Rangiora Playcentre - 23/09/2010

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Rangiora Playcentre is one of 50 playcentres administered by the Canterbury Playcentre Association. The playcentre operates within the constitution of the association. The treasurer of the association is also the licensee of all Canterbury Playcentres.

Many of the Rangiora Playcentre parents are training through the Canterbury Playcentre Association. Parents are positive about the leadership of the coordinator. They said that a feature of the Rangiora Playcentre is the welcoming and supportive parent group. ERO was onsite during the extended session for older children.

Since the 2007 ERO report, parents have made good progress. Most adults now work alongside their own as well as other children to support their learning. Children are encouraged to play alongside one another in cooperative play. Parents have a better understanding of how to assess children’s learning. Creative resources are now readily accessible. The coordinator and parent committee acknowledge they still need to extend children’s thinking and reasoning skills and give children more opportunities to revisit their learning.

The coordinator and parent committee have developed an evaluation sheet to capture children’s interests. This process is assisting parents to develop the centre programme.

Relationships between children and adults are positive and friendly. Most parents stay during the session.

Other significant features of the centre include:

  • the way children stay for extended periods at activities of their choice;
  • the way parents enrich the core programme for children by bringing in resources and projects in science, baking and literacy; and
  • the attractive, interesting indoor and outdoor environment.

Parents and the association support person agree that the next steps for improving teaching and learning are to:

  • improve the documentation to show children’s emerging interests and progress in children’s learning; and
  • develop a better understanding of how to foster bicultural learning in the programme.

Future Action

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

2. Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Rangiora Playcentre 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 atRangiora Playcentre.

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.

ERO’s findings in these areas are set out below.

The Quality of Education

Background

The Rangiora Playcentre’s philosophy statement identifies that parents will provide a safe and stimulating environment where children’s individual needs are met. Children are offered a variety of learning experiences throughout the playcentre programme.

Areas of strength

Relationships

Children benefit from positive and friendly interactions. For some parents, who do not have family living close by, the parent group becomes their extended family and support. Parents share roles and responsibilities for managing the centre, working with children, caring for each other’s children and playcentre maintenance. Parents are gaining parenting skills working alongside one another.

Programme and Environment

Childrenare developing as confident and independent learners. They invite parents to join in their play. Children are engaged in play for extended periods of time. They approach visitors with ease and ask for support. The range of resources for creative and imaginative play encourages children to use them in imaginary play situations.

Parents provide a variety of activities that support children in working cooperatively. They plan excursions and visits to the local community and beyond to support this new learning.

Parents and coordinators have recently developed a good system for identifying children’s learning. Learning stories are based on weekly observations and reflections. Playcentre-trained parents are contributing positively to evaluations. Parents have identified that they need to develop better questions to encourage all parents to focus on children’s learning. They also need to monitor ways of capturing the learning of children who attend less frequently.

Children play in a well-presented and well-resourced environment. Parents have spent a considerable amount of time and effort to develop both the indoor and outdoor environment. Parents spend time reading to and with children during sessions.

Areas for development and review

Interactions

Parents need to provide more opportunities for extending children’s learning. Further strategies could include:

  • extending their conversations to include children in collaborative problem solving and supporting children to initiate their own learning;
  • encouraging all parents to give children greater responsibility for managing their own belongings; and
  • making children’s learning profiles available to children so that they can recall and share their experiences with others. [Recommendation 4.1]

Programme

Some parents have made good progress in identifying children’s learning and next steps. The coordinator and parents told ERO that although they know children well they are still having difficulty in recording this learning effectively. They recognise they need to:

  • develop more consistency when documenting children’s emerging interests;
  • develop further ways of monitoring children’s learning to show a progression in their learning;
  • extend the weekly evaluations to make sure that all children are monitored; and
  • individualise children’s learning within group stories. [Recommendation 4.2]

Self review

The centre is currently involved in an association led review of bicultural practices. Parent surveys and an action plan have been completed. A next step for parents is to consider how they can develop a better understanding of ways to promote a bicultural partnership. Parents could do more to help children understand the unique customs, beliefs and values that are unique to being a New Zealander. [Recommendation 4.3]

3. National Evaluation Topic

Overview

ERO provides information about the education system as a whole through its national reports. This information will be used as the basis for long-term and systemic educational improvement.

No national topics were included in this review.

4. Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

  • administration;
  • health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management; and
  • 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; and
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

During the course of the review, ERO identified areas of non-compliance. The parent committee rectified the two earthquake hazards before ERO had finished the review of the playcentre.

The centre has a number of under two-year-old children enrolled. There are no separate safe floor spaces for infants and babies. In addition, the practice of children standing on plastic chairs to bake at an adult-height bench could pose a hazard to children.

In order to address these, centre management must ensure that:

  • where children under two attend the centre, safe spaces for crawling, walking and floor play are provided to the satisfaction of the Secretary; and

[R17(7) Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998]

  • so far as is reasonably practicable hazards to the safety of children are corrected, repaired, removed or made inaccessible to the children.

[R24(4) Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998]

5. Recommendations

ERO and the Canterbury Playcentre Association agreed that to improve outcomes for children the parents would:

  • extend children’s self-management, thinking and reasoning skills;
  • improve planning and assessment practices; and
  • promote the bicultural partnership at the playcentre.

6. Future Action

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

 

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region

23 September 2010

 

About the Centre

Type

Playcentre

Number licensed for

28 children, including up to 18 aged under two

Roll number

76

Gender composition

Boys 38;

Girls 32

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā 60;

Māori 6;

Other ethnicities 10

Review team on site

May 2010

Date of this report

23 September 2010

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review March 2007

Education Review April 2004

Accountability Review February 1998

 

23 September 2010

To the Parents and Community of Rangiora Playcentre

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Rangiora Playcentre.

Rangiora Playcentre is one of 50 playcentres administered by the Canterbury Playcentre Association. The playcentre operates within the constitution of the association. The treasurer of the association is also the licensee of all Canterbury Playcentres.

Many of the Rangiora Playcentre parents are training through the Canterbury Playcentre Association. Parents are positive about the leadership of the coordinator. They said that a feature of the Rangiora Playcentre is the welcoming and supportive parent group. ERO was onsite during the extended session for older children.

Since the 2007 ERO report, parents have made good progress. Most adults now work alongside their own as well as other children to support their learning. Children are encouraged to play alongside one another in cooperative play. Parents have a better understanding of how to assess children’s learning. Creative resources are now readily accessible. The coordinator and parent committee acknowledge they still need to extend children’s thinking and reasoning skills and give children more opportunities to revisit their learning.

The coordinator and parent committee have developed an evaluation sheet to capture children’s interests. This process is assisting parents to develop the centre programme.

Relationships between children and adults are positive and friendly. Most parents stay during the session.

Other significant features of the centre include:

  • the way children stay for extended periods at activities of their choice;
  • the way parents enrich the core programme for children by bringing in resources and projects in science, baking and literacy; and
  • the attractive, interesting indoor and outdoor environment.

Parents and the association support person agree that the next steps for improving teaching and learning are to:

  • improve the documentation to show children’s emerging interests and progress in children’s learning; and
  • develop a better understanding of how to foster bicultural learning in the programme.

Future Action

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

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood centre we encourage management to inform their community of any follow up action they plan to take. You should talk to the management or contact person if you have any questions about this evaluation, the full ERO report or their future intentions.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the centre or see the ERO website, http://www.ero.govt.nz.

 

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region

 

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT REVIEWS

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews. The purpose of each review is to:

  • improve quality of education for children in early childhood centres; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the Government.

Reviews are intended to focus on outcomes for children and build on each centre’s self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting is based on four review strands.

  • Quality of Education – including the quality of the programme provided for children, the quality of the learning environment and the quality of the interactions between staff and children and how these impact on outcomes for children.
  • Additional Review Priorities – other aspects of the operation of a centre, may be included in the review. ERO will not include this strand in all reviews.
  • National Evaluation Topics – This strand contribute to the development of education policies and their effective implementation. The information from this strand is aggregated by ERO for its national evaluation reports. Topics for investigation are changed regularly to provide up-to-date information.
  • Compliance with Legal Requirements – assurance that this centre has taken all reasonable steps to meet legal requirements.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of centre performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to this centre.

Review Recommendations

Most ERO reports include recommendations for improvement. A recommendation on a particular issue does not necessarily mean that a centre is performing poorly in relation to that issue. There is no direct link between the number of recommendations in this report and the overall performance of this centre.