Adelaide Early Childhood Centre - 21/03/2014

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 long established, teacher led, community based centre which is managed by a parent cooperative as an incorporated society. It has full rolls and is a thriving centre serving, and well supported by, a diverse community. The centre was relicensed in 2013 under the 2008 regulations. It operates all day, Monday to Friday, with up to 35 children over the age of two years.

The centre operates in a house gifted to the cooperative and modified to suit the centre’s needs. The ‘core group’, supported by the head teacher, undertakes the governance role. The head teacher is responsible for the day-to-day running of the centre and is assisted by an office manager.

The centre’s philosophy aims for children to develop a strong sense of self and the attitudes and dispositions required to reach their potential. Hence the programme emphasises the development of the child’s independence and ability to form relationships. Play and fun are seen as key to building social and emotional skills.

The long standing, diverse teaching team represent a range of cultures and experience. As a team, they have undertaken a wide range of professional development designed to improve their teaching and the centre operations.

Recent changes include increasing teacher hours to improve teacher-to-child ratios, creation of the office manager position and consequent employment of the current office manager, and maintenance and upgrade of the facilities.

The Review Findings

Children are happily engaged in sustained, cooperative play and teachers interact positively to support their learning. Play is both teacher facilitated and child initiated. Children show respect for themselves, others and their surroundings. The centre is well resourced and learning environments are high quality. The centre’s philosophy is evident within the centre.

Teachers seek opportunities to enrich the curriculum. There is a rich, child-centred programme that is based on children’s interests and encourages the input of both children and their parents. Teachers make good use of community members and excursions to enrich the curriculum. Routines are flexible and children are supported to develop increasing independence in caring and nurturing ways. The programme assists the development and extension of children’s literacy and numeracy skills.

A collective approach to children’s engagement and learning is evident. Emerging interests and ideas are recognised and planned for. Teachers meet regularly to share observations of individual children and reflect on their learning across the curriculum. Teachers plan collaboratively and share planning with families.

Parents receive regular information on their children’s progress. Assessment profiles are attractive and informative. They include observations of children and their learning and records of enrichment events. Children and parents have ready access to these books. Parents have multiple opportunities to discuss their children’s learning with teachers.

Centre operation is highly inclusive and collaborative. Partnership with the community in many aspects of the centre’s activity is a strength. The leader promotes teamwork and encourages others to initiate and lead activities.

Te ao Māori is highly evident and valued in practice. Teachers are committed to providing a bicultural curriculum. Authentic use is made of cultural artefacts. Teachers include te reo Māori in routines and the broader programme. Strong reciprocal relationships between teachers and families contribute to a sense of whānau at the centre. Teachers show growing confidence in promoting te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. They identify this as an area for continuing development.

Centre policies, curriculum and practice promote cultural awareness and responsiveness for all. There is regular recognition of the cultural richness children and their families bring to the community. Teachers have identified a desire to further increase their knowledge in this area and to better reflect the Newtown community as a whole.

All children and families are assisted to make the move from centre to school. The leader has formed connections with nine schools in the area and arranges reciprocal visits with some. Relevant information is available in the centre for parents. Teachers know from feedback that children make the transition easily and settle well into their new environments.

Centre management is highly inclusive and collaborative. Partnership is central to the structure and operation of the service. Good relationships are evident among adults and children. Professional learning is valued and appropriately budgeted for. Sound systems and administration routines complement the work of the teaching team.

High quality leadership of the core group, teaching practice and the curriculum is provided by the head teacher. She leads self review and seeks to develop reflective practices and leadership in others. There is a focus on continuous development in the centre.

Governance by the core group is highly effective. The group is committed to supporting and growing the service. Careful consideration is given to the possible outcomes of decision making.

Key Next Steps

Regular reflection and self review identify development priorities. Key next steps are to continue to develop and embed in practice:

  • processes and understanding of self review, and its use in the evaluation of programmes and centre operations
  • the revised appraisal system.

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.

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

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

21 March 2014

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

Newtown, 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 over the age of 2 years

Service roll

59

Gender composition

Girls 30, Boys 29

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Other ethnic groups

2

48

9

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2014

Date of this report

21 March 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

December 2010

 

Education Review

October 2007

 

Education Review

March 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.