Creators@Home - Wellington/Kapiti - 14/06/2018

1 Evaluation of Creators@Home - Wellington/Kapiti

How well placed is Creators@Home - Wellington/Kapiti 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

Creators@Home - Wellington/Kapiti, is a home-based education and care network operated by Creators Education Trust, a not-for-profit organisation that owns a range of early learning services nationally. The network is licensed to provide care and education for 80 children, including 80 aged up to two years. Of the 23 children enrolled, 14 are Māori.

Prior to 2014, this service was known as Footsteps Education Wellington/Kapiti. The October 2013 ERO report of the Footsteps service identified a range of practices requiring further development. Creators Education Trust worked in consultation with the Ministry of Education to meet full licensing conditions for all of its home-based services. This is the first review of this network since that time.

A national coordinator has oversight of all Creators early learning services. In the home-based services, regional leaders are responsible for managing the work of the visiting teachers. In this network, one visiting teacher and the regional leader work together to support in-home educarers to provide suitable care and learning programmes for children.

Three models of support are in place: 'At home', where educarers care for children in private homes; 'Awhi' for caregivers of children uplifted from their families by Oranga Tamariki; and 'Awhi whānau' for whānau caring for the children of family members. The majority of children in this network are supported by the Awhi model.

The Creators@Home philosophy emphasises the importance of strong, loving relationships, the uniqueness of each child, provision of rich educational experiences for tamariki and respect for Māori as tangata whenua. The Reggio Emilia approach is also a key aspect of the philosophy.

At the time of this ERO review, the trust board is considering restructuring and redefining strategic intent for the organisation. An acting chief executive is providing operational leadership in the interim.

This review was part of a cluster of four home-based education and care networks in the Creators Education Trust Organisation.

The Review Findings

Leaders and the visiting teachers have a very inclusive approach, working hard to remove barriers to participation in the service. All children are supported to engage in a range of learning experiences in the home and can participate in organised playgroups. These opportunities also support social networking for educarers and ways of working. Children with additional learning and health needs are well catered for. Local agency support and special resources are accessed to assist those who need these.

Educarers receive good support to promote children's learning and wellbeing. Communication with whānau about children in this regard is regular. The use of on-line platforms have improved the two-way sharing of information. Leaders continue to explore strategies for building purposeful partnerships with parents and whānau.

Children's emerging interests and needs are responded to through the in-home curriculum. The visiting teacher and regional leader effectively engage with educarers to identify and record aspects of children's learning and support their progress. Continuity of learning is promoted through revisiting and reflecting on special achievements to identify next learning steps. Building educarers' capacity to understand the process of learning, seeking parents and whānau input into children's learning plans and strengthening the reflection of children's language culture and identity in their learning journals, is developing.

Children’s transitions into and out of the service are carefully considered and undertaken, where possible, in collaboration with their families. The visiting teacher agrees she should continue to develop relationships with school personnel and research best practice to strengthen the approach.

Educarers receive a good induction for their role. Regular mentoring, feedback, monitoring of practice and ongoing guidance matched to individual needs are provided. Service leaders have identified the following priorities for improving educarer practice:

  • developing more defined expectations for, and robust support plans to strengthen, educarers' professional learning

  • continuing to build educarers' understanding of high quality provision for infants and toddlers through more explicit guidelines that detail expectations Creators has for practice.

Effective programme evaluation at visiting teacher, regional leader and educarer levels is not yet in place.

The national coordinator, regional leader and visiting teacher work well together as a team, supporting each other in their roles. A culture characterised by warmth and care for others is evident. Regular meetings, peer observations and feedback are focused on professional growth and outcomes for children. Development and learning opportunities are provided.

Service leaders and the visiting teacher recognise that to further improve practice they need to:

  • develop more culturally responsive practice and operation that acknowledges the intent of the Treaty of Waitangi and supports implementation of a bicultural curriculum

  • revise the service philosophy to clarify the valued outcomes for children's learning, then identify the key actions required at all levels of the service to achieve these outcomes

  • consider how the values of Creators, Te Whāriki, the Reggio Emilia approach and a bicultural context weave together and inform the service curriculum

  • implement a performance development process that supports the national coordinator in her leadership role and strengthens professional dialogue about the home-based services at regional and executive level

  • develop clearer reporting lines linked to visiting teachers' home visits and implementation of agreed practice to provide better assurance at executive level that expectations are being consistently met

  • strengthen visiting teachers' and regional leaders' appraisal, through an inquiry-based approach, goals linked to service and personal development plans and the provision of constructive feedback linked to the standards of teaching for the profession.

Useful guidelines are in place to support service operation. A priority for the board is re-establishing strategic intent and reviewing the organisation of governance. ERO identified the need for this work to focus on:

  • long-term strategic plans for the home-based networks to progress development of these

  • ensuring shared understanding of service and legislative requirements across the organisation

  • prioritising child outcomes, the development of Treaty-based practices and the work undertaken with vulnerable children and their families

  • aligning strategic goals with teacher development, board reporting and planned internal evaluation to support sustained progress and improvement.

In order to further build capability and sustainability, the development of a suitable process to support evaluation and decision making about change and improvement is a priority at all levels of the organisation.

Key Next Steps

ERO, the national coordinator, regional leader and visiting teacher agree that priorities are to:

  • progress the identified priorities for improving service leader, visiting teacher and educarer practice

  • review governance and strategic intent to better support organisational improvement

  • develop robust review and internal evaluation processes and practice at all levels of the organisation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Creators@Home - Wellington/Kapiti completed an ERO Home-based Education and Care 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.

In order to improve current practice the service provider should ensure that:

  • guidelines and practices for excursions are reviewed and clarified especially in relation to the management of risk

  • processes for monitoring children's sleep in homes follow service guidelines.

Recommendation

The service will provide ERO with an action plan that shows how the key next steps will be addressed. ERO will request progress updates.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Creators@Home - Wellington/Kapiti will be within three years.

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

14 June 2018

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 Home-based Education and Care Service

Location

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

30223

Institution type

Homebased Network

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

80 children, including up to 80 aged under 2

Service roll

23

Standard or Quality Funded

Standard

Gender composition

Girls 13, Boys 10

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

14
4
5

Number of qualified coordinators in the network

One

Required ratios of educators to children

Under 2

1:2

Over 2

1:4

Review team on site

February 2018

Date of this report

14 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2013

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 the draft methodology for ERO reviews in Home-based Education and Care Services: July 2008

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.