Ilam Early Learning Centre

Education institution number:
70493
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
73
Telephone:
Address:

Dovedale Campus Parkstone Avenue, Ilam, Christchurch

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1 Evaluation of Ilam Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Ilam Early Learning Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Ilam Early Learning Centre is very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Ilam Early Learning Centre offers education and care for children aged from six weeks to five years. The centre is licensed for 65 children, including up to 25 under two year olds, and runs all day sessions. It is one of two early learning centres owned and operated by the University of Canterbury Students' Association (UCSA) to provide services for children of students and staff at the university.

Children attending the centre come from a wide range of ethnicities and a number of children have English as an additional language. Children learn and play in four age-group classrooms and two multi-age outdoor environments.

Through programme and teaching practices, teachers aim to support all children to become confident, competent, lifelong learners who are proud and confident in their culture. Curriculum priorities include communication, social competence, healthy lifestyles, self-management and independence, problem-solving and resilience.

The centre is led by an experienced centre manager, two curriculum leaders and lead teachers in each classroom. The UCSA supports the centre through the provision of specialist services such as finance, human resources, health and safety, property and facilities management.

Since the last ERO review (2015) the centre has relocated from the main university campus to a custom-built facility on the Dovedale campus. As required, the centre went through a relicensing process with the Ministry of Education to ensure it continued to comply with regulations.

Leaders and teachers have successfully addressed the areas identified for improvement in the 2015 report. All staff have participated in professional learning programmes focused on implementation of Te Whāriki 2017, with a focus on assessment and planning, te reo Māori and making effective use of outdoor environments to support learning.

The Review Findings

The centre's curriculum and teaching practices are highly responsive to children's needs, abilities and interests. They effectively promote the valued learning outcomes identified in the centre's teaching and learning philosophy for all children. Teachers get to know children very well as individuals and learners. Leaders and teachers have strengthened assessment and planning processes to ensure that they:

  • identify relevant and meaningful learning goals for individuals and groups of children

  • identify and demonstrate teachers' intentional strategies for supporting and extending children's learning

  • reflect and respond to children's cultural identities and their lives beyond the centre

  • demonstrate and celebrate the progress and achievements children make over time.

Children's confidence and sense of belonging in the centre are carefully nurtured through warm, positive and affirming interactions with their teachers. Teachers follow and join in with children's play. They sensitively support children to extend their learning by adding complexity and challenge, or by helping them to explore and expand their 'theories' of how the world works.

Teachers are attuned to the verbal and non-verbal communication of younger children and children learning English as an additional language. They consistently model and coach children's developing social skills, with a focus on respect for and inclusion of others. Under two year olds benefit from warm, nurturing relationships with familiar caregivers in a calm and unhurried environment. Children's transitions into, through and out from the centre are carefully considered and supported.

Children benefit from the way teachers actively build reciprocal and respectful educational partnerships with parents and whānau. They involve parents closely in identifying relevant learning goals for their children and responding to children's preferences and dispositions. The perspectives of Māori whānau are genuinely valued and responded to. Teachers take time to learn about the family and cultural values of all children and to make links to these in learning programmes and practices.

A culture of critical reflection, professional learning and ongoing improvement underpins effective teaching. In-depth individual and collective inquiries into many different aspects of teaching and learning are very well used to improve learning and wellbeing outcomes for children. Teachers have actively built their capability to meet the needs of specific groups of children. This has included a focus on supporting the English language acquisition of children for whom this is an additional language, promoting boys' learning through active play, and cultural responsiveness.

Centre leadership effectively provides the conditions for high quality teaching and learning by:

  • having high expectations that all children will achieve and make progress

  • leading and modelling openness to learning, and developing a culture of critical inquiry

  • building relationships with teachers, families and children based on respect, trust and reciprocity

  • supporting teacher development and leadership

  • developing clear and consistent expectations for teaching practices.

Leaders and teachers use internal evaluation very well to know about the effectiveness of teaching and outcomes for children, and to identify areas for improvement.

UCSA is committed to the provision of high quality early learning services for its members. The association ensures the centre is resourced to maintain high teacher-child ratios and continue to improve its learning environments.

Key Next Steps

To build on existing good practices, leaders and governance should strengthen assurance reporting to the UCSA on compliance, progress against strategic plans and outcomes for children to better support the association's self-review processes.

The board should also seek assurance that the centre manager/professional leader's performance management system has been appropriately completed and documented.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Ilam 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.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

17 April 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

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

70493

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

65 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll

86

Gender composition

Boys 52, Girls 34

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Asian
Other ethnicities

9
34
24
19

Percentage of qualified teachers

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2019

Date of this report

17 April 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

October 2015

Education Review

June 2012

Education Review

November 2008

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 Ilam Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Ilam Early Learning Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Ilam Early Learning Centre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Ilam Early Learning Centre is one of two early childhood centres owned and operated by the University of Canterbury Students’ Association. The centre is located on the University campus.

Ilam Early Learning Centre provides care and education for infants, toddlers and children to school age. Many families are from countries other than New Zealand. A number of parents attend the university for varying lengths of time. As a result of this, some children attend the centre for short periods of time.

The centre is licensed for a maximum of 55 children. This includes up to 25 children under two years of age. It is organised into three separate areas to cater for the specific learning needs of children. There are a high number of qualified early childhood teachers. The ratio of teachers to children is better than minimum requirements.

Centre leaders are part of the local community cluster of early childhood centres and primary schools. The cluster promotes professional networks to support teaching and learning across the sectors.

Leaders and teachers have acted on the recommendations from the June 2012 education review. This includes developing child assessment and programme planning, transition to school processes, bicultural perspectives, reflective practices, strategic planning and self-review systems.

The Review Findings

Children are well supported to develop a strong sense of belonging in a child-centred learning programme based on Te Whāriki, the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum. They benefit from positive, responsive relationships with their teachers. They enjoy a wide range of creative and expressive arts experiences.

Literacy and numeracy are carefully integrated into the programme in ways that are meaningful to children and their learning. Oral language development is a strong focus of the curriculum. Teachers work effectively with families to support children with English as an additional language. Visitors to the centre and excursions into the community enrich the learning programme offered to children.

Children are encouraged to develop independence, take responsibility for themselves and to support others with their learning. Children have many opportunities to learn about the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand and the cultures of those attending the centre.

Teachers have a strong focus on developing collaborative, positive relationships with children, parents and whānau. They foster reciprocal interactions with and among children.

Teachers have shared values and use similar approaches to working with children. The language, culture and identity of children and their families is well respected. They are inclusive and sensitive to their diverse community.

The individual needs of infants and toddlers are well supported through caring and nurturing interactions with their teachers. Routines are well paced, flexible, and valued as learning opportunities for children.

Transitions into the centre, between areas and on to school are well planned and inclusive of families.

Teachers foster strong partnerships with families to support the learning and wellbeing of children. This helps provide continuity of care and routines between home and centre. Parents and whānau are well informed about their children’s interests and participation in the learning programme through attractive learning journals and wall displays. Teachers value the views and contributions of parents and whānau.

The centre is well led and managed. Leaders and teachers work collaboratively and have a strong shared focus on providing positive outcomes for children and families.

Management make good provision for professional development. Staff have many opportunities to develop leadership skills and reflect on their practice.

Leaders and teachers make good use of self-review processes to bring about worthwhile changes to learning and teaching. Teachers are well supported to develop their understandings and use of self review and develop reflective practice.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders and ERO agree, that the key next steps for improving outcomes for children include:

  • refining strategic planning
  • strengthening child assessment processes
  • including bicultural perspectives in key documentation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Ilam 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 Ilam Early Learning Centre will be in three years.

Chris Rowe

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

2 October 2015

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

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

70493

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

55 children, including up to 25 aged under two

Service roll

81

Gender composition

Boys 42; Girls 39

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

Chinese

Indian

Korean

Other Asian

European

African

Latin American

South East Asian

Middle Eastern

Other ethnicities

4

45

1

8

3

5

2

3

3

2

2

2

1

Percentage of qualified teachers 0-49% 50-79% 80% Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2015

Date of this report

2 October 2015

Most recent ERO reports 

Education Review

June 2012

 

Education Review

November 2008

 

Education Review

November 2005

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.