All About Children - Marton - 17/01/2019

1 Evaluation of All About Children - Marton

How well placed is All About Children - Marton to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

A number of useful systems, processes, tools and initiatives are currently in the process of being embedded. The impact of these on teacher practice and children's outcomes is not yet sufficient. Sustainability of these ongoing developments is also a concern for ERO. Significant improvements to teacher practices are still needed in order to meet requirements.

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

Background

All About Children - Marton is an all-day early learning service, licensed for 59 children, including 15 aged up to two years. One quarter of the roll is Māori children.

The large repurposed villa is divided for two age groups, each with their own learning spaces, resources and staff. At the time of this review staff were consulting with families in order to refresh their philosophy, in alignment with the recently revised early childhood curriculum Te Whāriki.

The centre, previously known as Karis Kids, was purchased in July 2016 by Kids World Ltd, an Auckland-based company that owns several early learning services in the North Island. A development manager provides professional support and guidance to six early learning services owned and operated by Kids World Ltd.

The April 2014 ERO report identified areas requiring further development. These included: building the teams understanding of Te Whāriki; strengthening teacher practice in te reo Māori and the Samoan language; supporting teachers in reflective practice and evaluation; and strengthening children's voice in assessment. Limited progress is evident.

Since the previous ERO review, there has been significant turnover in staff and leadership within the centre.

The Review Findings

Infants and toddlers benefit from warm, intimate relationships with responsive staff. Teachers know these young learners well and are attuned to their interests and cues. Unhurried care routines align with home and are respectful of children’s preferences.

In the older children’s section, leaders have focused on growing teachers’ understanding of current and appropriate practices. Improvements are leading to an increasingly child-led programme. A continued priority in this area is for teachers to maximise opportunities to develop children's independence and self-care skills.

Teacher-child interactions are generally positive, but brief and of limited value. A stronger focus should be placed on teachers engaging in meaningful conversations with children that extend and challenge their thinking and learning.

Consistent and effective strategies to promote children's social competence are not evident. Further work is required in this area to promote a shared understanding of good quality centre-wide practice.

Leaders and teachers acknowledge that meaningful, culturally responsive practices are not yet in place. Significant improvements to teacher understanding and capability are needed, related to:

  • strong, localised bicultural practices

  • targeted strategies that promote the educational success of Māori and Pacific children

  • tailored practices, established in partnership with families, to respond to children from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Improvements in assessment, planning and evaluation documentation are in the early stages. Guiding templates are suitable. As this practice develops, leadership should challenge teachers to more frequently:

  • use this process to purposefully extend children’s learning dispositions

  • draw on parent aspirations and cultural information to enrich teaching strategies

  • clearly show, with evidence, how teachers have improved children’s learning outcomes.

Children with diverse learning needs are supported to engage with the curriculum alongside their peers. Liaison with parents and external agencies occurs as appropriate.

Parents and whānau are consulted about the centre’s priorities and strategic direction. Leaders and ERO agree that the philosophy and associated guiding documents, currently under review, should draw strongly from this information. Leaders are planning to use these documents to promote consistency among the teaching team. ERO's evaluation affirms this direction.

Well-considered tools and systems have recently been introduced to grow teacher capacity. Sustainability and distribution of good practices are promoted through mentoring programmes, guided teacher inquiries and staff leadership opportunities. The impact of these recently introduced systems is yet to be strongly evident in teacher practice and children’s outcomes.

The centre has a clear, collaborative and robust appraisal process that focuses on building teacher practice to benefit children and encourage accountability. Leadership provides robust challenge and critique.

A useful process to guide review has been developed. This supports teachers to look at aspects of their practice and identify areas for ongoing improvement. Teachers should continue to use this process to examine their practice in greater depth over time. This should assist them to determine what is working and what is not.

A good guiding policy framework is in place. ERO's evaluation found these were not consistently enacted in practice. Leaders agree these should be more closely monitored.

Key Next Steps

The development manager and ERO agree that to better promote positive outcomes for children, significant improvements are required in the following areas:

  • teacher practice

  • assessment, planning and evaluation

  • the bicultural curriculum and culturally responsive practices

  • consistency of practice with guiding policies.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of All About Children - Marton 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

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to health and safety. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following areas:

  • teachers must be familiar with relevant emergency drills and carry these out with children on an at least three-monthly basis.
    [Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, HS8]

To improve practice, leaders and teachers should ensure that practices consistently align with the guiding policy framework. These include:

  • parents signing accident records
  • administration of medication is witnessed and co-signed
  • sleep monitoring records are being completed to the expected standard.

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service, in consultation with the Ministry of Education, develops a plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of All About Children - Marton will be within two years.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

17 January 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

Marton

Ministry of Education profile number

45998

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

59 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll

62

Gender composition

Girls 34, Boys 28

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Samoan
Other ethnic groups

17
36
3
6

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:5

Meets minimum requirements

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2018

Date of this report

17 January 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 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 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.