Bright Beginnings - 13/04/2015

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

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 education and care for up to 20 children over two years of age. The owner teaches and oversees all centre operations. All teachers are involved in all aspects of planning, policy, procedural and operating guidelines.

The centre philosophy highlights the provision of a learning programme based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum; Reggio Emilia practices; and respectful and trusting relationships in a homely setting. This philosophy underpins teachers’ efforts to create a welcoming environment and build partnerships with parents, and where there is a focus on the individual child and their family.

Centre leaders have responded positively to suggestions for ongoing improvement made in the 2012 ERO report. These areas focused on strengthening approaches to programme planning, especially in literacy, improving the challenges of the outdoor learning environment and using self review to further develop centre programmes and strengthen bicultural practices.

The centre is well managed and well led. Centre operations reflect current educational and leadership best practices. The centre owner has benefitted from her significant links with international childhood organisations.

The Review Findings

Children, their parents and whānau are warmly welcomed into the centre each day. Children begin their routines happily and their siblings and parents often join in starter activities. Discussions between adults support children’s learning interests, strengthening the partnerships between home and the centre.

Teachers are reflective practitioners who are responsive to children’s interests. Their planning is focused on individual children and they frequently discuss strategies for extending learning. They have established a process for reporting children’s learning journey as part of their transition to school procedure. Centre leaders have identified that their next step is to evaluate the programmes to clearly identify the next steps in children’s learning.

The child-led programme allows children to engage in sustained learning. Literacy, art and early numeracy skills are well promoted. The well resourced learning environment attracts children and they are supported to follow their own interests. Teachers are well placed to extend children’s learning through fostering more complex conversations and focusing on the exploration strand ofTe Whāriki.

The teachers are a stable team and work cohesively together. The team has developed respectful and positive relationships with parents and whānau. Vibrant portfolios reflect the child’s interests and ongoing progress. They are available to parents and children to access. Many parents have also contributed to the programme and have provided knowledge and skills that enhance the curriculum for children.

The bicultural partnership of Aotearoa New Zealand is promoted well by teachers. Te reo Māori is heard throughout the centre and children respond to basic phrases and sing waiata. The steps already taken to strengthen recognition of children’s cultures are a good move towards enhancing the centre’s significant focus on children’s learning.

The teachers, who are all registered, are given support to develop their professional knowledge and leadership skills. Appraisal systems are appropriately linked to the Registered Teacher Criteria and teachers set goals and strategise ways to achieve them.

Key Next Steps

The centre owner is very reflective about how the centre can better achieve outcomes for children and, with the team, has identified areas that need improvement. ERO agrees that the key next steps for the centre should include:

  • improving the quality of self review so teachers can plan for development of children’s strengths and interests using targeted teaching strategies
  • aligning the centre’s annual plan to the strategic plan including specific measurable outcomes for children’s learning.

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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Bright Beginnings will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

13 April 2015

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, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

33

Gender composition

Boys 17

Girls 16

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Tongan

2

30

1

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:5

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2015

Date of this report

13 April 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2012

 

Education Review

February 2009

 

Education Review

May 2006

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.