Brooklyn Early Childhood Centre Incorporated - 19/02/2019

1 Evaluation of Brooklyn Early Childhood Centre Incorporated

How well placed is Brooklyn Early Childhood Centre Incorporated to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Brooklyn Early Childhood Centre Incorporated is not well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

Governance practices, appraisal, assessment for learning and internal evaluation continue to require development to support improvement over time. A number of compliance issues have been identified through this review.

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

Background

Brooklyn Early Childhood Centre Incorporated is a community-based early learning service located in the Wellington suburb of Brooklyn. It is licensed to cater for 24 children, including up to nine aged under two years.

A management committee (the committee) made up of parents is responsible for governance of the service. Day-to-day operation is the responsibility of the senior teacher who is supported by an administrator. Three of the four permanently employed teachers are registered.

A restructure of staffing in November 2015 resulted in changes to leadership, financial administration, and some teaching roles. There have been further changes in staff since that time. Two long-term staff have left in the last 12 months. New leadership is planned for 2019.

The October 2015 ERO report identified concerns about the quality of operation in relation to planning for learning, leadership and governance. A suitable staff appraisal and process of self review had yet to be put in place. Since then, leaders and teachers have engaged in a range of professional learning and development (PLD) funded by the committee. Progress in improving the quality of practice and operation is evident. However, there is more work to do to maintain the momentum of improvement and ensure progress is sustained over time.

The philosophy underpinning teaching and learning emphasises the importance of whānau and kaiako working together, and provision of a child-centred, play-based learning programme. 

The Review Findings

The learning environment supports a variety of engaging experiences for children based on their interests and ideas. There is a good range of resources. Promotion of literacy and creativity is highly evident. An ongoing focus on sustainable environmental practices is well facilitated. Excursions add further interest to the programme. Children are cooperative, independent and empowered learners.

Ongoing communication with families about their children supports decisions about teaching and learning. Because teachers know children well, the strategies they use to extend their interests and ideas are meaningful and largely effective.

Teachers demonstrate highly inclusive practice. Children's and families' diverse needs are acknowledged and catered for. A bicultural perspective is becoming evident in the programme. Seeking community support to build knowledge of places of significance to local Māori, and further developing teachers' understanding of ways to work with Māori learners and their whānau, are next steps.

Children's transitions into and out of the service are well supported though ongoing collaboration with whānau. A close relationship with the local school is established. Teachers should continue to seek ways of sharing information about individual children's learning with new entrant teachers to support continuity as they move on to school.

The quality of teacher's assessment practice is variable. External support is assisting the team to implement the revised early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki. Teachers are working to further define what learning they and their community value which should better focus their planning. While children's learning portfolios record details about their participation and aspects of their learning, in order to improve their approach, teachers need to strengthen their focus on:

  • parent input and aspirations
  • individual children's significant learning
  • showing how they are adding value and progressing children's learning
  • culture, language and identity.

Good relationships enable collaboration between committee members, leadership and teachers to occur, and support decision making. In order to sustain and improve management practices, a stronger focus on keeping up-to-date with early childhood education legislative changes and initiatives should be implemented.

Developing a robust appraisal process to improve professional leadership, teaching and learning had been identified in the July 2012 and October 2015 ERO reports as requiring improvement. Similar findings are evident in this review. An appraisal process is now in place. However, both the teachers' and the senior teacher's appraisals require significant development to meet Teaching Council requirements. The Standards for the Teaching Profession are not yet part of the process.

Teachers regularly reflect on and review aspects of their practice to improve outcomes for children. Adopting a more evaluative approach should improve decisions about change and improvement.

The July 2012 and October 2015 ERO reports identified a need to strengthen governance. While some progress has been made in enhancing aspects of the governance role, this continues to be an area for development.

High levels of support are provided by the parent community to assist operation. Some work has been done to define committee roles and responsibilities; there is a good flow of information from the centre to the committee; strategic and annual management plans have been developed to support timely action in relation to work priorities; policies are up to date; and improved communication and information technology systems have been put in place.

Strengthening governance continues to be a priority, in order to sustain progress and continue to promote improvement the committee should ensure that:

  • systems, processes and plans  are clear, aligned and embedded in its ongoing work
  • the new policy review schedule is fully implemented and policy review is consistently well informed
  • strategic planning is improvement focused and supported by the identification of success indicators, actions and timelines, and monitoring of progress
  • guidelines to support induction of trustees are completed.

Key Next Steps

Development priorities for this centre are:

  • assessment practice
  • understanding and use of internal evaluation
  • staff appraisal to meet Teaching Council requirements
  • effective governance, management and leadership
  • systems that support ongoing compliance with regulations.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Brooklyn Early Childhood Centre Incorporated 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 significant areas of non-compliance in the service related to:

  • the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 are met, including developing a hazards register
  • all fencing/gates are arranged and regularly checked to ensure consistent compliance
  • organisation for excursions consistently meets licensing requirements
  • the appraisal process meets Education Council requirements.

Health and Safety at Work Act 2015

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, PF13, HS 17

Part 31 Education Act 1989.

To improve current practice the service provider should ensure:

  • the leader and committee stay up to date with current legislative requirements
  • daily hazard management practices include checking that heavy items on high shelves are secured or removed
  • as specified in the Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Services, particular documents  are made available for parents
  • a documented staff appointment process, that includes identity checking requirements specified in the Vulnerable Children Act 2014, is developed.

Since the on-site stage of the ERO review, evidence has been provided by the parent committee that non-compliance has been addressed in relation to hazard management, and plans put in place to meet requirements for fencing, excursions and appraisal. Aspects of practice requiring improvement are being systematically addressed.

Recommendation to Ministry of Education

ERO recommends that the Ministry reassess the licence of Brooklyn Early Childhood Centre Incorporated. ERO will not undertake a further education review of this service until the Ministry of Education is satisfied that the service meets licensing requirements.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Brooklyn Early Childhood Centre Incorporated will be in consultation with the Ministry of Education.

Alan Wynyard
Director Review and Improvement Services Southern
Southern Region

19 February 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

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

60205

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

24 children, including up to 9 aged under 2

Service roll

32

Gender composition

Boys 22, Girls 10

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

  2
25
  5

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

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2018

Date of this report

19 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2015

Education Review

October 2012

Education Review

June 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 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.