Adelaide Early Childhood Centre - 16/02/2017

1 Evaluation of Adelaide Early Childhood Centre

How well placed is Adelaide 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

Adelaide Early Childhood Centre is a community based centre in Newtown, Wellington which is managed by a parent cooperative as an incorporated society. It offers all day care for a maximum of 35 children over the age of two years. It is well supported by the local diverse community and consistently has a full roll.

The centre operates in a house gifted to the cooperative and developed to suit the centre’s needs. The day-to-day operation and the running of the centre are the responsibility of the team leader and an office manager. The governance role is undertaken by the core group of volunteer parents who are supported by the team leader.

The centre philosophy is well understood by all stakeholders. Reviewing it in consultation with staff and the parent community should establish whether it reflects current values, beliefs and aspirations of all families.

The centre's teaching team provides a range of experience and diversity. There are high ratios of teachers to learners, with most adults qualified, registered teachers or in training.

The centre has developed positive relationships and promoted a sense of belonging with its community. Organised events are well attended. Building partnerships with local early childhood centres and schools has been a focus.

Areas identified for review and development in the March 2014 ERO report continue to be areas for improvement. 

The Review Findings

The centre curriculum supports children to learn and develop in a range of planned and spontaneous activities in the centre and the community. Teaching and learning are underpinned by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. A range of excursions enrich the curriculum. The centre staff take full advantage of good access to city centre places and events that provide valuable learning opportunities for children.

The centre’s philosophy aims for children to develop a strong sense of self and to promote the attitudes and dispositions required for children to reach their potential. Teachers and parents have expressed that they want children to become confident and competent learners and citizens who are able to relate positively to a diverse range of people and in a diverse range of contexts.

Warm, reciprocal and respectful relationships are evident across the centre. There is a positive tone and an inclusive culture. Teachers know children well and promote plentiful opportunities for learning. Children follow their interests and determine the direction of their own learning. Parents have opportunities to contribute to their child's learning and share their progress.

Children successfully develop knowledge and attributes through sustained learning episodes. Teachers participate in child-initiated activities, supporting learning through meaningful conversations that extend and add depth to children's experiences. The centre reflects a range of cultures, and promotes positive connections with the wider community. There is a focus on a bicultural approach, with te reo and te ao Māori part of children's experiences.

Teachers collect information about children's learning, sharing observations and reflections of children's experiences. Emerging interests are noticed and planned for, with some examples where complexity is increased. Learning stories are well presented and provide a good record of children's collective experiences in and outside of the centre, with occasional narratives describing individual learning. Improving these to include more frequent individual records of children's learning and progress is a next step.

Transitions to school continue to be well considered and supported. Good communication has been established between contributing early childhood centres and new entrant teachers in local schools. A proposed review of transitions should further develop how well the partnership between centre, school and families promotes a smooth pathway to children's next phase of education.

Teachers and parents work collaboratively to support the operations of the centre to promote good educational outcomes for children. The core group of parents are clear about their roles and responsibilities. All parents have the opportunity to contribute to the cooperative governance.

The strategic and annual plans articulate centre direction and priorities. Aspirations and outcomes are expressed and underpinned by a strong commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi. Making the plan more specific and measurable should assist the committee and team leader to measure the progress towards achieving their goals. A range of guiding policies are reviewed on a regular cycle. 

A performance management system is in place that supports teachers to reflect on some aspects of their practice. Links with the Practising Teacher Criteria are beginning to be developed. Teachers engage in professional learning responsive to the centre's and children's needs. The appraisal process needs strengthening and to be fully implemented to include:

  • a more robust and rigorous framework

  • teachers inquiring into the effectiveness of their practice in promoting outcomes for children

  • providing evidence of teachers meeting requirements of the Practising Teacher Criteria

  • next steps for teachers' development.

A framework for self review is in place, with some aspects used more effectively than others. However, the framework is not always fully implemented and processes do not generally lead to improvements for children. Strengthening the process for internal evaluation is needed. This should include:

  • establishing a shared understanding of what is effective self review

  • showing the impact of changes made on improving outcomes for children,

  • measuring the effectiveness of practices and programmes.

Key Next Steps

Leaders and ERO agree the next steps for improvement are to:

  • further develop assessment of children's learning and progress

  • strengthen the response to children's culture, language and identity

  • further develop and fully implement performance management processes

  • strengthen governance

  • develop processes to build leadership

  • continue to develop internal evaluation that promotes improvement of outcomes for children

  • review the centre philosophy. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Adelaide 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.

Improvements to the centre's policy and procedural framework are required. Review and development should include:

  • increasing the committee's awareness of legislative obligations

  • ensuring policies and procedures reflect centre and current best practice

  • developing policies and procedures to meet the legislative requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014 and Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

Since the onsite phase of the Education Review the parent committee have taken steps to begin addressing the areas for improvement outlined in this report. 

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Adelaide Early Childhood Centre will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

16 February 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

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

60241

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

35 children, aged over 2

Service roll

55

Gender composition

Boys 30, Girls 25

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other ethnic groups

3

50

2

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2016

Date of this report

16 February 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

March 2014

Education Review

December 2010

Education Review

October 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.