Childhood Concepts Early Learning Centre (Upper Hutt) Ltd. - 28/08/2012

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Childhood Concepts Early Learning Centre is one of three private early childhood centres under common ownership. The mixed age centre in Upper Hutt is purpose built and caters for children aged under five. This is the centre’s first review since opening in August 2010.

Different age groups are housed in different rooms. The Fantail Room provides for children who are under two years, the Tui Room provides for children aged between two and three years, and the Kiwi Room provides for children over three years. This separation of age groups is flexible and transition between rooms takes place in consultation with the child and their parents.

Children are engaged and happy in their play and relationships with their teachers. They feel confident to participate in the learning opportunities provided in the programme and are supported by teachers to be self-managing learners. Teachers work collaboratively to enhance and extend children’s learning and encourage each other to reflect on their teaching practice. Leaders and managers assist teachers to develop and reach their potential.

ERO’s external review affirms leaders and managers in continuing to build a strong team culture, and establish systematic evidence-based self review. The centre has identified as a priority the need to strengthening relationships with parents, whānau and aiga. These initiatives should help support teachers increase reflective practice and their evaluation of the effectiveness of teaching strategies.

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 Childhood Concepts Early Learning Centre (Upper Hutt) Ltd. 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 at Childhood Concepts Early Learning Centre (Upper Hutt) Ltd.

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.

The Quality of Education

Background

Childhood Concepts Early Learning Centre, Upper Hutt, is a purpose built centre that caters for children aged under five. Age groups are flexibly arranged into three separate rooms. This is the centre’s first review since it opened in August 2010.

Areas of strength

Children are happy and engaged in the programme that is responsive to their individual interests. Each child has a learning plan which links to Te Whāriki and shows the intended learning outcomes and experiences for a specified time. Teachers plan the programme collaboratively. They share the responsibility for identifying children’s next steps and the role of the teacher in extending children’s learning.

Children are familiar and comfortable with routines. The tone of the centre is settled and calm. Children negotiate conflict resolution independently of and with the support of teachers if needed. Well established systems enable teachers to maintain ongoing and open communication with each other.

Literacy and numeracy concepts form an integral part of the programme at the appropriate level for each year group. Waiata is part of the programme and te reo Māori is used in instruction. A recent visit to the local marae began the process of exploring the significance of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Children’s learning is appropriately documented in profile books which are accessible to parents. Individual learning stories make learning explicit and identify next steps.

Children’s transition to school is supported by specific activities and learning experiences in the Kiwi Room. Transition is a current focus for review and staff are following a clear process.

Staff communicate with parents, particularly through conversation at the beginning and end of sessions. Parents also have the opportunity to participate in a parent teacher interview at the end of the year. Staff encourage parents to contribute to their children’s learning and should continue to explore effective ways to engage parents. Strengthening relationships with parents, whānau and aiga is identified as a priority in the annual plan.

Teachers know children well and value their ideas and contributions. Children express their ideas confidently. Teachers use open and challenging questions to extend children’s thinking. In conversations, teachers link children’s current learning to their prior experiences. Teachers treat infants and toddlers as competent learners and verbalise routines to foster children’s active participation in the process. Children’s independence and self management skills are promoted.

Children play cooperatively and for sustained periods of time. They are familiar with shared expectations of behaviour.

The indoor environment is clean and spacious. Differentiated areas for play are suitably equipped. The outdoor environment provides levels of challenge and opportunities for a variety of different play.

Children’s art work is displayed attractively on the walls with information for parents about programme planning.

Areas for development and review

ERO’s external review identified the following areas for continuing development.

Overall, systematic self-review is in the early stages of development. Staff should continue to develop their understanding and documentation of evidence based self review to improve outcomes for children.

Teachers should continue to develop their understanding of cultural responsiveness and the implications of biculturalism for teaching and learning.

Learning stories are not necessarily linked to prior learning experiences. Establishing continuity across learning stories would enable children’s progress to be shown.

3. Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Childhood Concepts Early Learning Centre (Upper Hutt) Ltd. completed an ERO CentreAssurance and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they have 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.

4. Future Action

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

Joyce Gebbie

Acting National Manager Review Services

Central Region (Acting)

About the Centre

Type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

67 children, including up to 16 aged under 2

Roll number

50

Gender composition

Female 27,

Male 23

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 33,

Māori 7

Asian 7,

Pacific 2,

Other European 1

Review team on site

June 2012

Date of this report

28 August 2012

Previous three ERO reports

This is the centre’s first report.

28 August 2012

To the Parents and Community of Childhood Concepts Early Learning Centre (Upper Hutt) Ltd.

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Childhood Concepts Early Learning Centre (Upper Hutt) Ltd.

Childhood Concepts Early Learning Centre is one of three private early childhood centres under common ownership. The mixed age centre in Upper Hutt is purpose built and caters for children aged under five. This is the centre’s first review since opening in August 2010.

Different age groups are housed in different rooms. The Fantail Room provides for children who are under two years, the Tui Room provides for children aged between two and three years, and the Kiwi Room provides for children over three years. This separation of age groups is flexible and transition between rooms takes place in consultation with the child and their parents.

Children are engaged and happy in their play and relationships with their teachers. They feel confident to participate in the learning opportunities provided in the programme and are supported by teachers to be self-managing learners. Teachers work collaboratively to enhance and extend children’s learning and encourage each other to reflect on their teaching practice. Leaders and managers assist teachers to develop and reach their potential.

ERO’s external review affirms leaders and managers in continuing to build a strong team culture, and establish systematic evidence-based self review. The centre has identified as a priority the need to strengthening relationships with parents, whānau and aiga. These initiatives should help support teachers increase reflective practice and their evaluation of the effectiveness of teaching strategies.

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.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region (Acting)

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.
  • 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.