachers' appraisals and strategic planning. While some progress has been made, further improvement is needed to achieve effective performance.

The Review Findings

Staff warmly welcome children and their families. Children arrive with enthusiasm, separate easily from parents and quickly connect with friends or teachers. They benefit from trusting relationships, opportunities to make choices about their play and teachers who encourage their efforts and are responsive to their personal needs. Children show a sense of belonging in this family-oriented centre.

Recent staff changes, both permanent and temporary, have created challenges in sustaining the quality of learning for children. While teachers endeavour to respond to children's spontaneous interests, a lack of documentation and limited follow up learning extension reduces the effectiveness of these experiences. Key improvements teachers should make include:

  • documenting programme planning that guides teachers' work with children
  • formalising and documenting rigorous, shared programme evaluations that critically reflect on outcomes for children
  • focusing children's assessment portfolios on each child's individual learning and progress
  • continuing to develop early literacy and numeracy learning that better reflects the intentions of Te Whariki, the early childhood curriculum.

There have been limited opportunities to foster a collaborative teaching team. Although teachers share daily informal discussions, they would benefit from more frequent staff meetings, opportunities for shared reflection on practices and whole-centre professional development to strengthen team approaches to practice.  Appraisal processes should also be further developed to provide more useful goal setting and feedback.

Premises and grounds require improvement. However, the committee has understandably held off undertaking significant improvements due to the uncertainty of lease conditions and potential relocation. Teachers make regular health and safety checks, however the management and documentation of identified hazards could be improved.

The manager has led the centre for many years. She is valued by the committee, families, teachers and children. The manager should work with the committee to improve the implementation, monitoring and reporting of long and short term strategic goals. It would be useful to clearly define the roles and responsibilities of the manager and committee members.

Key Next Steps

Important key next steps for centre improvement include:

  • determining the relocation of the centre in consultation with MoE and Newmarket School
  • establishing a clear policy framework that informs and guides the work of the committee and staff
  • developing more systems to extend collaborative approaches to teaching and learning. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Newmarket Childcare 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

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to the curriculum, safety and personnel management. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following areas:

  • implementing a curriculum that is informed by documented assessment, planning and evaluation that demonstrates an understanding of children's learning and interests
  • establishing appropriate systems to ensure that the premises, facilities and equipment are kept in good repair, maintained regularly, used safely and kept free from hazards
  • implementing a meaningful and regular appraisal process for all staff.

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, C1, C2, GMA 7, Regulation 46 (1c).

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service, in consultation with the Ministry of Education, develops a plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report. 

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Newmarket Childcare Centre will be within two years.

Julie Foley
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

1 May 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

Newmarket, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20117

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

34 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll

32

Gender composition

Boys      22
Girls       10

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
British
Chinese
Indian
Samoan
other Asian

  1
20
  3
  2
  2
  1
  3

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%
Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2018

Date of this report

1 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2014

Education Review

April 2011

Education Review

February 2008

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.