Nurture by Nature Early Childhood Centre

Education institution number:
20004
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
49
Telephone:
Address:

324 Kapiro Road, Kerikeri

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1 Evaluation of Nurture by Nature Childhood Centre

How well placed is Nurture by Nature Childhood Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Nurture by Nature Childhood Centre is very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Nurture by Nature Early Childhood Centre is a purpose-built semi-rural service in Waipapa, Kerikeri. It provides full-day education and care for up to 50 children, including a maximum of 15 under two years of age. The service has three learning spaces. Kowhai caters for children up to two years of age, Pohutukawa for two to three-and-a-half years of age, and Kauri for older children.

The children in Kowhai and Pohutukawa rooms share a large outdoor space. Children in Kauri have access to a generous outdoor area. This space is also used as part of the centre's fruit and vegetable garden. Children walk a short distance to a local ngāhere to explore and learn about nature.

The centre's philosophy is underpinned by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, te ao Māori and te Tiriti o Waitangi based principles. It has an expressed commitment to serving its children and their families, who come from diverse backgrounds. The centre is closely linked to the local hāpu/iwi and actively participates in community events.

The original owner's vision for the centre remains the motivation for staff. The centre manager continues in her role to lead and support this kaupapa. The teaching team is knowledgeable, skilled and mostly long-serving.

The centre has a positive ERO reporting history. Centre leaders and teachers have maintained and built on the positive features identified in ERO's 2016 report. They have made very good progress addressing the next steps identified at that time.

The Review Findings

The service's vision and philosophy are highly evident in practice. Relationships and interactions between children and teachers contribute to the curriculum that fosters deep learning. Teachers have a sound knowledge of children as learners, and of whānau and the wider community. Children are confident in their relationships with each other and adults and demonstrate the concept of tuakana/teina. They receive very good care, particularly in developing social competence.

Children are competent in designing and choosing their activities and play experiences. Indoor and outdoor environments are aesthetically designed and incorporate natural resources and materials that encourage children's curiosity and play. Children respond positively to opportunities to explore and learn from their local environment. The ngāhere curriculum for older children promotes a strong sense of kaitiakitanga and a deeper awareness of the natural surroundings.

Teachers work calmly with children up to two years of age and understand the importance of an unhurried programme. Younger children have space and time to lead their learning. Teachers use learning opportunities during routines to extend children's development and wellbeing. Transitions between rooms are well managed.

Treaty-based and bicultural practices are strengths that support Māori children to experience success as Māori. Inclusive practices recognise the multicultural nature of the service and support children with additional learning needs well. Teachers respond to culture and context in their decision making about curriculum development.

Teachers have established effective partnerships with whānau. A high level of collaboration supports increased participation of all who are involved in the service. Whānau who spoke with ERO appreciated their children's access to high-quality culturally relevant programmes.

Teachers' documentation of learning demonstrates a high level of engagement with children's ideas. Their professional knowledge has led to a clearer focus on science in the curriculum. Teachers take every opportunity to improve their practice through research, professional discussions and professional development.

A policy framework guides practice and is regularly reviewed and updated. Management of resources, and of induction process for new staff members, is effective and professional. Teachers' capacity to sustain a high level of quality to foster positive outcomes for children positions the centre well to continue building on current strengths.

Internal evaluation guides practices and decision-making. An organisational culture of ongoing improvement has been established. A new appraisal system supports and builds professional practice. Centre leaders have a clear vision that is linked to their strategic planning.

Key Next Steps

Leaders have identified appropriate next steps for sustaining and building on current very good practices. These areas for a further development focus include:

  • in-depth internal evaluation

  • staff performance appraisal.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Nurture by Nature 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.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

15 October 2019

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

Kerikeri, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number

20004

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll

57

Gender composition

Girls 28 Boys 29

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
other ethnic groups

22
25
10

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

1:10

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2019

Date of this report

15 October 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2016

Education Review

March 2013

Education Review

March 2010

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.

1 Evaluation of Nurture by Nature Early Childhood Centre

How well placed is Nurture by Nature 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

Nurture by Nature Early Childhood Centre is in a rural setting on the outskirts of Kerikeri. The centre provides full day care for 50 children, including 15 children under two years of age, in three interconnected play spaces. Kowhai room is for the youngest children, Pohutukawa room for children from approximately 3 years, and Kauri room is for the oldest group. Kowhai and Pohutukawa children share an outdoor area.

The centre philosophy is founded on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Centre environments reflect a commitment to natural materials and care for the environment. A flexible use of space across the centre and teachers’ response to children’s preferences support the positive relationships and strong sense of family across the service.

The long serving, well qualified team of teachers and staff continue to support each other well through a period of readjustment and change. The centre manager has focused on becoming familiar with the management role. She has worked purposefully to maintain the kaupapa of the service during a difficult period.

The centre has a positive ERO reporting history and staff continue to work hard to maintain past achievements and build on their good practices.

The Review Findings

Children are enthusiastic and engaged in the programme that is driven by their play interests. They actively select materials, initiate activities and are well supported to be inventive and creative. Their growing social competence is evident as they play and solve problems together. Each child has a key teacher who supports their individualised care. Teachers nurture children’s wellbeing.

Matauranga Māori delivery is keeping this intrinsic part of the centre curriculum to the fore. Using the strengths of staff, whānau and the community, the delivery of programmes that reflect te ao Māori is a significant feature of the centre. The manager and teachers have plans to extend this good practice into their provision for children and whānau from Pacific nations.

Continuity of practice and programmes across the three rooms is very evident. Routines are familiar to children. Teachers also consider progressive learning and development, and each room builds on the good foundations of the previous in areas such as self-help, literacy and mathematics. Teachers’ very good interactions and questioning support children’s developing language and communication skills. Parents and children have input into decisions about the flexible transition process between rooms.

Teachers compile attractive portfolios for each child that are treasured by children and families. Planning of a core curriculum is underway. It includes the seasonal celebrations and events that connect the centre, whānau and the community, and serves as a lead-in for learning.

Positive and reciprocal relationships are core to the centre’s curriculum. Richness is added to the curriculum as management and teachers continue to build on their partnerships with whānau and links to the local community. Digital devices and computers are increasingly being used to open up communication with parents and whānau about learning.

Good support and mentoring systems help to build teacher capability and develop recognised strengths. All teachers are currently involved in professional learning that aims to explore authentic distributed leadership. Desired outcomes for staff, whānau and children have been determined. Teachers are also working on establishing an inquiry-teaching approach and are accessing professional learning in this area.

Self review is a valued and improvement focus. It helps the service evaluate what they do and to plan for future possibilities. Well established processes and frameworks help guide review and encourage a good depth of thinking. Strategic, regular and emergent review are all evident. Work to rationalise and update centre polices is well underway.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders and ERO agree that the key next steps for centre development are to:

  • review programme planning and assessment documentation to ensure that connections in children’s learning are evident over time
  • increase the use of digital technologies to share learning with families
  • continue work on aligning the staff appraisal process to the Practising Teacher Criteria.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Nurture by Nature 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 Nurture by Nature Early Childhood Centre will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

7 March 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

Kerikeri, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number

20004

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll

65

Gender composition

Girls 41 Boys 24

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Samoan

Cook Island Māori

other Pacific

other

27

28

2

1

1

6

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

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2016

Date of this report

7 March 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2013

 

Education Review

March 2010

 

Education Review

March 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.