Wise Owl Early Childhood Centre - 18/10/2017

1 Evaluation of Wise Owl Early Childhood Centre

How well placed is Wise Owl Early Childhood Centre 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

Wise Owl Early Childhood Centre is located in Raumati South. It is one of several privately owned early learning services operating under the umbrella of G. Williams Daycare Limited.

The centre is licensed for up to 39 children, including 10 aged up to two years. Of the 54 children enrolled at the time of this review, 15 are Māori.

A visiting centre manager works closely with the recently appointed head teacher to manage day-to-day operations. Teachers are all qualified and most are registered.

The philosophy is underpinned by a culture of care characterised by respectful, reciprocal relationships. Teachers aim to incorporate te ao Māori beliefs, and support children as confident, competent and capable learners.

The December 2014 ERO evaluation identified that teachers needed to improve their assessment, philosophy implementation, response to te ao Māori, knowledge of Pacific cultures and review of formal, structured group times. Staff have responded well to these areas.

The Review Findings

The philosophy of the centre is clearly evident in practice. Children are purposefully engaged in their learning. Refreshed indoor and outdoor spaces are well resourced. These promote mathematics, science, literacy, creative arts and physical exploration opportunities. Nature and natural resources are used well to support the programme.

Children are welcoming of others. They show a positive sense of identity to the centre and their community. Children are familiar with centre routines and rituals and have many opportunities to lead their learning.

Provision for children up to two years of age caters well to individual strengths and care needs. Babies are supported to engage and participate in the programme at their own pace. Interactions are respectful.

Te ao Māori is richly woven throughout centre practices, procedures and interactions. Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori is experienced through rituals of pōwhiri, kapa haka, kupu Māori and celebration of children's contributions.

Pacific symbols, artefacts and languages are visible and reflect the cultural backgrounds of children and their families. Continuing to develop knowledge of Pacific learners and other children's culture, language and identities is an identified next direction.

A new approach to planning for learning is being implemented. Parent contributions inform this process. Teachers draw upon children's interests, needs and preferences. Assessment practices show consistency in quality and capture the progress of each child towards their goals. Te ao Māori is valued, visible and validated in these records.

Children with additional needs are well supported within an inclusive learning environment.

Staff support children’s wellbeing as they transition into, through and out of the centre. A range of learning records and information is shared. The establishment of closer links with local schools is an ongoing focus.

Teachers continue to develop their knowledge of self review and inquiry into aspects of their practice. Understanding and use of internal evaluation for improvement to children's outcomes is a next step.

The appraisal process supports teachers' development. Next steps are to deepen the quality of feedback teachers receive; formalise the appraisal meetings; and introduce observations of teaching practice.

Key Next Steps

ERO and leaders agree that teachers should be supported to strengthen:

  • understanding and use of internal evaluation for improvement to teaching and children's learning outcomes.

  • aspects of the appraisal process to support teachers' and leaders' development.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Wise Owl Early Childhood Centre 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 Wise Owl Early Childhood Centre will be in three years.

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

18 October 2017

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

Raumati South

Ministry of Education profile number

60245

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

39 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll

54

Gender composition

Boys 29, Girls 25

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

15
28
11

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:5

Meets minimum requirements

Over 2

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2017

Date of this report

18 October 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

December 2014

Education Review

March 2012

Education Review

March 2009

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.