BestStart Manuroa Road 1 - 25/09/2019

1 Evaluation of BestStart Manuroa Road 1

How well placed is BestStart Manuroa Road 1 to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

BestStart Manuroa Road 1 is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

BestStart Manuroa Road 1 provides for children in two separate buildings known as Kōwhai and Matai. Children generally move through three separate age groups in either Kōwhai or Matai. Administration facilities are shared between the two buildings. At the time of this ERO review the Kōwhai building had children enrolled in the toddlers and preschool areas only. Families attending the centre come from diverse cultures with many children being of Indian heritage. Smaller numbers of children come from Māori and Pacific backgrounds.

The centre is part of the BestStart charitable trust. The organisation has re-branded all its early learning services. It provides an overarching governance and management framework to support operations and curriculum delivery in individual centres. Business managers (BM) and professional services managers (PSM) lead the staff professional development and provide strategic guidance.

The centre's philosophy is to value children as unique individuals who are actively absorbing knowledge and understanding through people and their environment. The centre fosters beliefs that support children to feel loved, safe and secure in their surroundings.

The leadership team includes a centre manager, two assistant managers and a head teacher. Some staff have had a long association with the centre, while recently a number of new teachers have been employed.

This review was part of a cluster of nine reviews in BestStart's Upper North Island region.

The Review Findings

Children are settled and engaged in their learning. They are warmly welcomed into the centre along with their parents and whānau. Children benefit from inclusive and respectful teacher interactions. They select resources and lead their learning across all play areas. A significant feature of the centre is the importance placed on growing children's independence and self-help skills.

Infants play and explore in a warm, inviting environment. They have access to many resources that help stimulate their learning. Teachers are culturally responsive, sensitive and nurturing. They show aroha for children in their care.

Teachers work together to plan a curriculum that is responsive to children's individual needs and interests. They evaluate group learning and individual children's progress over time. Centre leaders agree that these good systems for assessment and planning are not yet consistent across both buildings.

Some learning environments provide many opportunities for exploration, creativity and physical challenge. A calm and peaceful tone permeates the centre. Leaders acknowledge that at times, children's movement between indoor and outdoor environments is limited. They are reviewing this situation.

Teachers are continuing to grow their skills and confidence in implementing a curriculum that reflects the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand. This is evident in their teaching practices, the selection of resources, displays throughout the centre, and children's assessment records.

Centre leaders and teachers carefully consider children's transitions into and through the centre. Parents are well informed about transitions. Established relationships with local schools also support transition processes. Children with additional learning needs are well supported, in consultation with parents and appropriate external agencies.

Centre leaders place importance on staff wellbeing. The centre has a culture of internal evaluation and professional learning and development. Centre leaders regularly review the philosophy in consultation with staff and the community. A policy framework guides practice, and a new appraisal system is to be implemented in 2020.

Centre operations are guided by strategic and annual plans, and a shared vision. These are linked to BestStart strategic goals, which promote a sense of belonging to a wider learning community and support more widespread collaboration amongst teaching teams. Leaders and teachers regularly revisit the centre's strategic goals and annual action plans to monitor quality and promote ongoing improvement.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders acknowledge that they need to develop centre-wide capability and capacity to achieve consistently good quality practices and sustainability across the service. Key next steps include:

  • continuing to grow teachers' capability in teaching and learning, planning, assessment and evaluation

  • improving resources and strengthening learning environments to provide a wide range of learning opportunities for all learners

  • revisiting expectations for how teachers support children to manage their relationships with others.

Since the onsite phase of this review ERO has requested, and BestStart managers have provided, an action plan that shows how the priorities for improvement will be addressed. ERO will request progress updates against the plan.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of BestStart Manuroa Road 1 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

25 September 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

Takanini, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

10034

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

100 children, including up to 40 aged under 2

Service roll

103

Gender composition

Girls 53% Boys 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Indian
Chinese
Pacific
other Asian
other ethnic groups

19%
15%
34%
11%
7%
11%
3%

Percentage of qualified teachers

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

July 2019

Date of this report

25 September 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2015

Education Review

May 2012

Education Review

April 2009

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.