Chelsea House Levin - 11/02/2016

1 Evaluation of Chelsea House Levin

How well placed is Chelsea House Levin 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

Chelsea House Early Childhood Centre is a privately owned service. The centre is licensed for 73 children, including 23 up to the age of two years. At the time of this review, 14 children were enrolled who identified as Māori. Full-time care and education is offered in buildings designed to suit the developmental stages of infants, toddlers and young children.

Since ERO’s January 2013 review, a new centre director has been appointed, who is also the licensee. She has overall responsibility for operating the service and managing staff, and is assisted by two senior teachers.

Chelsea House Early Childhood Centre, previously known as The Cottage and The Villa now operate under one licence. ERO’s 2013 reports identified areas requiring further development. These included self review, strategic planning, assessment, planning and evaluation and the bicultural programme. Progress has been made in these areas.

The Review Findings

Children direct the programme and they participate in sustained play. Their creativity and imagination is fostered through the experiences provided. Problem-solving opportunities are promoted. Time is available for children to revisit prior learning experiences to deepen their knowledge. Teachers draw on a range of targeted strategies to support and extend children’s play and learning.

Consistency and continuity of care and education are recognised by teachers as important in establishing secure foundations for infants and toddlers. This practice is promoted. Teachers engage in one-to-one interactions with infants and toddlers and are adept at reading and responding to their non-verbal cures. A calm, slow pace is maintained and reflected through the settled tone.

Children’s culture, language and identity are acknowledged and celebrated. The bicultural programme has been an area of ongoing development and progress is evident. Te reo and aspects of tikanga Māori are integrated throughout the centre programme. Leaders have articulated a strong commitment to promote success for Māori children as Māori. The senior leadership team is exploring a range of strategies to strengthen this approach. These include exploring Māori approaches to education and sharing these with whānau.

Transitions into the centre, between rooms and on to school are well considered and supportive of children and whānau. They are determined by the child's readiness, and undertaken in consultation with families and whānau.

The philosophy promotes respectful practice, a commitment to biculturalism, involvement of family and whānau and promoting a culture of fun and delight in learning. This is evident in practice.

Leaders and ERO agreed that a focus on building consistency of practice is a next step. To assist in realising the centre’s philosophy and aspirations for children’s learning, leaders and teachers should collectively determine what best practice looks like for the curriculum. This information can then be used as indicators of high quality practice and will be useful in making expectations clear for teachers' practice, and informing internal evaluation and appraisal.

The centre director provides clear direction and shows a commitment to the centre philosophy. Centre personnel have engaged in ongoing learning to further the service’s understanding of changes to meet the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act, 2014.

Teachers are reflective and focused on improvement. Key next steps should include developing their understanding of the internal evaluation process. Once this is understood, teachers should shift from reviewing what they do, to evaluating how well practices support children’s learning. A priority for internal evaluation should be to focus on how well children's literacy and mathematical early learning is enhanced through the centre curriculum.

Recent positive changes are evident in assessment, planning and evaluation. Documentation shows that children’s interests are effectively recognised and used to promote ongoing learning. Leaders have identified that the next step is for them to support teachers to embed this recent initiative

Appraisal has been undertaken. However, this approach requires further development. Next steps should include developing an appraisal policy to guide this process. Consideration should be given to the frequency of meetings, having clear specific and measurable goals that are aligned to professional development and the use of formal observations to inform ongoing feedback and feed forward. It is also timely to link the Practising Teacher Criteria to the appraisal process.

A number of centre policies are out-of-date. The centre director has established a system for policy review and is systematically working through this process.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre leaders agree that the key next steps are to:

  • develop clear indicators of quality practice that reflect the philosophy
  • support teachers to embed the recent developments in assessment, planning and evaluation
  • develop an appraisal policy to guide its implementation
  • improve teachers’ understanding of internal evaluation. Once established, they should evaluate the effectiveness of the literacy and mathematics within the curriculum
  • systematically review all centre policies.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Chelsea House Levin 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 practice leaders and teachers should:

  • consistently follow the systems and processes that have been established to monitor health and safety requirements, including excursions.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Chelsea House Levin will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

11 February 2016

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

Levin

Ministry of Education profile number

50124

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

73 children, including up to 23 aged under 2

Service roll

71

Gender composition

Girls 37, Boys 34

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Samoan

Other ethnic groups

14

52

1

4

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2015

Date of this report

11 February 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

First report on a merged licence

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.