Oma Rāpeti Early Learning Centre - 18/03/2014

1 Evaluation of Oma Rāpeti Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Oma Rāpeti 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

Oma Rāpeti Early Learning Centre is a privately owned centre that provides early childhood education and care for up to 50 children. It operates in an Auckland City Council property adjacent to the Freemans Bay Community Centre. The centre is divided into two separate rooms to provide for infants and toddlers, and older children.

Since ERO’s 2012 report, the centre owners have formed a strong professional team with new leaders in each of the two centre areas. Centre leaders and teachers have maintained the strengths identified in the ERO report while undertaking ongoing improvements. They continue to implement a programme that reflects the centre’s inclusive and relationship-focused philosophy.

The centre has developed a relationship with Freemans Bay Primary and strategies to ease children’s transition to school have been a feature of the service. A second feature of the centre is a focus on organic nutrition.

The Review Findings

Oma Rāpeti Early Learning Centre is well placed to promote positive outcomes for children’s wellbeing and learning.

Children are happy and confident in the centre. They have established genuine friendships with teachers and their peers. Children are encouraged to be independent explorers and make discoveries from a good range of readily accessible resources. They engage in activities that interest them and learn to work collaboratively. They move freely between the indoor and outdoor environments and frequently engage in play that supports their development.

Infants and toddlers benefit from responsive and trusting relationships with teachers who ensure their daily needs are met with care and sensitivity. Calm and affirming staff help young children to feel relaxed and secure. High adult to child ratios provide additional opportunities for younger children to receive individual support as they freely explore their surroundings.

The staff are qualified teachers who are focused on self improvement. Teachers build their professional knowledge through shared and individual professional development priorities that are identified as part of the performance appraisal process. They communicate well and receive good support from centre leaders to take shared responsibility for children’s learning.

Teachers know children and their families well. They show a strong commitment to recognising children’s individual strengths, and to responding to family aspirations. The centre programme is well planned and implemented, and is responsive to children’s identified interests and abilities. It provides a sound platform for children’s transitions within the centre and to school. Significant features of the programme include music and the arts.

Assessment portfolios provide very good information about children’s involvement in the programme. Teachers analyse learning particularly in relation to children’s dispositions. Good use of communications technology allows families to have instant access to their children’s learning and assessment. Increasingly, parents are accessing this information.

Teachers understand the importance of recognising children’s cultural backgrounds. Centre leaders are seeking further ways to provide a bicultural programme that reflects New Zealand’s dual cultural heritage and supports Māori children to succeed as Māori. The Ministry of Education resources, Ka Hikitia: Accelerating Success and Tātaiako could be used to enhance teaching practices in this area.

Parents express appreciation for the care and support their children receive to develop socially and emotionally. They are viewed as partners in children’s learning and contribute positively to the programme.

The centre is very well managed. The new leadership team is motivated, enthusiastic and actively seeks to improve outcomes for children. They keep up-to-date with developments in early childhood education and support the professional growth of teachers. Leaders value partnerships with parents and model ways this partnership can be developed.

The owner and team leaders have made very good progress in strengthening self review. They are now considering ways to include the teacher professional standards as part of the performance management systems.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders and ERO agree that the next steps in the centre’s development could include:

  • strengthening the strategic plan to include specific goals that align with the centre’s vision
  • exploring ways to extend older children’s critical thinking through self assessment
  • strengthening the extent to which bicultural practices and use of te reo Māori are integrated throughout centre practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Oma Rāpeti 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.

To improve practice, the centre owner should establish more robust processes for risk analysis and management related to centre excursions and ensure that parents formally approve the ratio of adults to children on each excursion.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Oma Rāpeti Early Learning Centre will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

18 March 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

Freemans Bay, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20052

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Service roll

55

Gender composition

Girls 32 Boys 23

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Chinese

Indian

Southeast Asian

Cook Island Māori

Samoan

other European

5

29

5

5

4

1

1

5

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

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2014

Date of this report

18 March 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 2012

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.