Bright Futures CHB 1 - 20/03/2015

Evaluation of Bright Futures CHB 1

How well placed is Bright Futures CHB 1 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 Futures operates under the umbrella of the Napier Family Centre, a not-for-profit community based organisation which offers a range of support services in Hawkes Bay.

There are six Bright Futures home-based education and care networks. These operate in Napier, Hastings and Central Hawkes Bay. An early childhood education manager is responsible for oversight of these services. She reports to the Napier Family Centre chief executive officer (CEO) and board of governors and oversees the work of the visiting teachers. Their role is to support educarers implement suitable early learning programmes for children in their homes. The CEO, manager and one of the visiting teacher have been appointed to their present roles since the 2011 ERO review.

Bright Futures Central Hawkes Bay CHB 1 operates alongside Bright Futures CHB 2, the other Family Centre network, situated in Waipukurau. The majority of the children attending the service are aged two years and under.

This review is one of a cluster of three home-based network reviews in the Bright Futures umbrella organisation. The other three Bright Futures home-based services were reviewed in October 2014. In these reviews ERO identified the need for a stronger focus on long-term planning and reviewing the effectiveness of practices to sustain and improve outcomes for children.

The Review Findings

Children participate in a wide range of learning experiences in educarers’ homes and the local community. Many attend playgroups, excursions, gym and music sessions which provide new challenges and opportunities for socialisation. Children's emerging mathematical and literacy skills are fostered through their play. Bright Futures provides a variety of equipment and resources to support educarers to implement care and education programmes.

Provision for children aged up-to-two years is carefully considered. Visiting teachers have identified the need for more professional development for educarers caring for children in this age group.

Visiting teachers and management articulate the importance of valuing children’s cultures, languages and identities, and developing partnerships with parents. This continued emphasis should contribute to practices that acknowledge and support children’s success as learners in their own culture and better identify and meet family and community needs.

The head visiting teacher is providing good leadership for the development of a more bicultural curriculum. Contact with local iwi has been made and Ministry of Education resources accessed to support this initiative. Continued support for educarers she works with to become conversant with te reo me ngā tikanga Māori is evident.

Relevant information is made available for educarers and parents to support children’s transition to primary school. Teachers agree that they need to continue to support educarers to build rapport with local schools and to increase their knowledge about the links between primary and early childhood programmes.

Visiting teachers promote an appropriate focus on child-led learning in homes and at Bright Futures’ playgroups. Their visit notes provide rich records of children’s experiences, developing interests and aspects of their learning. Planning for playgroup takes into account group interests. A service-wide review of assessment continues. Teachers are aware of the need to better promote educarers understanding of children’s learning linked to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and to improve support for them to recognise and respond to learning. Regular evaluation of the programme is not yet undertaken. The recently developed philosophy should provide a suitable basis for this.

Visiting teachers demonstrate high levels of commitment to their roles and support for each other. Access to professional development is strengthening aspects of their practice. They seek and value feedback from management, educarers and parents to inform decisions about their roles and development planning for the network. The manager should continue to seek ways of providing teachers with effective, constructive feedback that promotes continual improvement to their practice. The recently revised teachers' appraisal process aims to better support teacher development. This is not yet fully implemented.

The understanding and use of self review is developing. Recent professional development is supporting teachers to investigate their practice to improve outcomes for children. Using the review framework in a more defined way that helps determine the quality and effectiveness of specific aspects of their work, is a next step.

It is timely, with new managers in place, for the board to plan for improved governance, management and leadership for this service. The identification of strategic goals, more closely linked to outcomes for children, should provide a basis for planned self review and enhanced reporting to the board. More clearly defined expectations around curriculum leadership and management roles and responsibilities, and improved processes for policy development and review should support more consistent practice at all levels of the service.

The need for more rigorous quality assurance processes was identified in the Bright Futures March 2011 ERO reports. This continues to be an area requiring development.

Key Next Steps

Managers should continue development and embedding of practices that build capability and sustainable practice at all levels and result in consistently high quality outcomes for children.

At governance level, priorities are the development of: a strategic plan with quality outcomes identified; more clearly defined expectations around curriculum leadership; and the manager’s and teachers’ appraisal process.

At network level, priorities are the development of: visiting teachers’ understanding and use of review to evaluate the quality of practice; continued and effective support for educators to improve their understanding of early learning and planning suitable programmes for children; parent partnership; bicultural curriculum; and educarers' practice with children aged up-to-two years.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Bright Futures CHB 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.

In order to improve current practice the service provider should ensure:

  • suitably rigorous quality assurance processes are in place in relation to visiting teachers' and educarers' practice

  • systematic procedures for undertaking and recording police vetting are implemented.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Bright Futures CHB 1 will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

20 March 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

Waipukurau

Ministry of Education profile number

55481

Licence type

Homebased Network

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

80 children, including up to 80 aged under 2

Service roll

73

Standard or Quality Funded

Quality funded

Gender composition

Girls 37, Boys 36

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

8

65

Number of qualified coordinators in the network

2

Reported ratios of staff educators to children

Under 2

1:2

Meets minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:4

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2015

Date of this report

20 March 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2011

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 the draft methodology for ERO reviews in Home-based Education and Care Services: July 2014

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.