Education Angels In Home Childcare Wellington - 05/07/2019

1 Evaluation of Education Angels In Home Childcare Wellington

How well placed is Education Angels In Home Childcare Wellington to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Education Angels In Home Childcare Wellington requires further development to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

While much has been achieved to establish and grow this network, key aspects of practice relating to the quality of educator and teacher outcomes, and operational management, require strengthening.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

Education Angels In Home Childcare Wellington is one of seven home-based education and care networks owned and operated by Education Angels In Home Childcare Ltd (the organisation). The organisation has networks in both the North and South Islands. This network is licensed for 50 children, including up to 50 aged under two years. Of the 71 children enrolled, six are Māori. A large proportion of children enrolled are of Chinese origin.

The owners (managing directors) take responsibility for the business aspects of the organisation. An operations manager has oversight of administration, staffing and compliance matters. In this network, three qualified and registered visiting teachers (VTs) support in-home educators to provide suitable care and learning programmes for children. Two of the VTs joined the service at the beginning of this year.

The majority of educators have gained New Zealand Qualifications Authority Level 3 qualifications in childcare. The managing directors are working with the local polytechnic to organise Level 4 training for educators needing this in 2019.

The Education Angel’s philosophy emphasises the importance of providing a safe, caring and nurturing learning environment for children that embraces the cultural diversity of families.

This is the first review of Education Angels In Home Childcare Wellington.

The Review Findings

Children’s placement in the service is carefully considered in collaboration with families. They benefit from the ongoing opportunities for one-to-one interaction with their educators and learning alongside the small group of children sharing the home setting.

A wide range of experiences is offered in homes and the community. Many provide opportunities for socialising and networking. Planning for learning experiences has recently been revised to better reflect a strengthened focus on individual children’s interests. The next step is to measure the impact of these activities on children’s learning to support decisions about further development of the programme.

Children’s transition to primary school is supported by a range of information. VTs should consider researching best practice and further developing relationships with school personnel to enable them to continue to strengthen their approach.

Building purposeful relationships with families remains a development priority identified by leaders. Communication about children’s learning is regular. Newsletters and social events are offered. Good use is beginning to be made of online platforms to enhance two-way communication.

A strong commitment to implementing Treaty of Waitangi-based practice is expressed by leaders and VTs, and also articulated in the philosophy and strategic plan. Leaders should seek suitable connections to strengthen understanding of te ao Māori and support for the implementation of an authentic approach.

The quality of provision for learners with diverse needs continues to develop. Children from Chinese families, where English is a second language, are very well supported. Their programmes acknowledge their culture, identity and the importance of their first language. VTs have identified that further work needs to be undertaken to support their practice and knowledge of working with other groups of learners with additional needs, including those from Pacific ethnic groups, Māori, and infants and toddlers. This development should include learning opportunities and the production of written guidelines based on models of best practice.

Some good systems are in place to support educators in their roles, including ongoing support from VTs through their monthly visits and contact. However, the quality of VTs' visit notes should be improved to better support their educators' development and work with individual children. Stronger links between the educators' appraisal, their job descriptions, and the expectations of the organisation for their performance, should also be made.

The quality of educators’ planning for learning is variable. VTs are in the process of introducing a more responsive approach linked to individual children’s interests. This is in the early stages of implementation. Alongside this work it would be timely to:

  • review the philosophy to support shared understanding amongst new VTs and educators

  • clarify valued learning outcomes which should be highlighted in children's planning and VTs' feedback to educators

  • provide support for VTs and educators to implement the revised early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki

  • consider how parents’ and whānau aspirations are going to be gathered and acknowledged in the learning programme

  • develop clear guidelines and models for assessment practice to support educators to undertake assessment for learning

  • strengthen the focus of assessment on what is really significant for individual children and ways to progress their learning and development.

These steps, supported by professional learning and development for VTs should assist with the implementation of the new approach.

Some good processes are in place to induct VTs into the organisation and their roles. The appraisal process should provide good support for developing their practice. To further strengthen implementation, leaders need to provide clearer documentation of observations and feedback, and support for VTs to curate their evidence of meeting The Standards for the Teaching Profession.

The development of a sense of team is being well supported by the regular meetings between VTs and the wider group, and also those between the operations manager and managing director. Learning opportunities for VTs are encouraged and budgeted for.

A collaboratively developed strategic plan outlines a range of priorities and direction for the organisation. Identifying desired outcomes in relation to goals and actions should strengthen the measurement of progress and identification of next development steps. Alignment between long-term goals, planned internal evaluation and teachers’ appraisal should more strongly support ongoing decision making and improvement.

A suitable framework for internal evaluation has been adopted. VTs' understanding and use of the process should now be facilitated.

A range of good guidelines and processes is in place to support practice. However, some aspects of operation require further development:

  • policies and procedures should be collated and reviewed according to the policy schedule

  • to strengthen quality assurance, reporting between the VTs and operations manager, and operations manager and managing director, should be formalised and record a wider range of information linked to strategic priorities and health and safety. Regular audits of practice at both educator and VT levels should also be undertaken.

Key Next Steps

Priorities for this network are to:

  • support VTs and educators to implement effective planning and assessment practices and improve their knowledge of working with children with diverse needs

  • continue to work on building partnerships with parents and whānau

  • strengthen VTs' and educators' understanding of te ao Māori and Treaty of Waitangi-based practice

  • improve the implementation of the appraisal process

  • strengthen understanding and use of internal evaluation

  • ensure suitable quality assurance systems are in place at all levels of the organisation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Education Angels In Home Childcare Wellington 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.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance in curriculum. To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following areas:

  • ensure the service curriculum is informed by assessment, planning and evaluation (documented and undocumented) that demonstrates an understanding of children's learning, their interests, whānau and life contexts. 
    [Licensing Criteria for Home-based Education and Care Services 2008. C2]

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service, in consultation with the Ministry of Education, develops a plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

5 July 2019

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

47330

Institution type

Homebased Network

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 50 aged under 2

Service roll

71

Standard or Quality Funded

Standard

Gender composition

Male 37, Female 34

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Chinese
Other ethnic groups

6
43
21
1

Number of qualified coordinators in the network

3

Required ratios of educators to children

Under 2

1:2

Over 2

1:4

Review team on site

May 2019

Date of this report

5 July 2019

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

ERO’s Overall Judgement

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.