Creators Christian Childcare Centre - 16/03/2012

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Creators Christian Childcare Centre is located in the Hamilton suburb of Maeroa and provides education and care for children from three months to school age. The centre opened in March 2010 and is owned by a non-profit trust, affiliated to a local church. This is the first ERO review of the centre.

The centre is licensed for 50 children including 20 under two years. At the time of the review there were 72 children enrolled, including 13 under two and 8 Māori children. Two separate age-based areas are provided for children.

The director and centre manager have together successfully developed a clear vision and direction for the centre that is strongly based on Christian values. There is a safe, settled, inclusive atmosphere in the centre where children and their families have a firm sense of belonging.

Particular strengths of the centre identified in this report are:

  • a well-organised learning environment that supports children’s learning and care and enables them to make choices and explore their interests;
  • mutually respectful, affirming interactions and relationships between and among children and adults;
  • a high-quality learning programme that is increasingly responsive to children’s strengths and interests; and
  • a team of teachers who are enthusiastic about their roles and willing to reflect on their practice.

ERO and the centre agree that an important area for review and development is to continue to strengthen aspects of the learning programme.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO is likely to review the service again within three years.

2. Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Creators Christian Childcare Centre 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 atCreators Christian Childcare Centre.

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.

ERO’s findings in these areas are set out below.

The Quality of Education

Background

Since the centre opened at the beginning of 2010, the centre management and staff have worked towards establishing a clear philosophy of learning that supports the centre’s Christian vision and values. The centre is aiming to develop an increasingly child-led approach to programme planning that values children as confident and independent learners.

Areas of strength

Leadership: The director and manager have worked cooperatively to provide a clear vision and direction for the centre. They have successfully developed warm, positive relationships with children and their families, and have created a collegial team culture among staff. In a relatively short period of time, they have established clearly documented guidelines and expectations to inform parents and guide all aspects of centre operations. In addition, the director and manager are providing effective leadership in developing a systematic approach to self review and programme assessment and planning. They are ensuring the provision of good-quality professional development for staff. Effective leadership is contributing to a clear sense of purpose for ongoing centre development

Interactions: Interactions and relationships throughout the centre are positive and affirming. Teachers demonstrate high levels of dedication, commitment and enthusiasm for their roles. Features of their interactions with children include:

  • nurturing and responsive care for babies and toddlers;
  • engagement in conversations that extend children’s thinking and language skills;
  • positive guidance for behaviour management; and
  • the fostering of children’s independence and competence.

In addition, the centre is successfully developing a positive partnership with parents that supports children’s learning and well-being. Respectful interactions and relationships contribute to the calm and settled atmosphere that is a feature of the centre.

Programme: Children have access to a varied learning programme that is increasingly responsive to their identified interests and strengths. They are able to make choices, explore and pursue their interests for sustained periods of time. Teachers have developed an integrated project approach to programme planning that incorporates the development of early literacy, mathematics and science skills and concepts. Other features of the learning programme include:

  • flexible management of routines and transitions;
  • opportunities for physical challenge; and
  • promotion of children’s emerging capability, competence and independence.

Teachers record and document aspects of the programme in children’s individual creative story books and wall displays. These well-presented records allow children to revisit their learning and share it with family.

Environment: The learning environment has been designed to meet the education and care needs of babies, toddlers and older children in two separate age-based areas. Children are able to independently access an appropriate range of good-quality materials and equipment. A feature of the environment is a spacious outdoor area that provides opportunities for children to explore the natural world and participate in the care of gardens.

Agreed priorities

ERO and centre managers agree that an important priority for ongoing development is to further strengthen processes for programme planning and assessment. This should include giving consideration to:

  • improving the reflection of bicultural perspectives in the learning environment and programme, and greater recognition of the culture of individual children;
  • providing a wider range of activities available throughout each day to further engage children; and
  • adding complexity to children’s learning as they progress through the centre.

3. National Evaluation Topic

Overview

ERO provides information about the education system as a whole through its national reports. This information will be used as the basis for long term and systemic educational improvement.

Inclusion of children with moderate to severe special needs

As part of this review ERO evaluated the extent to which:

  • transitions ensure the continuing well-being, learning, and development of children with moderate to severe special needs
  • children with moderate to severe special needs supported to be confident and capable learners
  • the service is inclusive of children with moderate to severe special needs

Background

During the time of the review there were two children with identified special needs enrolled in the centre.

Areas of strength

Centre philosophy: The centre philosophy strongly recognises the strengths and inherent capability of all children. This is reflected in an inclusive, specific special needs policy, and in the calm settled atmosphere where all children are valued and respected.

Inclusive practice: ERO observed teachers to be caring and responsive in their relationships with children and their families. Transitions are well planned and reflect children’s individual needs. The centre works closely with families, outside agencies and specialists to implement individual education plans for children’s learning and care. Effective self-review and consultation processes ensure ongoing monitoring to meet the needs of children with special needs, and their families.

4. Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Creators Christian Childcare Centre completed an ERO CentreAssurance Statement andSelf-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.

In order to improve current practice, centre managers should review and evaluate procedures for monitoring earthquake safety, and the presentation of aspects of the environment in the under two area.

5. Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO is likely to review the service again within three years.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

About the Centre

Type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Roll number

72

Gender composition

Girls 37

Boys 35

Ethnic composition

New Zealand Pākehā/European 59

New Zealand Māori 8

Chinese 2

Indian 2

Cook Islands Māori 1

Review team on site

January 2012

Date of this report

16 March 2012

Previous ERO reports

This is the first ERO review for the centre

To the Parents and Community of Creators Christian Childcare Centre

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Creators Christian Childcare Centre.

Creators Christian Childcare Centre is located in the Hamilton suburb of Maeroa and provides education and care for children from three months to school age. The centre opened in March 2010 and is owned by a non-profit trust, affiliated to a local church. This is the first ERO review of the centre.

The centre is licensed for 50 children including 20 under two years. At the time of the review there were 72 children enrolled, including 13 under two and 8 Māori children. Two separate age-based areas are provided for children.

The director and centre manager have together successfully developed a clear vision and direction for the centre that is strongly based on Christian values. There is a safe, settled, inclusive atmosphere in the centre where children and their families have a firm sense of belonging.

Particular strengths of the centre identified in this report are:

  • a well-organised learning environment that supports children’s learning and care and enables them to make choices and explore their interests;
  • mutually respectful, affirming interactions and relationships between and among children and adults;
  • a high-quality learning programme that is increasingly responsive to children’s strengths and interests; and
  • a team of teachers who are enthusiastic about their roles and willing to reflect on their practice.

ERO and the centre agree that an important area for review and development is to continue to strengthen aspects of the learning programme.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO is likely to review the service again within 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.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)