Aubrey Early Learning Centre - 08/11/2019

1 Evaluation of Aubrey Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Aubrey Early Learning Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Aubrey Early Learning Centre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Aubrey Early Learning centre in Silverdale provides for children from Stillwater and the neighbouring suburbs. Since the 2016 ERO review, the centre has added a separate building for infants and toddlers, and increased its licence numbers to 50 children, including up to 15 under two years of age.

The service owners oversee the operational and administrative aspects of the centre. One of the owners is the centre director. As a registered teacher, she provides support for the centre manager and the longstanding, stable teaching team.

The centre’s philosophy references Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and the Treaty of Waitangi. Teachers aim to provide equitable learning opportunities to all children irrespective of age, ability, gender, ethnicity, or economical background. The newly built Teina area caters for infants and toddlers, while programmes are provided for older children in the Tuakana area.

ERO's 2016 report identified some positive features such as children being well settled, and the centre's community focus. Areas for improvement included bicultural practices and teacher appraisal processes. There has been progress in these areas.

The Review Findings

Children settle easily into the programme and demonstrate a strong sense of belonging. They benefit from warm and nurturing relationships with their teachers, and often engage in conversation with adults and each other.

The learning environment in Tuakana is attractive and children move freely between inside and outdoor areas, choosing activities that interest them. They participate enthusiastically in the activities provided by teachers. The rural context of the centre reflects many children's home environments and provides opportunities for them to engage with nature.

Teachers in Teina and Tuakana demonstrate inclusive practices and support children with additional learning needs to achieve positive outcomes. They use flexible approaches that help children to transition easily into the centre. Teachers encourage all children to participate in the activities and programme.

Children have opportunities to learn and sing waiata, and adults use some phrases in te reo Māori in their conversations. Strengthening the bicultural and multicultural components of the programme is an ongoing focus for the teaching team. Especially in the Teina area, teachers could make a greater variety of resources easily accessible to children. The teaching team is in the process of learning more about and responding to the revised early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki (2017).

Teachers know children and families well and have built strong relationships with them. They regularly share information with parents in informal ways. Owners and leaders engage regularly with the community. Parents who spoke with ERO expressed an appreciation of the sense of community created in the centre. Teachers have established connections with the local school to support children's transitions out of the centre.

Programmes incorporate activities related to special termly events and some significant celebrations. Leaders agree that they should continue to strengthen assessment, planning and evaluation practices. Increasing shared understandings of analysing children's assessment information to understand more about children's learning pathways would help teachers to plan more specifically for extending children's learning and thinking. Teachers use a digital portal to share information about children's learning with parents. They could consider ways to give children better access to their own learning records while in the centre.

The owners have a strong commitment to sustaining ongoing operations and future development. Policies and procedures guide centre operations and are regularly reviewed and updated.

The recently established appraisal process encourages teachers to reflect on their practice. Internal evaluation follows a regular format. Leaders have identified a need to continue supporting teachers' ongoing journey in the use of evaluation to improve their teaching practice and outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps for improvement include:

  • continuing to seek external professional learning and development to improve assessment, planning and programme evaluation, and to ensure that programmes reflect Te Whāriki (2017)

  • developing shared understandings about using internal evaluation to make ongoing improvements in teaching practices and outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Aubrey Early Learning 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.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

8 November 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

Silverdale, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

25370

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll

70

Gender composition

Girls 37 Boys 33

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
other ethnic groups

65
5

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

August 2019

Date of this report

8 November 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2016

Education Review

January 2013

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.