Our Space Early Childhood Education Centre - 05/12/2017

1 Evaluation of Our Space Early Childhood Education Centre

How well placed is Our Space Early Childhood Education 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

Our Space Early Childhood Education Centre is licensed for 30 children up to five years of age.

The centre's philosophy is based on whanaungatanga (warm, trusting relationships). It promotes staff knowing children and their whānau well, and supporting children as they lead and direct their own learning.

A new teaching team consists of four registered teachers, including the centre manager. Three teachers work with children who are two to five years old, and two teachers work with children under the age of two. Because of the mixed-age setting, some teachers work across all age groups at times.

The 2014 ERO review identified a number of areas of good performance. These included a responsive programme, skilful teaching, meaningful play and sustained conversations with children. Good progress with assessment and planning was noted. The report also noted that priorities for improvement included promoting success for Māori and self-review, including regular policy review. It recommended aligning strategic and annual planning, the philosophy, teacher appraisal and professional learning. Further improvement is still needed in these areas.

The Review Findings

Children are happy and settled, and have a strong sense of belonging in the centre. They settle confidently in play areas and make deliberate choices about the resources they need. Children are able to engage in free, uninterrupted play and have many opportunities for physical challenge. Children lead their own play and learning, and have fun. They are caring and friendly with each other.

Infants and toddlers enjoy nurturing and trusting relationships with teachers. Teachers engage with them to support their wellbeing, their sense of belonging, and their learning and language development. They are responsive to children's cues and preferences.

Teachers have warm and respectful relationships with children. They interact with children and skilfully engage them in play that prompts them to collaborate and investigate ideas. Teachers read frequently to children and are developing their love of books and stories. The spacious learning environment provides children with a wide range of choices and allows them to take risks with their learning.

Art, science, literacy and early mathematics concepts are integrated into the programme. Teachers could now consider integrating early literacy and mathematics in the context of children's play in the outdoor areas. They should also plan for children's engagement in more complex and challenging play. Teachers are committed to strengthening the inclusion of te reo and tikanga Māori in the curriculum.

The curriculum is responsive to children's interests and strengths and teachers use the 'notice, recognise and respond' approach to planning. Teachers have made good progress in making learning more visible to parents and children. Portfolios show how teachers are recording and analysing significant learning moments, including children's developing dispositions for learning. Teachers should now consider how to show links between children's learning stories, and their progress and learning over time. They could also make the links between planning and assessment clearer.

Parents are encouraged to be partners in their children’s learning. Teachers provide good opportunities for families to participate in the programme, provide feedback and be involved in their children's learning and development. Parents appreciate that teachers listen to their aspirations and respond to their children’s strengths.

Teachers work well together. Leadership is distributed, based on teachers' strengths and interests. With the support of external expertise, the appraisal system has recently been reviewed and updated to meet the Education Council requirements. External support would also be helpful to help teachers strengthen programme planning and evaluation, and to develop a cycle of systematic internal evaluation.

Key Next Steps

Centre staff agree that key next steps include:

  • reviewing the centre's philosophy

  • developing teachers' capacity to increase the rigour of their internal evaluation, including their evaluation of programmes for children

  • developing long term and annual planning alongside internal evaluation, to build a culture of ongoing improvement.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Our Space Early Childhood Education 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 comply with legal requirements, the owner/manager should now ensure that:

All staff are included in a system of robust, regular appraisal. Education (ECC) Regulations 2008, 47; Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA7; Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Our Space Early Childhood Education Centre will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

5 December 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

Stanmore Bay, Whangaparaoa

Ministry of Education profile number

10070

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll

20

Gender composition

Boys 11 Girls 9

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Fijian

8
11
1

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:2

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2017

Date of this report

5 December 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2014

Education Review

February 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.