Discoveries Educare Target Road - 14/09/2015

1 Evaluation of Discoveries Educare Target Road

How well placed is Discoveries Educare Target Road 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

Discoveries Educare Target Road opened in February 2014. The service is licensed to provide education and care for 100 children, including 25 children up to two years of age. It currently has a roll of 50 children. This is the centre’s first ERO report.

Children are grouped in three rooms according to age. Outdoor play spaces are accessible from all rooms and provide mixed play opportunities for those children who are over two years of age. The centre serves a culturally diverse community. It has a significant number of New Zealand European, Indian, Filipino and Chinese children as well as others with Pacific, Asian and Middle Eastern heritage. Staff reflect the diverse backgrounds of many of the children and their families.

The Discoveries Educare organisation owns nine centres across Auckland. It provides governance and administrative systems, including a policy and procedural framework for the centre. Leadership is provided by the licensee, owner, business manager and centre manager. An operations manager has recently been appointed. The business manager provides regular professional guidance and support for teachers across the Discoveries Educare organisation.

The centre manager, together with two head teachers, manages the day-to-day operations of centre and the programmes in the rooms. Staff have delegated responsibilities for providing experiences and particular activities for children. Seven teachers are qualified and two are in training. The current ratio of staff to children is better than minimum requirements.

Teachers have recently reviewed the centre philosophy. They express a strong commitment to promoting children as competent and confident learners through responsive and reciprocal relationships.

The Review Findings

Children, parents and whānau are welcomed into the centre. Respectful relationships are a feature, and the focus is on valuing each child as a unique individual. The centre programme acknowledges children’s cultural backgrounds and teachers demonstrate a commitment to bicultural practices. Diversity is celebrated through cultural events and environment displays. Teachers are intent on developing a curriculum that includes more about the languages, cultures and identities of all children.

Children are settled and have a good sense of belonging in the centre. Teachers encourage children to engage well independently and alongside each other. Teachers’ conversations support children to explore their interests. Strengthening these interactions could help teachers to extend children’s thinking, problem solving and the complexity of their play.

Programmes reflect the centre philosophy and the principles of the early childhood curriculum. Teachers observe and identify the emerging interests and themes evident in children's play. They then plan activities and provide opportunities that are relevant for children. Teachers are now well placed to enrich their programme planning to support children’s purposeful engagement in extended learning.

Infants and toddlers are well cared for in an attractive, spacious environment that allows for quiet care, individual exploration and physical movement. Teachers’ calm, gentle interactions support a programme that is responsive to children’s preferences and routines. Leaders plan to review their provision for children up to two years of age using ERO’s evaluation indicators. They intend to share the outcomes of this review with parents and whānau. This approach could promote greater parent understanding of the centres' programme and practices for infants and toddlers.

Records of children’s learning are displayed for children and their whānau. There is very good information available for parents about the overall programme and their own child’s learning. Recently introduced e-portfolios provide parents and whānau with access to their child’s ongoing learning and development. Portfolios are sometimes translated into the child’s first language. This helps to increase parents' contribution to their child’s learning in the centre.

The centre has developed its performance appraisal processes to support the ongoing growth and development of staff. Further refining the appraisal process to include observational evidence aligned with the practising teacher criteria would promote consistent understanding and expectations for teaching. It would also help to ensure the process for appraisals achieves a reasonable standard.

With the appointment of an operations manager, management need to provide greater clarity regarding the roles and responsibilities of leaders. Providing ongoing professional leadership training could also be beneficial. These actions would encourage a more cohesive and effective leadership approach to supporting teachers, children, families and whānau.

 ERO affirms the steps taken by centre leaders and teachers towards better documenting self review and increasing the depth of their reflection on the effectiveness of centre practice in promoting positive outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Discoveries Educare Target Road 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 Discoveries Educare Target Road will be in three years. 

Graham Randell
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

14 September 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

Glenfield, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

46373

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

100 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll

50

Gender composition

Boys      34
Girls       16

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Chinese
Filipino
Indian
Tongan
Middle Eastern
African
Korean
Samoan
Thai

  1
11
  9
  8
  8
  4
  3
  2
  2
  1
  1

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

July 2015

Date of this report

14 September 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports

 

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.