Educare Kapiti - 30/06/2017

1 Evaluation of Educare Kāpiti

How well placed is Educare Kāpiti 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 Kāpiti was established in 2015 and is situated in the coastal town of Paraparaumu, north of Wellington. It offers all day education and care in a purpose-designed building. The service is licenced for 70 children including 20 aged under two years. Currently there are 25 Māori children on the roll.

The centre operates under the Educare Ltd management structure that owns 12 early childhood services across the North Island. The umbrella organisation provides administrative and professional support for all centres.

The newly-appointed centre manager, who oversees day-to-day management, is an experienced early childhood practitioner. An area manager has overall responsibility for the centre.

Since purchasing the building the centre has been extensively renovated to include three age-related learning spaces, decking and outdoor areas which are made attractive by extensive planting.

The service has recently purchased a van to support whānau and tamariki with transport to enable their participation in early childhood education. A nutritionist prepares and provides healthy meals for the children.

This is the first report for Educare Kāpiti.

The Review Findings

The philosophy reflects the aims of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and emphasises strong partnership between the centre, children, parents and whānau. A clear commitment to Te Tiriti O Waitangi is evident in the programme.

Children can independently access a wide range of natural resources to challenge and support their learning. This promotes children’s sense of belonging, and encourages them to express their ideas and direct their own learning. Children move freely between the carefully designed, spacious learning spaces and outdoors. Tuakana/teina relationships are evident among the younger and older children as they learn from and support each other.

There is a strong focus on environmental sustainability. Children have opportunities to learn about the importance of caring for the environment.

Teachers are motivated and reflective practitioners. They listen and respond to children, engaging them in a range of learning and play experiences. A focused group time with older children provides opportunities for developing leadership and social competencies.

Teachers are very responsive to the non-verbal cues of very young children. Respectful practice is highly evident in all interactions. Infants and toddlers benefit from a calm, nurturing environment. Positive, polite and secure child and teacher relationships foster a strong sense of self for the child. The importance of play as a vehicle for learning is valued.

The recently appointed centre manager has identified that individual assessment, planning and evaluation requires strengthening. She has initiated useful strategies to build and further develop teachers' understanding of a cyclical planning process that regularly draws on parent and whānau aspirations. This is in the early stage of implementation. ERO affirms this direction.

Group planning is based on children's emerging interests and provides new experiences for all children. Local excursions, events and celebrations extend the programme provided.

A new framework for internal evaluation for improvement has been recently implemented. This should effectively guide the centre's motivation to improve and result in positive learning outcomes for all children.

Leaders and teachers are committed and responsive to preparing children to confidently transition to school. Useful strategies and initiatives to support them and their families are in development.

Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori is highly evident and valued. Te ao Māori is visible through artefacts, symbols, written prompts and other resources. Children benefit from regular and meaningful korero with confident te reo speaking teachers. Leaders believe the bicultural programme and positive whānau relationships provide a strong foundation for the centre's upcoming focus on promoting educational success for Māori children. ERO agrees.

The diverse cultures of enrolled children are not yet highly evident in the programme. ERO sighted documentation indicating that the new leadership will support teachers to more regularly and meaningfully draw on children's culture, language and identity.

A comprehensive process is in place for teacher appraisal. It aligns to the philosophy and other organisational documents. Staff are supported to improve their performance. Explicit feedback and feedforward would further support professional growth.

The new centre manager is very well supported by senior management in the Educare organisation. Leaders and the newly established teaching team are focused on ensuring high quality outcomes for all children in the service. 

Key Next Steps

Leaders and Educare management should continue to:

  • strengthen the cycle of assessment, planning and evaluation

  • embed the new framework for internal evaluation

  • enhance educational outcomes for Māori children

  • develop strategies to support children and their families transition to school.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

30 June 2017

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

Paraparaumu

Ministry of Education profile number

46776

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

70 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll

54

Gender composition

Boys 28, Girls 26

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Samoan
Asian
Other ethnic groups

25
15
3
4
7

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

May 2017

Date of this report

30 June 2017

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.