Te Kawau Playcentre - 16/07/2012

 

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Te Kawau Playcentre is a parent-led centre that operates under the umbrella of the Central Districts Playcentre Association (the association). The association gives support with developing procedures and a sound framework for practice. A liaison person provides professional learning opportunities for supervisors and parents

Te Kawau Playcentre, located in Rongotea, provides early childhood education and care for families in a largely rural area. The playcentre has been in existence for fifty years and this is reflected in strong community involvement. Sessions are mixed aged, for children from birth to five years old. A high adult-to-child ratio suitably reflects the playcentre philosophy.

Positive outcomes result from a safe, inclusive culture where children are respected and learning and development are promoted. The playcentre is very reflective of the stated intent of supporting “children and their families to learn and grow together as they build life skills in a supportive environment.”

The programme is child initiated with sensitive adult encouragement. Children have ample opportunities to explore and experience a varied range of learning activities. They participate in complex sustained play with others, actively engaging in investigation and exploration. Creativity is encouraged and extended.

An attractive and stimulating environment invites exploration. High quality, plentiful, age appropriate resources foster children’s interest and development. Children’s progress, achievements and successes are acknowledged and celebrated, including visual displays of their work.

Te Kawau Playcentre has responded positively to the recommendations in the August 2008 ERO report. Learning is increasingly analysed and adults consider how children’s next steps should be promoted. Recent developments in the physical environment have improved opportunities for play.

Self review is ongoing and focused on improving the effectiveness of practices to enhance children’s learning. The performance management process is not robust and suitably focused on improvement. Regular employee appraisal needs to be implemented.

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 Te Kawau 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 atTe Kawau 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

Te Kawau Playcentre has responded positively to the recommendations in the August 2008 ERO report. Learning is increasingly analysed and adults consider how children’s next steps should be promoted. Tikanga Māori is included more regularly as part of the daily programme. Adults continue to extend their playcentre qualifications, and have the knowledge and skills to support children to experience positive outcomes.

Recent developments in the physical environment have improved opportunities for play, to effectively display learning and increase the sense of belonging.

Parent educators regularly evaluate the daily programme. Multiple voices are apparent in this review. Parents are reflective practitioners. They work collaboratively to respond to children’s identified interests.

Self review is ongoing and focused on improving children’s learning. Information is gathered from a range of sources. A cycle of review of policies and procedures is implemented. Appropriate policies and procedures guide operations.

Areas of strength

Programme

Te Whāriki and the playcentre philosophy fuse to provide a programme where adults and children learn side-by-side.

The programme is child initiated with sensitive adult support. Language and thinking are extended through open ended questions, sustained conversations and timely interventions. Routines are flexible and meet children’s needs rather than those of adults. Children have ample opportunities to explore and experience a varied range of learning activities.

Children are empowered to lead learning. Dramatic play is a feature of the centre. Adults join play scenarios, taking directions from children. Children are regarded as competent, confident learners. They participate in complex sustained play with others, actively engaging in investigation and exploration. Children persist in overcoming difficulties. Creativity is encouraged and extended.

Portfolios provide a valuable record of learning and development and an opportunity to revisit and rekindle interest. They contain an array of data about each child including photographs, artwork and learning stories.

Learning stories are narratives of learning where parent educators successfully interweave dispositional language, multiple voices, and evaluation of learning and tentative next steps. There is continuity and linking of learning stories. Progress is identified and celebrated.

Assessment clearly reflects noticing, recognising, responding, recording and revisiting children’s learning. Kei Tua o te Pae ( is a significant influence.Assessment for Learning: Early Childhood Exemplars)

The development of numeracy and literacy concepts is naturally incorporated into the programme, into interactions and into resource provision. The environment is print rich and children are supported to develop an understanding of the purpose of word and number.

A bicultural perspective is evident in the environment, with Māori motifs, language and artefacts displayed. Some basic use of te reo Māori and waiata were observed. The warm family atmosphere of the playcentre is supportive of children’s learning.

Children’s transition to school is effectively supported through regular visits to and from the local school. The supervisor works closely with new entrant teachers to reflect on programme planning so they and families have clear understanding of requirements for early schooling.

Learning environment

An attractive and stimulating environment invites exploration. High quality, plentiful, age appropriate resources support children’s interest and development. Activity areas are thoughtfully planned to provide a wide variety of learning experiences for young children. There is frequent opportunity to be creative and imaginative in play.

Outdoor areas are spacious, provide challenge and cater for a variety of aspects of children’s growth. New veranda extensions provide extra space for activities during wet weather.

Centre walls are adorned with children’s art and stories to value and acknowledge learning. The whānau whākapāpa tree increases the sense of belonging for children and parents.

Interactions

There is a positive tone that promotes constructive interactions and supports the learning of all children. Effective communication is promoted through play and close relationships among adults and peers who provide stimulation and challenge. The atmosphere is busy, productive and relaxed.

Adults are caring and responsive. Children’s problem solving and experimentation is supported. They respond well to adults other than their parents.

Children play and learn cooperatively. They manage their interactions with others confidently. Children develop skills and behaviour for communicating, cooperating and learning with and alongside their peers. Older children accept responsibility for encouraging and supporting those younger than themselves.

Area for development and review

Appraisal for the supervisor has lapsed. The process currently in place for performance management is not robust or suitably focused on improvement. Regular employee appraisal needs to be implemented. The playcentre agrees it should incorporate:

  • a collaborative approach between playcentre management and employees
  • feedback on key tasks within job description
  • self appraisal
  • annual development goals based on performance management outcomes of the previous year and priorities determined by the playcentre and employee
  • if necessary, professional development to support goals.

A comprehensive performance management process should support continuing improvement in outcomes for children and parents.

3. Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Te Kawau Playcentre completed an ERO CentreAssurance Statement andSelf-Audit Checklist. In these documents they 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

Acting National Manager Review Services

Central Region

16 July 2012

About the Centre

Type

Playcentre

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Roll number

32

Gender composition

Female 18, Male 14

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 29, Māori 1, Other ethnic groups 2

Review team on site

May 2012

Date of this report

16 July 2012

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review August 2008 Education Review April 2005 Assurance Audit October 1996

 

To the Parents and Community of Te Kawau Playcentre

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

Te Kawau Playcentre is a parent-led centre that operates under the umbrella of the Central Districts Playcentre Association (the association). The association gives support with developing procedures and a sound framework for practice. A liaison person provides professional learning opportunities for supervisors and parents

Te Kawau Playcentre, located in Rongotea, provides early childhood education and care for families in a largely rural area. The playcentre has been in existence for fifty years and this is reflected in strong community involvement. Sessions are mixed aged, for children from birth to five years old. A high adult-to-child ratio suitably reflects the playcentre philosophy.

Positive outcomes result from a safe, inclusive culture where children are respected and learning and development are promoted. The playcentre is very reflective of the stated intent of supporting “children and their families to learn and grow together as they build life skills in a supportive environment.”

The programme is child initiated with sensitive adult encouragement. Children have ample opportunities to explore and experience a varied range of learning activities. They participate in complex sustained play with others, actively engaging in investigation and exploration. Creativity is encouraged and extended.

An attractive and stimulating environment invites exploration. High quality, plentiful, age appropriate resources foster children’s interest and development. Children’s progress, achievements and successes are acknowledged and celebrated, including visual displays of their work.

Te Kawau Playcentre has responded positively to the recommendations in the August 2008 ERO report. Learning is increasingly analysed and adults consider how children’s next steps should be promoted. Recent developments in the physical environment have improved opportunities for play.

Self review is ongoing and focused on improving the effectiveness of practices to enhance children’s learning. The performance management process is not robust and suitably focused on improvement. Regular employee appraisal needs to be implemented.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the service again in 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.

 

Joyce Gebbie

Acting National Manager Review Services

Central 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.

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.