Bubbles Bell Block Infant & Toddler Centre - 14/12/2011

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Bubbles Bell Block Infant & Toddler Centre provides all day education and care five days a week, catering for young children aged up to two-years old. The centre is one of six centres operating under a single management umbrella. This and an adjoining centre, catering for children aged approximately two to five years of age, are located on the same site in Bell Block New Plymouth. Bubbles Ltd also operates three centres close to the central business district in New Plymouth and another in Waitara.

Children participate in a varied range of appropriately planned and spontaneous learning experience informed by Te Whāriki. Programmes and learning experiences support children’s social and emotional competence. Increasingly, teachers select content and learning activities that are culturally relevant, authentic and interesting. Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are an integral part of children’s daily life at the service.

A positive tone prevails across the centre. Educators develop and maintain positive respectful relationships with children and their families. Children play amicably with and alongside their peers.

The indoor learning environment and outdoor spaces support children’s active exploration. These and readily accessible resources appropriately encourage children’s engagement.

The service-wide focus to strengthen educational leadership and self-review is appropriate. Developing an effective that gives priority to centre development, monitoring progress and improving teaching should further enhance outcomes for children.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

2. Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Bubbles Bell Block Infant and Toddler Centre was invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO. ERO also used documentation provided by the centre to contribute to the scope of the review.

The detailed priorities for review were then determined following a discussion between the ERO review team and the management and staff. This discussion focused on existing information held by the centre (including self-review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to positive outcomes for children atBubbles Bell Block Infant and Toddler Centre.

All ERO education reviews in early childhood focus on the quality of education. For ERO this includes the quality of:

  • the programme provided for children;
  • the learning environment; and
  • the interactions between children and adults.

In addition, ERO decided to evaluate:

  • safe and inclusive culture;
  • curriculum design and review; and
  • sustainable performance.

ERO’s findings in these areas are set out below.

The Quality of Education

Context and background

Since the May 2008 ERO report there has been significant change to staffing in this centre. A new programme manager was appointed during 2011.

A positive rapport and collaborative practice within the teaching team contributes to the successful daytoday operation of the centre. The team is appropriately focusing on reviewing its philosophy to guide teaching and learning for infants and toddlers.

The importance of involving parents and whānau in determining the direction of their children’s learning is apparent. Teachers seek family input into the philosophy, ascertain the aspirations they hold for children and involve them in transition processes and planning for learning. Transitions for infants and toddlers into the service and to the Bubbles Junior Centre are well managed. These practices enhance children’s well-being and sense of belonging.

The team recognises constraints in the current planning procedures and are strengthening practice to more fully reflect the assessment practice as articulated in Kei Tua o te Pae, the early childhood exemplars.

Areas of strength

  • Interactions

A positive tone and inclusive practice prevails the centre. Stimulating children’s curiosity, active investigation and discovery is assisted through the provision of natural materials indoors and outside. Infants are calm and relaxed. Toddlers are active explorers who enthusiastically engage in a varied range of appropriate experiences and activities.

Developing relationships that support children’s well-being and ongoing learning is paramount. Infants and toddlers experience warm, responsive nurture from adults who know their preferences well. Teaching practice supports children to have sustained attention to activities and introduces a repertoire of skills, strategies and knowledge that assist learning and development. Children are curious. They enjoy and seek out the company of others as they develop emotional and social confidence.

  • Curriculum design

Te Whāriki appropriately underpins programme provision. Articulating the significance of Te Whāriki to parents and whānau as a bicultural curriculum is an integral part of their introduction to the programme. Building teacher capability to provide a bicultural perspective and support Māori learners and their whānau is an ongoing focus for the teaching team.

Programmes are child focused allowing infants and toddlers ample time daily to explore and experience a varied range of planned and spontaneous learning activities. Literacy and mathematical concept learning and opportunities to be creative and expressive are planned as part of the children’s daily experience.

Teachers are highly reflective practitioners. Spontaneous reviews, ongoing team reflection and inquiring into practice increasingly results in improvement that enhances the care and holistic development of children.

  • Sustainable performance

The service’s vision and philosophy is clearly stated, understood and agreed to by community and supported by staff. Generic policies and procedures to assist the smooth day-to-day operation of centres are well embedded. These contribute positively to consistency of adult practice around health and safety promoting children’s well-being and belonging.

Areas for development and review

  • Capability in teaching and self review

Building leadership to effectively develop and guide self review, across the service, is necessary to further improve teaching and learning for all children. ERO’s evaluation agrees the current review of assessment, planning and evaluation should be a priority. Consideration should be given to how successfully the planned review will allow rigorous teacher inquiry into the effectiveness of curriculum decision making. Better articulating expectations for educator practice should improve and lead to more consistent teaching and as a consequence children’s ongoing learning and progress.

Although processes are in place to improve the quality and consistency of teaching practice, the implementation has not brought about the desired change managers seek. When a shared understanding of formal, in-depth, evidence-based self review and teacher inquiry has been established, it is likely that decision making will be better informed. ERO agree the ongoing review of quality assurance processes that monitor teacher quality and identify individual teacher’s developmental needs should be a priority.

Managers appropriately identify increasing all teachers’ confidence in te reo Māori to better reflect the bicultural nature of Te Whāriki as a next step. Developing shared understandings of Māori children and culture as unique should enhance adult practice. Including a Māori perspective and knowledge in the curriculum should strengthen learning opportunities for Māori, and all, children. Leaders should include how the curriculum and teaching supports cultural literacy and competence as part of the literacy review and the impact of programmes on Māori learners.

3. National Evaluation Topic

Overview

ERO provides information about the education system as a whole through its national reports. This information will be used as the basis for long term and systemic educational improvement.

Inclusion of children with moderate to severe special needs

As part of this review ERO evaluated the extent to which:

  • transitions ensure the continuing well-being, learning, and development of children with moderate to severe special needs
  • children with moderate to severe special needs supported to be confident and capable learners
  • the service is inclusive of children with moderate to severe special needs.

There are no children with moderate to severe special needs currently or recently enrolled in this centre.

4. Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Bubbles Bell Block Infant and Toddler Centre completed an ERO CentreAssurance Statement andSelf-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • administration;
  • health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management; and
  • financial and property management.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records of recent use of procedures. ERO also checked elements of the following areas that have a potentially high impact on outcomes for children:

  • emotional safety (including behaviour management, prevention of bullying and abuse);
  • physical safety (including behaviour management, sleeping and supervision practices; accidents and medication; hygiene and routines; travel and excursion policies and procedures);
  • staff qualifications and organisation; and
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

5. Future Action

ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

Kathleen Atkins

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

About the Centre

Type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

22 children aged under 2

Roll number

18

Gender composition

Girls 10,

Boys 8

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 12,

Māori 5,

Other ethnic groups 1

Review team on site

August 2011

Date of this report

14 December 2011

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review May 2008

 

14 December 2011

To the Parents and Community of Bubbles Bell Block Infant and Toddler Centre

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Bubbles Bell Block Infant and Toddler Centre.

Bubbles Bell Block Infant & Toddler Centre provides all day education and care five days a week, catering for young children aged up to two-years old. The centre is one of six centres operating under a single management umbrella. This and an adjoining centre, catering for children aged approximately two to five years of age, are located on the same site in Bell Block New Plymouth. Bubbles Ltd also operates three centres close to the central business district in New Plymouth and another in Waitara.

Children participate in a varied range of appropriately planned and spontaneous learning experience informed by Te Whāriki. Programmes and learning experiences support children’s social and emotional competence. Increasingly, teachers select content and learning activities that are culturally relevant, authentic and interesting. Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are an integral part of children’s daily life at the service.

A positive tone prevails across the centre. Educators develop and maintain positive respectful relationships with children and their families. Children play amicably with and alongside their peers.

The indoor learning environment and outdoor spaces support children’s active exploration. These and readily accessible resources appropriately encourage children’s engagement.

The service-wide focus to strengthen educational leadership and self-review is appropriate. Developing an effective that gives priority to centre development, monitoring progress and improving teaching should further enhance outcomes for children.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood centre we encourage management to inform their community of any follow up action they plan to take. You should talk to the management or contact person if you have any questions about this evaluation, the full ERO report or their future intentions.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the centre or see the ERO website, http://www.ero.govt.nz.

Kathleen Atkins

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT REVIEWS

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews. The purpose of each review is to:

  • improve quality of education for children in early childhood centres; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the Government.

Reviews are intended to focus on outcomes for children and build on each centre’s self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting is based on four review strands.

  • Quality of Education – including the quality of the programme provided for children, the quality of the learning environment and the quality of the interactions between staff and children and how these impact on outcomes for children.
  • Additional Review Priorities – other aspects of the operation of a centre, may be included in the review. ERO will not include this strand in all reviews.
  • National Evaluation Topics – This strand contributes to the development of education policies and their effective implementation. The information from this strand is aggregated by ERO for its national evaluation reports. Topics for investigation are changed regularly to provide up-to-date information.
  • Compliance with Legal Requirements – assurance that this centre has taken all reasonable steps to meet legal requirements.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of centre performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to this centre.

Review Recommendations

Most ERO reports include recommendations for improvement. A recommendation on a particular issue does not necessarily mean that a centre is performing poorly in relation to that issue. There is no direct link between the number of recommendations in this report and the overall performance of this centre.