Cherish Childcare - 28/11/2014

1 Evaluation of Cherish Childcare

How well placed is Cherish Childcare to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

The management team needs to strengthen the quality of governance and management practices. Visiting teachers have identified that further development work is needed to support home educators plan and implement suitable learning programmes for children.

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

Background

Cherish Childcare is a privately-owned, home-based education and care service located in New Plymouth. It comprises one network catering for around 70 children aged up to five years. Of these, 16 are of Māori descent. The service has been operating for two years.

Two visiting teachers support 16 educators to provide an educational programme for children in their homes. The owner oversees teachers’ practice and, together with the administrator, service operation. At times, she undertakes a visiting teacher role.

Cherish Childcare has experienced significant changes this year. Two long-term visiting teachers and some educators left the service. New visiting teachers were appointed in June. Review and re-development of some aspects of teachers’ and educators’ practice, and operational management relating to staffing and quality assurance, have accompanied these changes.

Of the three qualified teachers, one is provisionally registered, one is subject to confirmation as a registered teacher and one has re-applied to re-register as a teacher after a non-teaching period.

Recent long-term, cluster-based external professional development has commenced to strengthen some practices and aspects of operation. The manager has recently accessed professional support to develop an advice and guidance programme for provisionally registered teachers and a strategic plan.

The development of close relationships, provision of safe environments for children, working in partnership with parents and acknowledgement of the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi have been identified by the service as key to supporting improvements to practice.

This is Cherish Childcare’s first ERO review.

The Review Findings

Community outings and events organised by Cherish Childcare provide good opportunities for children to socialise with peers. Playgroups support educators and visiting teachers to plan activities for children together. Observations at playgroup affirmed these as a valuable time for building positive relationships between visiting teachers, educators and children.

The management team and visiting teachers agree they need to continue to strengthen understanding of Māori culture, language and identity across the organisation. A strategic priority has been identified to build knowledge of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. This work should help the service to better meet the needs of Māori children and their whānau.

Placement procedures are suitably mindful of children’s wellbeing. An increasing range of equipment and materials support educators meet particular needs. Further work should be undertaken to develop guidelines and practices for educators working with children aged under two years and those with diverse learning needs. Links with appropriate people and community agencies are developed to aid some families who have English as a second language and a child in need of focused support.

Generally, educators’ understanding of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and planning learning programmes are at an early stage of development. Children’s learning journals and visiting teachers’ records show that educators have not been adequately supported to develop their practice. There is a need for a more systematic approach to supporting their understanding of requirements. This should include: improved guidelines and models; a stronger focus in teacher visits on observing educators working with children; and provision of constructive feedback to help them develop their practice. The new visiting teachers and managers are working well as a team to identify and address some issues. The use of an on-line programme is supporting some timely sharing of photos and stories with parents.

The owner has a strong commitment to improving the quality of the service. Recent professional support has aided the management team to identify some priorities for development. Educators are well supported and encouraged to gain a home-based education and care qualification. The management team works hard to initiate and maintain relationships with parents, visiting teachers and all educators. Carefully considered enrolment and induction procedures, and meeting and reporting processes, are in place. Some reflection and inquiry is undertaken by the owner and teachers to support effective decision making. The development and use of self review as an evaluative tool, to identify how well all practices promote better outcomes for children, should strengthen decision making.

Significant improvement to the quality of governance and management is needed to support ongoing development at all levels of the service. Considerable development work is needed in order to ensure all licensing requirements for home-based education and care are met. As a first step, the management team should collaboratively review and re-develop, with visiting teachers and educators, procedures and expectations to support their shared understanding of service and legal requirements. Further strengthening of the organisation and scheduling of the owner’s impromptu home visits should improve quality assurance.

The management team has not yet developed an effective performance management process to support improvement to teachers’ practice, their attainment of full registration or attestation for reregistration. There is no suitable advice and guidance programme in place to support provisionally registered teachers meet criteria for full registration. The planned professional development should help the service address these issues.

Key Next Steps

The management team and ERO agree that priorities for the service include the development of:

  • an understanding of the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi
  • a more bicultural perspective across the service
  • educators’ approach to planning suitable programmes for children
  • robust teacher performance management practices
  • practices and procedures to support better understanding of service and legal requirements
  • improved quality assurance processes
  • understanding and use of a more evaluative approach to self review
  • further, collaboratively identified strategic goals and actions to guide development.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Cherish Childcare 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.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance relating to curriculum, governance, management and administration. To meet requirements the service must improve its performance in the following areas:

  • assessment, planning and evaluation
  • educators' and teachers’ understanding of children’s learning and development, and knowledge of relevant theories and practice in early childhood education
  • reflection of the unique place of Māori as tangata whenua
  • having in place, a system for regular teacher appraisal. [Licensing Criteria for Home-based Education and Care Services 2008, C2, C4,C5,GMA6 ]

The management team must ensure all teachers hold a current practising certificate. [Education (Registration of Early Childhood Services Teachers) Regulations 2004]

In order to improve current practice the service should ensure:

  • information is made available to parents about the amount and detail of the expenditure of any Ministry of Education funding received by the service
  • the police vetting process is rigorous and records are well organised
  • that a suitable budget guides expenditure
  • all educators hold a current first-aid certificate prior to commencing work.

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service consult with the Ministry of Education and plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Cherish Childcare will be within two years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

28 November 2014

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

New Plymouth

Ministry of Education profile number

46004

Licence type

Home-based Network

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

80 children, including up to 40 aged under 2

Service roll

60

Standard or Quality Funded

Standard funded

Gender composition

Boys 32, Girls 28

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Other ethnic groups

16

40

4

Number of qualified coordinators in the network

2

Reported ratios of educators to children

Under 2

1:2

Meets minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:4

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2014

Date of this report

28 November 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

No previous ERO reports

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.