Bright Beginnings - 11/04/2019

1 Evaluation of Bright Beginnings

How well placed is Bright Beginnings to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Bright Beginnings is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Bright Beginnings early childhood centre in Mt Albert, is a well-established centre that provides for up to 20 children over two years of age. The owner oversees all centre operations and leads the teaching team.

The centre offers flexible enrolment options and makes considerable use of local parks, reserves, and community facilities, in children's learning programmes. The centre's philosophy focuses on children learning through play in a homely, respectful and nurturing environment. Collaborative partnerships with families are valued.

The centre has a positive ERO reporting history and has responded well to the recommendations for improvement in ERO's 2015 report. Strategic and annual planning has been strengthened.

Bright Beginnings is a member of the Mt Albert Kāhui Ako | Community of Learning.

The Review Findings

A caring and respectful culture is evident. Well managed arrival routines help children freely access play equipment and activities, and to settle quickly into self-directed play. Children are happy, settled, and engaged as they play with and alongside each other.

Children are capable, confident and articulate. Teachers respect and acknowledge children's capabilities and prior knowledge. Their warm conversations foster children's vocabulary and language development well. They use children's questions to add complexity to children's thinking and knowledge. Teachers use te reo Māori during the day and continue to build their knowledge and use of te reo.

Teachers plan activities around events, and children's interests and skills. Learning stories recognise children's individual learning dispositions, and give parents an understanding of how their children's interests are developed over time. Teachers could now use parents' aspirations, and the information identified in learning stories, more explicitly in their planning.

Teachers know the children, families and the local community very well. They have good opportunities to build learning partnerships with their parent community. Learning programmes are aligned with the principles and strands of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. The centre's 'local' curriculum includes:

  • a mindfulness and wellbeing skills for life programme that is embedded in daily practice

  • regular visits in the local area that build children's and families' connections with the community.

Consistent centre routines provide a balance between teacher-led activities and children's self-directed learning. Teachers could now consider reviewing how well the indoor space is used to support children's uninterrupted play.

The owner distributes leadership and builds teachers' capabilities with appropriate professional learning opportunities. Useful strategic and annual plans have been developed to guide centre developments. Processes are in place to guide internal evaluation for ongoing improvement and development. These processes would be enhanced by focusing on children's learning outcomes. The owner plans to review a number of policies and procedures.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps for centre development are to:

  • review the philosophy to include the centre's focus on wellbeing and the use of local community facilities

  • regularly review centre policies and procedures to ensure they align with legal requirements

  • continue to strengthen internal evaluation by focusing on the impact of teaching practices on outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Bright Beginnings 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.

To improve current practice, management should:

  • establish a system to document daily health and safety checks.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

11 April 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

Mt Albert, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20500

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

20 children aged over 2 years

Service roll

18

Gender composition

Boys 11 Girls 7

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
other ethnic groups

2
12
4

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:5

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2019

Date of this report

11 April 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 2015

Education Review

May 2012

Education Review

February 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.