Rising Stars Preschool - 18/07/2018

1 Evaluation of Rising Stars Preschool

How well placed is Rising Stars Preschool to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Rising Stars Preschool is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

Rising Stars Preschool is a privately-owned centre in Ashburton. The centre provides education and care for up to 45 children, 12 of whom can be under two years old. The infants and toddlers, and the preschool children each have their own buildings and outdoor play areas on the same site. The head teacher and assistant head teacher have been appointed since the 2014 ERO review. The majority of staff are qualified early childhood teachers.

The centre philosophy places a strong emphasis on children developing social competency and the service building strong, supportive partnerships between children, parents/whānau and staff. The philosophy also promotes te ao Māori as a central part of the centre, along with the cultures and languages of all children.

Since the 2014 ERO review, the staff appraisal process has become well established and is a useful tool to support teacher development. Progress has also been made in improving programme planning, evaluation and showing the achievement of long-term centre goals.

The Review Findings

The centre's philosophy clearly identifies what the leaders, teachers and whānau value and these are very evident in the programme. Of particular significance are:

  • children developing social competence
  • thoughtful integration of te reo and tikanga Māori, and Pacific cultures
  • valuing and including aspects of other children's cultures and languages.

Children are well supported to be socially competent, caring and supportive of others. Leaders and kaiako (teachers) have made very good use of outside agencies and professional development to continue to grow and extend their knowledge and skills in this area. They use a wide range of strategies and tools to help children communicate confidently with others, and be understanding, patient and inclusive. The regular support that the leaders and kaiako receive from outside agencies is ensuring their skill levels continue to increase. The kaiako make effective use of their high level of skills to ensure the smooth transition of children to school and other services and support children with additional needs.

Māori and Pacific languages and cultures are skilfully interwoven into all aspects of centre life. Some leaders and kaiako have considerable knowledge and expertise that they share with children, other staff and whānau. The Pacific community in particular is fully involved with the centre. A centre leader also provides significant support to Pacific families in the wider community. Māori and Pacific children are proud of their cultures and take lead roles within centre and community events. Children are keen to learn about Māori and Pacific languages and cultures. They confidently share this knowledge with others within and beyond the centre.

Children from a number of other cultures attend the centre and their cultures are also valued. Staff work effectively with parents to ensure links to children's home cultures are evident in the environment and centre practices. Key words from the home culture languages are regularly used in the programme and important cultural events are recognised. All children are benefiting from the rich international cultural environment that successfully promotes cultural understanding.

Infants and toddlers enjoy an environment where they are nurtured by kaiako who have an in-depth understanding of their individual needs and characteristics. Relationships are respectful and routines are flexible. Kaiako work effectively together to meet the needs of each child. Infants and toddlers lead their learning and are well supported by responsive adults who make learning and routines interesting and fun.

Children's interests are well used in the preschool to extend the curriculum and to provide interesting, meaningful and challenging learning opportunities for all children. Children are well supported to be leaders in their areas of interest and share their knowledge with other children and adults. Children often construct carefully planned displays that show their learning journey and the depth of their learning and knowledge. Kaiako make very good use of children's interests to increase the range of resources and involve the wider community in children's learning.

Parents and families are valued for the knowledge that they bring about their children and the skills and cultural knowledge that they offer to support the learning of all children. Kaiako use a range of media to keep parents well informed about their children's learning and to gather information to support their child's progress and wellbeing.

The leaders make effective use of kaiako's interests and strengths to support the learning of children and kaiako, and the smooth operation of the centre. They work collaboratively and value each other's contributions. Professional development opportunities are effectively used to extend individual knowledge, skills and capability to achieve the centre philosophy and improve outcomes for children.

ERO acknowledges the improvements to programme planning since the previous review, and recommends ongoing refinement to ensure learning goals and outcomes are explicitly identified over time.

Key Next Steps

The leaders had identified and ERO agrees that the leaders need to:

  • extend strategic planning to closely link goals to the centre's vision and priorities, and systematically monitor and evaluate the impact on outcomes for children
  • implement new internal evaluation processes and evaluate their effectiveness in building evaluation capability and improved outcomes for children.

ERO and leaders agree that assessment and planning need to be strengthened by:

  • evaluating the impact of centre plans, including teaching strategies, on children's progress and achievement.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Rising Stars Preschool 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Rising Stars Preschool will be in three years.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

18 July 2018

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

Ashburton

Ministry of Education profile number

45371

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

45 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Service roll

61

Gender composition

Boys 33 ; Girls 28

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Pacific
Other ethnicities

6
33
7
15

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

Ratio 1:4

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

Ratio 1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

18 July 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2014

Education Review

December 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.