Avondale College Early Childhood Centre - 18/02/2021

1 Evaluation of Avondale College Early Childhood Centre

How well placed is Avondale College Early Childhood Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Avondale College Early Childhood Centre requires further development to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Avondale College Early Childhood Centre is licensed for 33 children and provides a service for college staff and for families from the ethnically diverse community. It is governed by the Avondale College Board of Trustees and managed by an ECEC specialist and supported by a parent committee.

Since the previous ERO review most of the teaching team and centre manager have been appointed. The outdoor area has also been remodelled. The centre employs an administrator and cook.

The 2016 ERO report identified areas of practice requiring further development. These included developing and implementing robust internal evaluation, a schedule for reviewing policies, an annual plan and better monitoring of aspects of health and safety. These areas continue to be key next steps in this evaluation.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from participating in a mixed-age environment. There are regular opportunities for them to play alongside and support others in their learning. Infants and toddlers experience a calm setting where consistent and predictable routines support their active participation. External expertise is appropriately accessed to support learner's identified with additional needs.

The outdoor space provides opportunities for children to engage in physical challenge, promotes creativity and collaboration and encourages exploration. The provision of natural resources, cultural artefacts and open-ended materials promotes learner choice, self-selection and creative play.

Children's portfolios appropriately document their participation in the day to day life of the centre. Learners’ interests and achievements are described. Aspects of literacy, science, mathematics and the arts are visible.

Centre leaders agree that assessment for children's learning requires further development. This should include:

  • how teachers deliberately plan to extend and enrich learning for each child, including capturing and responding to parent aspirations

  • developing learning outcomes for each learner to focus leaning

  • an emphasis on consistently documenting children's progress in relation to their learning outcomes

  • responding to learners' culture, language and identity particularly Māori and Pacific.

The bicultural programme has been an area of focus for development. Te ao Māori is suitably reflected in the learning environment. Children benefit from a wide range of opportunities to see, hear and experience elements of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. ERO affirms centre plans to consult with the college and whānau Māori about ways to further localise practices for their tamariki.

Internal evaluation was a key next step in previous ERO reports and continues to be an area of high priority for development. Leaders should build their capability to support staff to inquire into and evaluate the effectiveness of their practices and centre programmes. This should then be used to inform decision-making to promote positive outcomes for all children. Regular and systematic review of all policies and procedures is required.

The Board and the Centre are developing, with external assistance, the appraisal process so that it better meets the requirements for the endorsement of Teacher's Practicing Certificates.

Key Next Steps

ERO identified two key priorities for development. These include:

  • assessment to make valued learning visible and support improved curriculum planning and evaluation

  • developing staff capability and capacity to use review and internal evaluation for improving practice.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Avondale College 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

ERO found areas of non-compliance in the service related to aspects of:

  • securing fixtures and fittings that could fall and cause serious injury or damage, annual review of the written emergency planning, emergency drills, risk assessment for all excursions, accident records
  • human resource management practices including a system of regular appraisal, provision for professional development, annual planning, fully completing attendance records and a programme to support provisionally certificated teachers.

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, HS6, HS7, HS8, HS17, HS24, GMA7, GMA8, GMA11.

Since the onsite phase the service has provided evidence to show it has addressed compliance issues.

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.

Following the onsite stage of the review the board and centre staff have constructively engaged with ERO and have been proactive and immediately developed a plan to address the findings in this report.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services (Northern)

Northern Region - Te Tai Raki

18 February 2021

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

Avondale, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20574

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

33 children, including up to 9 aged under 2

Service roll

24

Gender composition

Male 14, Female 10

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

3
9
12

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80% Based on funding rates

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

September 2020

Date of this report

18 February 2021

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

July 2016

Education Review

May 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.