Heart and Soul Early Learning Centre

Education institution number:
10139
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
45
Telephone:
Address:

489 State Highway, 16, Kumeu

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ERO’s Akanuku | Assurance Review reports provide information about whether a service meets and maintains regulatory standards. Further information about Akanuku | Assurance Reviews is included at the end of this report.

ERO’s Judgement

Regulatory standards

ERO’s judgement

Curriculum

Meeting

Premises and facilities

Meeting

Health and safety

Meeting

Governance, management and administration

Meeting

At the time of the review, ERO found the service was taking reasonable steps to meet regulatory standards.

Background

Heart and Soul Early Learning Centre is set in a rural area, which provides a meaningful context for children’s learning. The roll includes Māori, Pākehā and other ethnic groups that reflect the community. There are three learning spaces for different age groups of children. The service changed ownership in June 2019.

Summary of Review Findings

Adults providing education and care engage in positive interactions to foster children’s learning and nurture reciprocal relationships. The service curriculum provides children with a wide range of opportunities to extend their learning both indoors and outdoors, individually and in groups. Children are provided with a range of rich environmental opportunities to enhance their learning. The curriculum supports children’s developing social competence and understanding of appropriate behaviour.

A philosophy statement guides the service’s operation. An ongoing process of self review helps the service maintain and improve the quality of its education and care.

Key Next Steps

Next steps include:

  • continuing to develop teachers’ and children’s knowledge about bicultural practices
  • increasing opportunities for children to be confident in their own culture and to understand and respect other cultures.

Next ERO Review

The next ERO review is likely to be an Akarangi | Quality Evaluation.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services (Northern)

Northern Region | Te Tai Raki

11 February 2021

Information About the Service

Early Childhood Service Name

Heart and Soul Early Learning Centre

Profile Number

10139

Location

Kumeu

Service type

Education and care service

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 16 aged under 2.

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%+

Service roll

49

Ethnic composition

Māori 8
NZ European/Pākehā 32
other ethnic groups 9

Review team on site

November 2020

Date of this report

11 February 2021

Most recent ERO report(s)

Previously reviewed as:

Building Blocks Childcare & Early Learning Centre

Education Review, October 2016

Education Review, June 2013

Education Review, March 2010

General Information about Assurance Reviews

All services are licensed under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008. The legal requirements for early childhood services also include the Licensing Criteria for Education and Care Services 2008.

Services must meet the standards in the regulations and the requirements of the licensing criteria to gain and maintain a licence to operate.

ERO undertakes an Akanuku | Assurance Review process in any centre-based service:

  • having its first ERO review – including if it is part of a governing organisation
  • previously identified as ‘not well placed’ or ‘requiring further development’
  • that has moved from a provisional to a full licence
  • that have been re-licenced due to a change of ownership
  • where an Akanuku | Assurance Review process is determined to be appropriate.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

All early childhood services are required to promote children’s health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements. Before the review, the staff and management of a service 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.

As part of an Akanuku | Assurance Review ERO assesses whether the regulated standards are being met. In particular, ERO looks at a 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 certification; ratios)
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

As part of an Akanuku | Assurance Review ERO also gathers and records evidence through:

  • discussions with those involved in the service
  • consideration of relevant documentation, including the implementation of health and safety systems
  • observations of the environment/premises, curriculum implementation and teaching practice.

1 Evaluation of Building Blocks Childcare & Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Building Blocks Childcare & Early Learning 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

Building Blocks Childcare & Early Learning Centre provides all-day education and care for up to 50 children, including 16 children up to two years old. The centre is privately owned and operates from a spacious, purpose-built facility in a rural setting near Kumeu.

The owner maintains financial and other governance responsibilities, and delegates day to day management and leadership to a centre manager. Children are cared for and learn in three separate age-related groups. Teachers have built close relationships with families over time.

The centre's philosophy has been influenced by several early childhood education theorists. It aims to nurture the child to be an explorer and self learner. Teachers allow the child to be an active participant in care activities. They let physical development occur naturally with selected adult intervention.

The centre's 2013 ERO report noted that children enjoy a well-resourced environment. Areas identified for improvement included commitment to bicultural practice and refinement of self-review practices. Some progress has been made in these areas.

The Review Findings

Children are settled in the centre environment and are familiar with routines. They have trusting and respectful relationships with teachers. Children are confident explorers and direct their own play. They have good access to a wide variety of resources. As a result, children are supported to become independent and build friendships.

Infants and toddlers freely explore their environment. Teachers identified as primary carers follow groups of children. They focus on individual children at key interaction times including nappy changing, feeding, and when children indicate that they want their attention. Teachers are reflective practitioners and could look for other opportunities to interact with infants and toddlers to further support these children's language development.

Teachers believe in children as capable, confident learners. They deliberately practise standing back and giving children time to make decisions about their learning. Teachers provide activities to engage children in their play. Leaders and teachers could review how effectively teachers act as facilitators who promote and extend children's learning.

Some teachers confidently integrate te reo Māori into the programme, especially during mat times. They are supported to build their confidence in the use of te reo Māori with written prompts. Teachers demonstrate a commitment to increasing bicultural practices in the programme.

Teachers know children and families well. They record children's participation in the programme through good quality learning stories. These stories are linked to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum and to children's developmental stages. The centre manager recognises the need to increase parent contribution in the stories to strengthen learning partnerships.

Teachers are encouraged to reflect on their practice and share responsibilities throughout the centre. Centre leaders are aligning the existing performance management system so that it better complies with the requirements of New Zealand Education Council.

The philosophy of the centre is underpinned by the teachings of early childhood theorists. It is now timely to consider how well the philosophy is enacted in the centre and how well it incorporates the strands of Te Whāriki. This review process would support teachers to reflect on how their practice impacts on children's learning.

Key Next Steps

The next steps to support improvements in the centre are for centre leaders to:

  • review how well the centre philosophy is enacted and supports positive outcomes for children

  • develop useful documentation that captures the service's strategic priorities and guides the ongoing monitoring of progress towards these goals

  • continue to strengthen the centre's bicultural curriculum

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Building Blocks Childcare & Early Learning 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 Building Blocks Childcare & Early Learning Centre will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

21 October 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

Kumeu, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

10139

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 16 aged under 2

Service roll

69

Gender composition

Boys 39 Girls 30

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Cook Island Maori

Samoan

9

57

2

1

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%+

Based on funding rates

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2016

Date of this report

21 October 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2013

Education Review

March 2010

Education Review

April 2007

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.