Oma Rāpeti Early Learning Centre - 20/10/2017

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 in Freemans Bay is licensed to provide education and care for 50 children, including up to 12 children aged under 2 years. Children are in two separate areas with infants and toddlers in the 'Burrow' and those aged over two years in the 'Meadow'. Parents have the option to enrol children for morning or afternoon sessions or for a longer day.

The centre owner and manager leads a team of 14 qualified teachers. She is supported by an assistant manager and two senior teachers. The centre is privately owned.

The service's philosophy is strongly underpinned by trusting and caring relationships. Centre routines and operations are focussed on instilling a sense of wellbeing for each child. The arts form a valued part of the programme. Teachers believe that nature provides the optimal play experience, and environmental sustainability is an increasingly important team focus.

The 2014 ERO report highlighted the genuine and trusting relationships between children and teachers, and the strong sense of team across the teaching staff. It also noted, close relationships with parents and whānau were supporting children's learning, and that the well planned programme was responsive to children's interests and abilities. These positive aspects have been maintained.

Areas for continued development identified in the 2014 report were the strengthening of strategic planning and bicultural practices, and extending older children's critical thinking through self-assessment. There has been some progress in all these areas.

The Review Findings

Children are active participants in planning their play. Teachers support their growing independence, trusting in their developing social skills, and ability to solve their own problems. Friendships amongst the children are evident.

Infants and toddlers benefit from a calm atmosphere, a well paced programme and consistent caregiving. Sensitive responses from teachers in both rooms support each child's need for strong and secure attachments. Teachers seek permission from the children before preparing them for care moments or meal times.

Teachers interact with all children in positive and respectful ways. They effectively model language and provide opportunities for children to extend their vocabulary and verbal skills. Centre routines allow for long periods of uninterrupted play where children can choose to play indoors or outside. Trips within the local area and parks are a regular part of the programme. Consideration could be given to how resourcing of the centre supports children to take risks and engage in more complex play.

The bicultural nature of Aotearoa is evident in the programme through the appropriate use of karakia and waiata. Teachers use te reo Māori incidentally in their conversations with children. The team's commitment to deepening their bicultural practice is reflected in the continued engagement of an external facilitator to support authentic engagement and integration of the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi into daily practice.

Children's portfolios of learning reflect the individual child. Some contain contributions from whānau. Teachers could more explicitly record their conversations with whānau about the learning journeys of individual children, to make more visible the learning partnerships between parents and whānau.

Teachers work together well as a team. Their strong commitment to a shared philosophy of care and education provides children with consistent messages about their participation in the programme as they transition through the centre.

Centre leaders have established an organisational culture of ongoing improvement. Teachers are offered a wide range of opportunities to engage in ongoing professional learning and development opportunities. Teacher appraisal processes allow time for discussion about teaching practice. There is also commitment from the team to provide learning opportunities for their community.

Internal evaluation projects are often affirming of chosen topics for reflection. The process of self review could be strengthened through the use of a more evaluative lens on areas of investigation. The refining of the centre vision could provide more direction for the teaching team as they review their philosophy statement. This could also support the alignment of internal evaluation, teachers' appraisals and annual planning.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders agree that key next steps include:

  • a review of the environment to provide opportunities for children to take risks and experience challenge, particularly in the outdoors

  • refinement of the centre vision to help guide future direction and planning

  • further strengthening programme planning processes with a particular focus on more rigorous and critical evaluation

  • reviewing the 2016 centre philosophy with a focus on the teacher's role in bringing complexity to children's learning.

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.

Centre managers need to ensure room temperatures are maintained at a temperature of no lower than 16 degrees Celsius.

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Services 2008, PF12.

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.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

20 October 2017

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

61

Gender composition

Boys 31 Girls 30

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Chinese
other European
other Asian
other

2
34
2
11
6
6

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

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2017

Date of this report

20 October 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2014

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.