Apples Childcare & Learning Centre - 24/06/2014

1 Evaluation of Apples Childcare & Learning Stanmore Bay

How well placed is Apples Childcare & Learning Stanmore Bay 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

Apples Childcare & Learning Stanmore Bay is a privately owned centre that offers high quality education and care for children from 3 months to 5 years of age. The centre has merged two licences into one and is organised into four rooms providing for different age groups. It is open from 7am to 6pm for sessional or full day attendance and offers freshly cooked meals for children. There are seven teaching staff in the under two area and seven teaching staff in the over two area. 

The centre’s philosophy places importance on nurturing children’s developmental needs and on promoting respect for children and their families. The centre’s vision is to become a centre of choice for its diverse community, offering a curriculum that honours New Zealand’s bicultural heritage.

The centre owner, manager, supervisor and team leader work collaboratively to manage the centre. The centre owner is fully involved in the centre and works closely with the centre manager. The supervisor leads the under-two team, and a head teacher leads the over-two team. The teaching team is highly qualified and a full time administrator and cook complete the centre’s cohesive team.

Centre leaders have responded positively to ERO’s 2011 recommendation for strengthening self review to guide centre improvement. Their response to areas of development identified in 2011 has resulted in a strategic and planned approach to centre operations.

The Review Findings

Children are well cared for and nurtured throughout the centre. They settle quickly into the programme and enjoy positive relationships with adults. Teachers support and value children’s developmental needs and cultural backgrounds. Children are aware of routines, freely choose play activities, and explore and select from a variety of planned experiences. Children are encouraged to take risks, problem solve and enjoy uninterrupted play. They demonstrate a strong sense of belonging to the centre.

Teachers are passionate about working with children. They welcome parents into the centre and engage children in conversation. Teachers are increasingly encouraging children to take more responsibility for their learning and promote children’s confidence to make decisions. They are approachable and enjoy positive conversations with children and their families. Teachers’ new planning systems are providing more in-depth understanding of children’s individual emerging interests. Literacy and numeracy are integrated well into the curriculum.

Teachers work in teams to plan relevant and challenging experiences for children that promote independence and self-help skills. Teachers work collaboratively together and enjoy providing environments that reflect the centre’s values. Staff who provide for infants and toddlers are caring and nurturing. They work well with parents to provide appropriate programmes for the children in their care.

The owner, management team and teachers are aware of the importance of bicultural practice and are developing ways to strengthen this aspect of centre’s practices. The owner has sought advice and guidance from local iwi and established an ongoing relationship with the local marae to further the centre’s professional learning goals. Leaders actively support staff and whānau, and are promoting te reo and te ao Māori throughout the centre. There is a genuine responsiveness to the centre’s diverse community. Celebrations from different cultures are acknowledged and embraced in the programme.

There is a deliberate focus on developing a more robust process for reviewing the centre’s operations and practices. Teachers and managers are strengthening the centre’s self-review framework and using their reviews to make significant changes. Parents’ perspectives add to the review processes and the managers are now finding ways to include children’s perspectives in these reviews.

The centre is using effective governance and management practices. They plan to review their philosophy and continue to include formal and informal parent feedback through various consultation processes. Teacher appraisal processes are underway to help teachers to refine their practice. The owner and centre manager are beginning to plan more strategically for all children and their families.

Key Next Steps

ERO and the owner and management team agree that key next steps for centre development are to continue:

  • developing partnerships with parents and the community to inform decision making
  • strengthen and embed the new planning format 
  • increasing opportunities for children to contribute to decisions about the programme
  • refining the appraisal process to include the registered teacher criteria and Tātaiako, the cultural competencies for teachers of Māori Learners.
  • strengthening both the centre’s bicultural practice and its robust culture of reflection.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Apples Childcare & Learning Stanmore Bay 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 Apples Childcare & Learning Stanmore Bay will be in three years. 

Dale Bailey
National Manager Review Services
Northern Region

24 June 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

Stanmore Bay, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20259

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

70 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll

70

Gender composition

Boys      38
Girls       32

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Asian
African
other European

  7
46
  3
  1
13

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2014

Date of this report

24 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s) 

Education Review

May 2011

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.