PAUA Early Childhood Homebased Care Service - 21/08/2012

The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

PAUA Early Childhood - Taupo (PAUA) is a chartered service established in 2004 in Taupo and is part of the New Zealand-wide PAUA organisation. The service provides preschool home-based education for children from birth to five years old. There are three visiting teachers who are qualified early childhood teachers. They provide educational support to educators and children. The national owner/manager has overall responsibility for the operation of the network. This is the first Education Review report for this service.

The guiding principles of PAUA philosophy are based on the early childhood curriculum. These principles include:

  • a commitment to building strong relationships with parents and whānau
  • developing an educational journey for children in a home environment
  • children exploring their interests in safe natural settings.

Staff employed in this network share a belief that children benefit from the richness of home-based care and education.

The owner/manager has developed highly effective systems to support service operations and professional practice. A particular feature of the service is the high level of communication and support provided for visiting teachers in their role. Visiting teachers work positively together to ensure placements are appropriate and that educators and parents/whānau are comfortable with their children's safety, education and care arrangements.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO will review the service again within three years.

2 The Focus of the Review

All ERO education reviews in early childhood focus on the quality of education. For ERO this includes the quality of:

  • the programme provided for children
  • the learning environment
  • the interactions between children and adults.

The Quality of Education

Background

PAUA head office is located in Whanganui. This service provides education and care for young children within communities throughout New Zealand. Qualified teachers regularly visit homes and provide professional learning and guidance for home educators. Children are cared for and educated in the homes of registered educators. The service has been operating for approximately nine years and during this time it has grown in size.

The philosophy of PAUA is based on a commitment to building strong relationships with parents and whānau. The service’s core beliefs and aspirations are to develop an educational journey for children in a home environment that promotes family values. People in the PAUA organisation have a shared belief in the richness of home-based care and education, and its intrinsic benefits for children and their whānau.

Areas of good performance

Systems and operations: Effective systems that support service operations and professional practice are well embedded. There are clear and comprehensive procedural guidelines and expectations for visiting teacher practice and for educators. A particular feature of the service is the high level of communication and support provided for visiting teachers and their networks. An appraisal process includes teacher reflection and provides staff with effective professional guidance. Management hold high expectations for the quality of visiting teacher notes as evidence of children’s progress and development. Visiting teachers, educators and parents/whānau benefit from good-quality administrative systems focused on children’s care and education.

Professional leadership: The experienced and knowledgeable owner/manager skilfully blends effective professional leadership with respectful relationships. There is a clear focus on building positive relationships with children, parents and whānau. She works with visiting teachers to meet the needs of educators and children in the network. Regular national hui are held to share and set future strategic direction, build professional capability and to maintain collegial relationships. This collaborative approach to leadership ensures that all visiting teachers are well informed and play an integral role in the development of the organisation.

Relationships and interactions: Three qualified visiting teachers effectively work together to improve education and care for children and bring a range of strengths that enhance the operation of the network. They share ideas and have established a range of opportunities for educators to come together to share relevant aspects of PAUA administration. In addition, regular coffee mornings, play groups and specific professional development opportunities support educators to care for and promote children’s learning. These activities allow educators to network with each other and encourage children to socialise and play together.

Interactions amongst visiting teachers, educators, and children are positive, respectful and responsive. Visiting teachers support educators in their roles. They model good practice through interactions with children and provide feedback to educators about what they are doing. Babies, toddlers and young children benefit from caring interactions that are responsive to their needs and preferences, which stimulate their early language development. Children are settled and demonstrate high levels of trust and confidence in their educators.

Learning environment: Educators’ homes provide children with environments that contribute to their well-being and sense of belonging. They listen and talk with children to hear about their ideas and extend their thinking. Frequent conversations develop children’s oral language and communication skills. Children enjoy a variety of age-appropriate literacy and mathematical resources. They are encouraged to make choices, explore and persist in their play. Educators extend children’s interests in local outdoor settings that provide them with physical challenge and links to the natural world. This holistic approach encourages children to be confident about exploring the environment.

Areas for development and review

There are some very good examples of educators recording aspects of individual children’s learning in learning journey books. These books provide a daily record of children’s participation in activities and demonstrate the progress they make in learning during their time in the home and the local community. Improved use of this information by teachers and educators should strengthen the quality of learning. Aspects for consideration include: • targeted professional development for visiting teachers and educators • documenting children’s learning by recording how educators notice, recognise and respond • sharing current high-quality practice with educators and parents. The daily documenting of children’s learning will provide parents with evidence about how the day-to-day programme provides opportunities and possibilities to extend children’s learning through play.

3 Management Assurance on Compliance Areas

Overview

Before the review, the management and staff of PAUA Early Childhood - Taupo completed an ERO Home-Based Care Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • administration
  • health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial and property management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on outcomes for children:

  • emotional safety (including behaviour management, prevention of bullying and abuse)
  • physical safety (including behaviour management, sleeping and supervision practices; accidents and medication; hygiene and routines; travel and excursion policies and procedures)
  • staff qualifications and organisation
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

4 Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO will review the service again within three years,

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services Northern Region (Acting)

21 August 2012

About the Service

Location

Taupo

Ministry of Education profile number

50095

Licence type

Home-Based Care

Chartered under

Education (Home-based Care) Order 1992

Service roll

51

Gender composition

Boys 26

Girls 25

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

NZ Māori

Other

40

8

3

Review team on site

June 2012

Date of this report

21 August 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports