Educare Adventure - 07/06/2018

1 Evaluation of Educare Adventure

How well placed is Educare Adventure 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

Educare Adventure was established in 2017 and is situated in Whitby, north of Wellington. It offers all day education and care in a purpose-designed building. The service is licensed for 99 children including 20 aged up to two years.

The centre operates under the Educare Ltd management structure that owns 10 early childhood services across the North Island. The umbrella organisation provides administrative and professional support for all centres.

The newly-appointed centre manager oversees day-to-day management. An area manager has overall responsibility for the centre. A nutritionist prepares and provides healthy meals for the children.

This is the first report for Educare Adventure.

The Review Findings

The philosophy, centred on relationships, was developed in consultation with whānau in 2017 and incorporates the updated theories and pedagogy of Te Whāriki. The valued outcomes include respect, manaakitanga and enthusiasm for learning. These are evident in action.

The inspiring environment is strongly reflective of Reggio Emilia philosophy. The outdoor area reflects an emphasis on nature-based learning experiences and environmental sustainability. Teachers foster respectful relationships. Positive behaviour strategies are used by teachers to promote respectful interactions.

Children's problem solving, curiosity and experimentation are supported by teachers. They follow children's leads and skilfully support their developing confidence and independence as learners. Literacy, mathematics and science are promoted naturally within the range of learning opportunities available to children. Staff know individual children well and are highly responsive and respectful in their approach.

Infants and toddlers are respected as competent individuals. They benefit from closely attuned relationships with teachers. Families are welcomed and consulted to develop individualised care programmes. Care routines are valuable relationship-building opportunities. Interactions are warm, calm and peaceful. Teachers are responsive to children’s cues. Indoor and outdoor learning areas are spacious, and have been purposefully designed to support free movement and self-determined exploration.

Leaders and teachers are continuing to strengthen their bicultural approach. Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are evident in routines and resources. The newly-developed assessment tool to determine the effectiveness of the bicultural curriculum and understanding of te ao Māori should better support successful outcomes for Māori children. This is indicated in the service's future plans.

Leaders acknowledge the need for ongoing development of assessment and planning practices as new ways of working together are embedded. Current practices increasingly identify children’s learning pathways and link these to planning. There are opportunities for parents and whānau to contribute their perspectives to the design of the service’s curriculum. Online assessments take the form of learning stories and include videos of children’s participation in the inquiry programme and interviews where children talk about their own learning. A next step is for assessment to include reference to children's social and cultural worlds.

Transitions into, through and out of the centre are sensitively managed. A range of information is available for parents as children transition into local schools.

Children with diverse learning needs are well known and supported by teachers.

Detailed review has been undertaken about developing the learning environment in this new centre. This has drawn extensively on relevant research and has been an appropriate focus for staff development. It has helped to build shared understanding and ways of working together, encouraging ongoing reflection and informing change. A next step is to evaluate how effectively internal evaluation is promoting positive outcomes for children.

A comprehensive process is in place for teacher appraisal. It aligns to the philosophy and other organisational documents. Staff are supported to improve their practice through explicit feedback.

A well-defined strategic plan, developed by the centre manager, records and links all aspects of Educare Adventure documentation. Leaders and managers are clear about priorities for children and the direction for the service. The service is focused on growing leadership. Recent appointments have been made to increase leadership capacity in this rapidly growing centre.

Key Next Steps

Leaders and Educare management should continue to:

  • fully enact the bicultural plan

  • evaluate the effectiveness of internal evaluation undertaken

  • embed all aspects of assessment and planning processes.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Educare Adventure 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 Educare Adventure will be in three years.

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

7 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 Early Childhood Service

Location

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

47170

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

99 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll

91

Gender composition

Boys 52, Girls 39

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

  3
63
25

Percentage of qualified teachers

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

April 2018

Date of this report

7 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

First ERO report

 

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.