City Heights Childcare - 17/06/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

City Heights Childcare teachers show a strong commitment to providing the best for the infants and toddlers in their care. Some governance and management practices need to improve to ensure children’s ongoing learning and wellbeing. City Heights Childcare is developing its capacity to promote positive outcomes for children.

Context

City Heights Childcare is one of three centres located on the same site. It provides full-day care and education for up to 15 children under two years.

In 2012 there were major building redevelopments within the City Heights facilities including improvements to the older children’s playground and a new reception/administration block. The infants’ and toddlers’ indoor and outdoor environments were not upgraded.

Since the February 2010 ERO review, the teachers have made some progress in improving the records of learning. However, self-review practices require further development.

There has been a number of staff changes across the organisation. This includes staff leaving, new staff arriving and staff moving between the three centres.

Review Findings

Infants and toddlers benefit from nurturing and responsive relationships with their teachers. The teachers are affectionate with the infants and toddlers and know them and their families well. Parents are made to feel welcome on arrival and are comfortable to stay and settle their children. The teachers make time to talk with them about their child’s daily requirements.

Teachers’ interactions with the infants and toddlers are respectful. They give the infants and toddlers time to anticipate changes to routines, such as going to bed or meal times. The teachers effectively share information with each other about the infants’ and toddlers’ routines and care needs. They have effective systems to ensure children’s care needs are met.

Teachers respond to infants’ and toddlers’ interests and seek to extend and support these. ERO found that the indoor and outdoor environments do not sufficiently provide for infants’ and toddlers’ physical and intellectual stimulation. The environment is not well resourced and provides limited opportunities for exploration.

The teachers regularly reflect on how they can improve aspects of their programme and practices. Recently they have been using indicators of best practice for infant care and education as a starting point for reflection. The licensee provides very good support for ongoing professional development and training for teachers.

Key Next Steps

The licensee and managers need to develop a framework to guide effective decision making within the services. Many decisions are made in response to needs as they arise and some of the useful systems that have been developed have not yet been fully implemented.

Management acknowledges and ERO agrees that the next step for the service is to develop their overarching strategic direction. This includes:

  • clarifying the City Heights vision and philosophy
  • long and short-term planning that clearly identifies the service’s priorities and how it will achieve the vision
  • goals that are supported by appropriate actions and resources to enable them to be achieved
  • systematic monitoring of progress towards the goals
  • gathering evidence to demonstrate the achievement of the goals (linked to the services’ vision)
  • planning to improve the infants’ and toddlers’ indoor and outdoor environments.

When this occurs, the licensee and managers will have a more useful framework to support the systems that are in place. In addition, the decisions they make that affect children’s learning and wellbeing will be more considered and enduring.

The managers and teachers need to further develop their knowledge of self-review processes. The managers should ensure that the self-review schedule that has been developed is implemented. They then need to use the findings from self review to make improvements to the overall service. Reviews should include looking at all aspects of the effectiveness of the service’s processes and practices over time. The licensee and managers should review:

  • roles and responsibilities within the service
  • leadership development and succession planning
  • how adequately time is allocated for teachers to assess and plan for children’s learning and discuss and review their programmes.
  • how effectively they involve parents, staff and children in the decision making of the service.

Recommendation

ERO recommends that the licensee and managers develop an action plan to ensure that the next key steps are addressed. ERO has offered to support this process.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the management of City Heights 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:

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

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.

ERO identified an area of non-compliance. To address this centre managers must:

  • ensure that regular evacuation drills are carried out. Education (ECC) Regulations 1998 R.24(3)

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

17 June 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Dunedin

Ministry of Education profile number

83040

Licence type

Education and Care Service - All Day

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

15 children aged under 2

Service roll

10

Gender composition

Boys: 8 Girls: 2

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Asian

Other

7

1

2

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:3

Exceeds minimum requirements

 

Over 2

N/A

N/A

Review team on site

February 2012

Date of this report

17 June 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Supplementary Review

Education Review

Education Review

February 2010

January 2009

August 2005

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service 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 the service.