Childhood Concepts Early Learning Centre (Upper Hutt) Ltd. - 04/07/2015

1 Evaluation of Childhood Concepts Early Learning Centre (Upper Hutt) Ltd

How well placed is Childhood Concepts Early Learning Centre (Upper Hutt) Ltd 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

Childhood Concepts Early Learning Centre (Upper Hutt) Ltd, is one of two privately owned and managed centres in the Hutt Valley Wellington. The service is licensed to provide all day education and care, at any one time, for 67 children, including up to 16 aged up to two.

The owner, who has an early childhood teaching qualification, oversees day-to-day operation of the two centres and is responsible for building professional practice. Team leaders guide curriculum implementation. Leaders and two other teachers are fully registered early childhood teachers. Four staff are provisionally registered and require ongoing mentoring as they work toward full teacher registration status. The remaining staff are untrained.

Significant changes to staffing have taken place since the August 2012 ERO report. Leaders have focused on establishing an effective organisational culture, a collaborative teaching team and positive educational partnerships with families and whānau. These continue to be a priority for development.

The physical learning environment is organised for groups of younger and older children. One for those aged approximately over two years, and separate indoor and outdoor spaces for the service's youngest children. Each area has a specific teaching team. A positive tone and inclusive practice permeates the centre.

The Review Findings

Children’s learning and well being is promoted. They benefit from the positive tone and calm atmosphere that permeates the centre. Teachers know children well. Respectful relationships between adults and children positively contribute to a sense of belonging.

Infants, toddlers and young children participate enthusiastically in a varied range of planned and spontaneous learning experiences. The service’s youngest children have ample space and resources to actively explore. Literacy and mathematics activities and concept learning are an integral part of children’s daily experience. The incorporation of te ao Māori in the curriculum continues to evolve.

The service’s philosophy reflects the principles and strands of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. The desired outcomes for children, to be socially competent, to express their wants and needs and to be risk takers and curious, are well supported by attentive teachers. These contribute to a positive platform for learning.

Teachers play alongside children encouraging sustained involvement. Meaningful conversations take place. Teachers question children to elicit their ideas and use modelling and prompting well to extend their language and thinking. Responsive nurture of the youngest children promotes a sense of well being and encourages children’s relationship building with others.

Transitioning children into the centre and between age groups is well-considered. Practices are determined by the child's readiness, and in consultation with families, whānau and aiga. As children get older they have group learning experiences through a readiness for school programme. These have a strong emphasis on literacy and mathematical learning. It is timely to review these programmes to ensure they are responsive to individual children’s strengths, interests and needs.

Assessment, curriculum planning and evaluation practices continue to evolve. Teachers are reflective practitioners. Centre leaders recognise their next step as further developing partnerships with parents and whānau. Individual learning portfolios provide parents with an overview of children’s participation in the programme and progress against identified goals. ERO’s evaluation findings affirm improving assessment practice and parent partnerships as next steps for development.

Leaders are appropriately focused on building professional capability. A positive team rapport is evident and collaborative practice is encouraged. Teachers are affirmed for their good practice. Professional learning and development is sought to increase their curriculum content knowledge and skills to further improve outcomes for children. Self review provides useful information about aspects of the services operation and leads to improvement.

Key Next Steps

Rationalising systems and further developing strategic and annual planning is necessary to build sustainable practice and improve leadership and management. Appraisal of teaching staff and mentoring programmes for provisionally registered teachers should be a priority.

Self review of the centre philosophy has not been undertaken since 2012. Leaders and teachers should review the philosophy to determine curriculum priorities and emphases. The outcome should indicate the successful practices that:

  • uphold Māori learners’ culture, language and identity more effectively through the curriculum and teaching practice
  • uphold Pacific learners’ cultures, languages and identity more effectively through the curriculum and teaching practice
  • support progressive literacy and mathematical learning responsive to individual children
  • guide a shared philosophy for teaching and learning for the service’s youngest children.

Developments should:

  • inform relevant changes to the centre’s philosophy and curriculum expectations
  • include clear indicators for effective teaching and practice
  • identify measurable outcomes for evaluating success.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Childhood Concepts Early Learning Centre (Upper Hutt) Ltd 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Childhood Concepts Early Learning Centre (Upper Hutt) Ltd will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

4 July 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

Upper Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

45449

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

67 children, including up to 16 aged under 2

Service roll

47

Gender composition

Boys 29

Girls 18

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Samoan

Other ethnic groups

8

31

2

6

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

May 2015

Date of this report

4 July 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2012

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.