Waterloo Playcentre - 21/06/2016

1 Evaluation of Waterloo Playcentre

How well placed is Waterloo Playcentre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

Background

Waterloo Playcentre is one of 17 centres administered by the Hutt Playcentre Association (the association). The association is made up of elected volunteer representatives from its member centres. It provides governance and management support for the parent committee at Waterloo Playcentre. A kaitautoko, a centre support person, is employed by the association to provide guidance.

The playcentre is licensed to operate mixed-age sessional education and care for 25 children, five days a week. This includes 15 children up to the age of two. It is purpose built for early childhood education and situated adjacent to a primary school.

Curriculum planning and implementation is a shared responsibility. Each session is supported by a team of parent educators who hold playcentre training certificates. When necessary they employ a supervisor with the level of training that meets legislative requirements for group supervision.

Fifty percent of current centre members are involved in the adult education training programme provided by the association. The playcentre has sustained good numbers of parents taking advantage of this opportunity for active involvement in their child's education.

This review was part of a cluster of eight in the Hutt Playcentre Association.

The Review Findings

Children's active exploration through play and engagement in their learning is supported by attentive parent educators. Where adults support learning, children respond accordingly. Respectful relationships positively contribute to children's strong sense of belonging.

The service's philosophy, reviewed in 2015 is an expression of what children do and what families want for their children. It reflects the playcentre philosophy of parent-led education, learning through play and the principles and strands of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. The philosophy is reflected in practice. An inclusive and well-considered approach to welcoming new families provides support for a diverse range of learning needs.

Children participate enthusiastically in a variety of planned and spontaneous activities. For the infants and toddlers a wide range of experiences and resources are provided. A designated area provides a safe and social space for the youngest children and their families. There is a range of outdoor activities to support physically active play particularly for infants. Older children would benefit from active play that provides increased physical challenge.

Adults work alongside children sharing their skills and interests to extend their play and learning. Children play well independently and in groups.

Music is a strong feature of the programme. Children enthusiastically participate using a range of instruments and singing a variety of action songs.

Well-considered activities, planned events, adults' use of te reo Māori, waiata and resources support the implementation of the bicultural programme. It is timely for members to consider how they will promote educational success for Māori children.

There has been a strong focus on strengthening assessment, curriculum planning and evaluation. A learning goal is identified for each child and reviewed at the end of the term. Planning information provides guidance for adults to help plan programmes that respond to children's interests, strengths and next steps for learning. Individual learning profile books celebrate children's progress and show their developing skills, knowledge and attributes.

The purpose of review and evaluation is well understood. Spontaneous review is used regularly to reflect on practice. A next step is for members to be supported to use the association frameworks for planned review to guide ongoing decision making.

The association is an improvement focused organisation committed to providing timely and relevant support for its member centres. The August 2013 ERO reviews found the support provided at the centre level by kaitautoko was appreciated and supportive. ERO also recognised that formalising this arrangement to promote a more effective approach for responding to the needs of individual centres was a next step for development. An evaluation of the effectiveness of changes to kaitautoko practice in improving outcomes for centre members and children is planned.

The August 2013 ERO report identified that members should strengthen the approach to assessment, planning and evaluation and build a shared understanding of self review.

Key Next Steps

Waterloo Playcentre members should:

  • continue to develop planned review and evaluation practices

  • consider how they will promote educational success for Māori.

The association:

  • must implement rigorous annual appraisal for the kaitautoko and identify professional development to support them in leadership roles

  • should build kaitautoko knowledge and capability to undertake effective internal evaluation. This should include a focus on providing centre members with evaluative feedback that assists them to further develop aspects of the curriculum and centre practice.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Waterloo Playcentre 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.

Action for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to governance and management practices. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following area:

  • fully implement a system of regular appraisal.[Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA7]

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Waterloo Playcentre will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

21 June 2016

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

Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

55428

Licence type

Playcentre

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll

46 children

Gender composition

Boys 29, Girls 17

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Samoan

3

42

1

Reported ratios of adults to children

Under 2

1:2

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

April 2016

Date of this report

21 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

August 2013

Education Review

October 2009

Education Review

July 2006

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.