Akoranga Childcare Centre - 15/12/2014

1 Evaluation of Akoranga Childcare Centre

How well placed is Akoranga Childcare 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

Akoranga Childcare Centre is located on the Akoranga campus of Auckland University of Technology (AUT). The centre provides full day care and education for children from six months to school age. Most children enrolled are from families, staff members and students who attend AUT.

Parents lead the management committee working collaboratively with the two head teachers and representation from AUT. The two head teachers work closely with a mentor teacher to provide leadership and management of the service. Several new teachers have joined the teaching team, including recent graduates.

The centre has retained the positive findings noted in ERO’s 2012 report, including the effective partnerships with whānau and affirming relationship with children. The centre has continued to develop its self review processes and the bicultural curriculum. A new playground has promoted physical play and challenge in the outdoors.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from a settled environment with friendly and approachable teachers. They show a strong sense of belonging and have positive relationships with their teachers and each other. Families are warmly greeted. Effective communication and relationships with families are evident.

Children engage with a wide range of learning activities and resources. They have good opportunities to make choices during the free play parts of the programme. Routines are used to promote a sense of family and connectedness at meal and group learning times.

Teachers continue to work well as a team. They prioritise literacy and numeracy within the programme. Adults’ conversations with children are often open-ended and encourage children's thinking. Teachers also support children’s culture and identity well.

Planning for the programme is well managed and connects individual children’s interests to the programme activities. Children’s portfolios are attractive records of children’s learning. Recording the links between learning stories to evaluate children’s progress over time could now enhance planning and extend children’s learning.

Parent input is highly valued by teachers. The centre has a variety of meaningful ways to collect this input and respond to parent aspirations. Parents report that effective management, communication and an inclusive approach supports their children’s wellbeing and learning. Parents have a strong voice in this service through participating in the management committee.

Māori children’s cultural identity is affirmed and supported. Te reo Māori is being used increasingly by teachers to build children’s understanding of key vocabulary. A suitable variety of te ao Māori contexts are included in learning experiences. Teachers have developed close links with whānau who are often invited to share and participate in the learning programme.

Pacific children experience a programme which is inclusive and caters for children from diverse backgrounds. The centre’s environment includes opportunities for children to learn about the culture of Pacific peoples. Teachers are well placed to learn and use languages that affirm children’s first language and promote bilingual competency.

The centre has a spacious open plan design with smaller areas for younger children to experience quiet times. Younger children appropriately spend significant parts of the day with their siblings and older children. Designated teachers closely monitor their learning experiences to promote their care and education. Younger children benefit from broad learning experiences and develop their social and emotional competence.

The service continues to be well led and managed. Self review is developing and centre leaders have thoughtfully identified a number of areas for ongoing improvement. Centre leaders set high expectations and have strategically recruited new staff. The centre is well placed to enhance self review by more clearly connecting reviews to evaluate positive learning outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

To enhance positive outcomes for children, ERO agrees with centre leaders who have identified the centre could continue to:

  • develop the centre's teaching philosophy for children up to the age of two
  • embed effective mathematics practices and review how well science is promoted
  • ensure good use is made of the centre's effective teacher profile to promote the consistency of high quality teaching practices.

ERO recommends that centre leaders continue to strengthen performance management by:

  • using the registered teacher’s criteria to promote teachers’ critical reflection
  • developing a more structured system for the collation of all teachers’ evidence for registration
  • using external input to appraise the teaching of the head teachers.

Recommendation

ERO recommends that centre leaders and the parents’ committee develop a longer term strategic plan that includes measurable indicators and a focus on promoting positive outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Akoranga Childcare 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.

To improve current practice, the early childhood service managers should ensure the appropriate storage of sleeping mats and bedding and allow adequate space between cots in the sleep room.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Akoranga Childcare Centre will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

15 December 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

Northcote, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20001

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 6 aged under 2

Service roll

51

Gender composition

Boys 30 Girls 21

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Filipino

Nigerian

Chinese

Japanese

Samoan

other

9

26

4

3

2

2

1

4

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

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2014

Date of this report

15 December 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2012

 

Education Review

November 2008

 

Education Review

September 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.