Active Explorers Glenfield - 18/02/2019

1 Evaluation of Active Explorers Glenfield

How well placed is Active Explorers Glenfield to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Active Explorers Glenfield is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Active Explorers Glenfield was previously known as Camrose Kids Early Learning Centre. The service is licensed to provide full-day care and education for 60 children, including 12 children up to the age of two years.

Children are grouped according to age in rooms for infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers. More than half of the children are of Asian ethnicities, mostly Chinese. The remainder of the roll includes children from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds.

The current staff team includes some of the teachers employed by Camrose Kids as well as new teachers. The centre manager was appointed in 2016 and the two head teachers were recently employed. Six of the 10 teachers at the centre are qualified. A centre cook prepares meals for the children.

The Active Explorers brand has a focus on "confident children, learning to challenge, not accept" as a "perfect start for the innovators of tomorrow". Programmes are guided by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, with the intention of incorporating aspects of the Reggio Emilia approach. Valued outcomes for children include knowledge of Māori language and culture.

The 2016 ERO report for Camrose Kids identified significant concerns, and recommended that the staff work with the Ministry of Education to bring about improvements. These included learning programmes, assessment and planning systems, and policies and procedures. Significant progress has been made in these areas. Further work related to the curriculum is required to promote positive outcomes for children.

The centre is part of the Evolve Education Group’s Upper North Island region. Evolve provides an overarching governance and management framework. The intent of a recent re-branding of Evolve services has been to build a greater sense of unity across the organisation. It has allowed each centre to identify a preferred philosophical approach.

Recent Evolve initiatives are intended to improve staff retention, promote effective internal evaluation and lift the quality of teaching practices. A new general manager and area managers provide professional support for centre leaders and teachers. Further recruitment is underway for managers to lead a focus on continuing quality improvement across the organisation. There continues to be a period of transition for staff as they adapt to changes in Evolve operational practices.

This review was part of a cluster of six reviews of centres in the Evolve Education Group.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from improvements underway in:

  • the learning environment, with more natural materials and a good range of resources and activities available to children to make choices about their play

  • a greater focus on responding to individual children's interests and dispositions, in assessment and programme planning

  • the inclusion of aspects of te ao Māori in the programme

  • teachers' support for children's developing oral language, and their use of children's home languages

  • early literacy practices that are incorporated into children's play.

Teachers work collaboratively to implement appropriate care routines for children under two years of age. They show respect for children by talking with them as they feed and change them, and prepare them for sleep. They have easy access to a good range of appropriate play equipment, and are supported to explore the environment.

Older children would benefit from teachers being more responsive to their needs and level of engagement with the programme. Teachers should review the process they use to settle children. The teachers should also consider ways to better support children's developing social competence, especially around peaceful conflict resolution.

Teachers are working on ways to document what they observe about children's learning and share ideas about how to extend learning. Teachers would benefit from more in-depth professional learning to increase their understanding of the revised Te Whāriki.

Relevant performance management processes are being implemented, along with relevant professional learning and development (PLD) to support teachers' practice. When fully implemented, the new appraisal system will encourage teachers to inquire into the effectiveness of their own teaching practice.

Key Next Steps

Managers should continue working with staff to build their leadership capability and to:

  • develop teaching strategies and learning opportunities that increase children's engagement in the programme

  • refine assessment and planning processes, and include parents' contributions, to support positive outcomes for children

  • use internal evaluation to review the quality of all aspects of centre operations, making greater use of evaluative questions to improve this process

  • strengthen strategic planning by making goals more specific, and developing clear action plans to achieve strategic goals.

During ERO’s August 2018 cluster, Evolve Education Group Managers agreed that next steps included:

  • increased integration of the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the alignment of strategic goals and annual plans with Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum

  • monitoring the roles and responsibilities of leaders at organisation and centre levels

  • the effective implementation of appraisal practices.

This current cluster review also identified the need for:

  • a coherent change management strategy, and monitoring the effectiveness of the new structure

  • support for centres through changes of key leaders, including area and centre managers

  • the evaluation of teaching and learning across the organisation, to inform the next steps in PLD and the development of the teaching and learning teams

  • high quality PLD for area managers to help them to evaluate and promote quality provision for children, and to identify priorities for supporting centre managers.

Recommendation

ERO recommends that Evolve managers work with the centre manager to develop a plan for supporting teachers to provide a more engaging curriculum for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Active Explorers Glenfield 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 Active Explorers Glenfield will be in three years.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

18 February 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

Glenfield, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

46482

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

60 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Service roll

68

Gender composition

Girls 34 Boys 34

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Chinese
Southeast Asian
Indian
other Asian
other European
other ethnic groups

6
9
27
7
6
5
4
4

Percentage of qualified teachers

50-79%

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

November 2018

Date of this report

18 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review (as Camrose Kids Early Learning Centre))

September 2016

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.