Adelaide Early Childhood Centre - 23/06/2020

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

Adelaide Early Childhood Centre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Adelaide Early Childhood Centre is a community-based service in Newtown, Wellington. It provides all-day education and care for a maximum of 35 children over two years old, within a mixed-aged environment.

The centre is governed by a parent cooperative as an incorporated society. The key governance roles are undertaken by a core group of parents who work closely with the head teacher. The day-to-day operation and running of the centre is the responsibility of the head teacher, assistant head teacher and an office manager.

The leadership and teaching teams have remained consistent and include experienced early childhood teachers. Some of the newer staff are undertaking centre-based training.

The recently reviewed philosophy is evident within the programme. It gives emphasis to positive respectful connections and relationships; providing engaging and interesting learning experiences for children; nurturing children’s positive sense of self and sense of belonging; encouraging and supporting active exploration and risk taking. The positive impact that ‘fun’ has on learning is emphasised.

Since the February 2017 ERO review, progress has been made in most of the areas identified for further development. In particular there has been improvement in: governance and leadership structures; assessment of and for children’s learning and documentation reflecting children’s home language, culture and identity.

The Review Findings

Leaders and teachers provide a welcoming, caring and supportive environment that strongly encourages positive relationships between teachers, children and their families. There is collective understanding of ways of working with children to actively promote their learning, social competence and wellbeing. Children are well supported to take responsibility for themselves and to be caring and empathic towards others. Inclusive practices ensure that diversity is valued and celebrated by both adults and children.

Children learn in a child-led, rich, interesting and fun learning curriculum. Teachers are responsive to the individual interests, strengths and capabilities of children, with an emphasis on developing children’s positive sense of self and sense of belonging. There is a focus on active exploration, expression and discovery. Aspects of literacy, mathematics, science, arts and sensory learning are integrated within the programme in authentic ways. Children have many opportunities to learn about sustainable practices and the natural world.

Teachers prioritise knowing the learner in the context of their family and community. The languages, cultures and identities of children and families are valued and celebrated. Bicultural practices and perspectives are integrated in ways that are meaningful for children and respectful of Māori culture. Te ao Māori values are embedded in daily practices.

Strong connections to local community enrich children’s learning. Purposeful links to local schools helps to support positive transitions.

Leaders and teachers work closely with parents and whānau to foster reciprocal supportive parent partnerships. Parents are well informed about centre operation and programmes and their children’s learning. Well-written learning records capture children as curious and competent learners.

The experienced teaching team is developing reflective practices and focusing on continuous improvements to teaching and learning that promote positive outcomes for children. At the time of this review leaders were in the early stages of developing and implementing a new performance management system.

A useful process for spontaneous self-review results in improvement. A better framework for in-depth evaluation would help to formalise practices and understandings of internal evaluation across the centre.

A review of the governance structure has improved understandings of roles and responsibilities. Leaders are promoting distributed leadership and building capacity across the teaching team. Good use is made of individual teacher strengths to build teacher capacity.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders and ERO agree that the key priorities are to continue to further develop:

  • strategic and annual planning, including monitoring evaluating and reporting on key priorities

  • a framework and process for undertaking in-depth internal evaluation for improvement of centre practices that aligns to annual and strategic planning

  • appraisal and inquiry processes and practices, including updating the procedure to clearly reflect and align to Teaching Council requirements for appraisal and attestation

  • assessment planning and evaluation to evaluate the effectiveness of teaching practices on outcomes for children and clearly incorporating parent aspirations for children’s learning.

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.

Actions for compliance

During the review, ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to health and safety in the following areas:

  • sleeping children are checked for warmth, breathing and general wellbeing at least every 5-10 minutes, or more frequently according to individual needs

  • parental acknowledgement that medication has been given.

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, HS9, HS28

Since the onsite phase of the review, the service leaders and managers have proactively taken steps to address these areas.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)

Southern Region - Te Tai Tini

23 June 2020

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

51

Gender composition

Female 28, Male 23

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Asian
Other ethnicities

4
37
3
7

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2019

Date of this report

23 June 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

ducation Review

February 2017

Education Review

March 2014

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.