Polyhigh Community Childcare Centre - 24/07/2012

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Polyhigh Community Childcare Centre is located on the campus of Wellington High School and Massey University of Wellington. It is a community service for children from six months to five years and is governed by a parent-run steering committee.

The centre consists of three learning areas called Preschoolers, Tuataras and Kiwis. Age-appropriate programmes are provided. The curriculum is based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum and is beginning to be underpinned by the Reggio Emilia programme founded on the principles of respect and responsibility through exploration and discovery.

The centre’s vision of providing a ‘loving, caring and safe environment’ is evident. Children are well looked after in a positive and nurturing atmosphere. They are friendly and enjoy being part of a group. There is a calm, unhurried tone. Children’s well-being and belonging are actively fostered. Teachers encourage children to express ideas and promote collaborative play.

An inclusive culture underpins day-to-day operations. Teachers work collaboratively and are well supported by ancillary staff. Parents are warmly welcomed and encouraged to spend time at the centre. There is a family-like ambience. Spacious indoor areas allow access to a wide range of resources and learning experiences. The newly renovated outdoors is aesthetically pleasing and encourages learning in natural environs.

Teachers notice, recognise and respond to children’s interests in a child-centred, play-based programme. Early literacy and mathematical knowledge and skills are effectively integrated through the environment and teaching practices. The curriculum is extended through visits to the local community, providing authentic experiences.

Teachers show a genuine commitment to increasing their knowledge and confidence in te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. The environment strongly reflects the multicultural nature of the community and staff.

The teaching team has identified aspects to develop further including rigorous strategic self review and consistency in engaging children in sustained conversations to enhance their learning. ERO’s external evaluation concurs with these areas for development.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

2 Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Polyhigh Community Childcare Centre was invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO. ERO also used documentation provided by the centre to contribute to the scope of the review.

The detailed priorities for review were then determined following a discussion between the ERO review team and the management and staff. This discussion focused on existing information held by the centre (including self-review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to positive outcomes for children atPolyhigh Community Childcare Centre.

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; and
  • the interactions between children and adults.

The Quality of Education

Background

The teaching team comprises a centre manager and thirteen teachers, five of whom are provisionally registered.

The centre includes three learning areas catering for children of different ages. Each programme is led by an assistant supervisor.

Environment upgrades include a refurbished bathroom area, new floor coverings and heating. Part of the outdoor area has been extensively improved. The next stage of this development is a future priority.

Areas of strength

Interactions and relationships

Children are well supported in a positive and nurturing atmosphere. They are friendly and enjoy being part of a group. There is a calm, unhurried tone and children’s well-being and belonging are actively fostered. Teachers encourage children to express ideas and promote collaborative play. There is a high level of oral language in the infant area with teachers skilfully responding to non-verbal cues. Teachers in all areas are interested in and acknowledge children’s holistic development.

Learning environment

There is a family-like ambience. Spacious indoor areas allow access to a wide range of resources and learning experiences. Activities are well maintained and refreshed during the day. The infants’ room has many natural resources and is attractively laid out providing tactile experiences. The newly renovated outdoor area is aesthetically pleasing and encourages learning in natural environs.

Inclusivity

An inclusive culture underpins day-to-day operations. Teachers work collaboratively and are well supported by ancillary staff. Parents are warmly welcomed and encouraged to spend time at the centre. These occasions are used for informal discussions about children’s learning.

Programme

Children confidently participate in flexible and well understood routines. Kai time is used to reinforce social skills. Teachers engage in conversations, modelling positive behaviour expectations. Teachers capture older children’s views and reflect their interests in the programme. Infants’ natural rhythms of sleeping and eating are followed.

Early literacy and mathematical knowledge and skills are effectively integrated through the environment and teaching practices in the three learning areas. Numeracy concepts are skilfully interwoven in meaningful contexts. The print-rich environment has many different resources to read, use and manipulate.

Teachers notice, recognise and respond to children’s interests in a child-centred, play-based programme. Planned group experiences provide enrichment to the programme. The curriculum is further extended through visits to the local community providing authentic experiences. Attractive profiles highlight children’s engagement and milestones in learning.

Teachers show a genuine commitment to increasing their knowledge and confidence in te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. Children are familiar with key vocabulary, waiata and karakia.

The environment strongly reflects the multicultural backgrounds of the community and staff. Many artefacts are displayed and families’ backgrounds are acknowledged and respected.

There are good processes for transition into and within the centre. Parents are provided with informative transition packs for each area. Children visit with teachers for increasing amounts of time. This is adjusted according to needs and provides a sense of familiarity. Consideration is being given to developing a centre-wide information pack for continuity.

The draft strategic plan with good quality indicators provides a sound basis for a systematic approach to support continuous improvement in the quality of outcomes for children.

Areas for development and review

The centre manager and staff have identified the need to further enhance:

  • critical strategic self review, using quality indicators and gathering a wider range of information to analyse

  • teachers’ use of child-led inquiry and strategies to engage them in sustained conversations

  • liaison with local schools to share information about children’s learning and development

  • profile entries to more effectively highlight progress over time.

ERO’s external evaluation concurs with these areas for development to further enhanced outcomes for children.

3 Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Polyhigh Community Childcare Centre completed an ERO CentreAssurance Statement andSelf-Audit Checklist. In these documents they have attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

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

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records of recent use of procedures. ERO also checked elements of the following areas that 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; and
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

4 Future Action

ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

 

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region (Acting)

About the Centre 

Type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Roll number

64

Gender composition

Female 35, Male 29

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 41, Māori 14, Other ethnic groups, 9

Review team on site

June 2012

Date of this report

24 July 2012

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review June 2009 Education Review 2006 Education Review 2004AugustMarch

Parents and Community of Polyhigh Community Childcare Centre

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Polyhigh Community Childcare Centre.

Polyhigh Community Childcare Centre is located on the campus of Wellington High School and Massey University of Wellington. It is a community service for children from six months to five years and is governed by a parent-run steering committee.

The centre consists of three learning areas called Preschoolers, Tuataras and Kiwis. Age-appropriate programmes are provided. The curriculum is based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum and is beginning to be underpinned by the Reggio Emilia programme founded on the principles of respect and responsibility through exploration and discovery.

The centre’s vision of providing a ‘loving, caring and safe environment’ is evident. Children are well looked after in a positive and nurturing atmosphere. They are friendly and enjoy being part of a group. There is a calm, unhurried tone. Children’s well-being and belonging are actively fostered. Teachers encourage children to express ideas and promote collaborative play.

An inclusive culture underpins day-to-day operations. Teachers work collaboratively and are well supported by ancillary staff. Parents are warmly welcomed and encouraged to spend time at the centre. There is a family-like ambience. Spacious indoor areas allow access to a wide range of resources and learning experiences. The newly renovated outdoors is aesthetically pleasing and encourages learning in natural environs.

Teachers notice, recognise and respond to children’s interests in a child-centred, play-based programme. Early literacy and mathematical knowledge and skills are effectively integrated through the environment and teaching practices. The curriculum is extended through visits to the local community, providing authentic experiences.

Teachers show a genuine commitment to increasing their knowledge and confidence in te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. The environment strongly reflects the multicultural nature of the community and staff.

The teaching team has identified aspects to develop further including rigorous strategic self review and consistency in engaging children in sustained conversations to enhance their learning. ERO’s external evaluation concurs with these areas for development.