Edukids Styxmill - 30/10/2018

1 Evaluation of Edukids Styxmill

How well placed is Edukids Styxmill to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Edukids Styxmill is well placed, with support from BestStart Educare Ltd, to provide education and care for children.

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

Background

Edukids Styxmill operates under the BestStart Educare Ltd management structure. BestStart is a large national organisation which owns early childhood centres across Aotearoa New Zealand.

The centre is licensed to provide education and care for 72 children, including up to 22 children under two years of age. The teaching programme is organised across three separate rooms, with different age groups in each room. An additional room is currently being used for children to take part in gym activities. Each of the classrooms is connected to outside play areas, with infants and toddlers having separate play space.

A centre manager (CM) oversees the day-to-day operation of the centre. Head teachers lead the programmes and practices in each room. A BestStart business manager (BM) and professional services manager (PSM) visit regularly to support the service. Most staff are trained early childhood teachers. A new CM was appointed in 2017. Since the 2015 ERO review, there have been significant staff changes.

Edukids Styxmill were hosts to another early learning centre, sharing staff and premises for approximately nine months during 2017 and 2018. This arrangement resulted from fire damage to the other centre's premises.

The centre's vision is, 'to be the best we can be'. The centre philosophy is currently undergoing review. The centre's draft philosophy is structured around the three key concepts of teaching, learning and nurturing. Since the 2015 ERO review, the centre has addressed one of several areas identified for improvement. Improvements have been made to resourcing of learning environments for children. Other areas for improvement identified in the 2015 ERO report continue to require further development, as outlined in this report.

The Review Findings

The emotional and physical wellbeing of infants and toddlers is effectively supported by teachers. They are aware of, and responsive to, infants’ and babies' non-verbal cues, emerging communication and developing language. They build trusting, nurturing relationships with children and provide unhurried, calm caregiving practices.

Leaders foster collaborative ways of working to build teachers' shared understanding and expectations. This has led to:

  • increased teacher consistency in supporting children's self-management

  • improved use of resources and the learning environment

  • more thoughtful transition practices into the centre, between rooms, and onto school.

Teachers effectively use observations and interactions with children to build a picture of what children know and can do. Children's interests are reflected in the programme. Teachers focus on children's wellbeing and sense of belonging. Children learn in positive learning environments where routines are well known and predictable. The environment provides a range of options for indoor and outdoor exploration.

Teachers encourage children's independence, support their ability to problem solve and gain confidence, and affirm their efforts and successes. Oral language is fostered through modelling, open-ended questions, and discussions that promote children's thinking.

The centre is receiving appropriate support through the PSM's and BM's responsiveness to identified needs of the centre. The CM and head teachers receive regular feedback about how well processes and practices are being implemented and how well the organisation's expectations are being met. This supports and promotes professional discussion and informs provision of professional learning and development.

Key Next Steps

The PSM, BM and CM have self-identified many of the next steps also identified by ERO in this report. There is agreement that:

  • recently-introduced assessment, planning and evaluation systems to support children's learning, need to be fully implemented and embedded

  • a systematic approach to unpacking Te Whāriki 2017 (The Early Childhood Curriculum) and its implications for teaching and learning is needed, so that it is more evident and visible in children's assessments and planning

  • internal evaluation needs strengthening, so that it shows greater depth of critical thinking and better prioritises aspects of practice that have the most impact on outcomes for children

  • greater emphasis needs to be placed on realising the centre’s commitment to the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and to increasing te ao Māori perspectives in learning programmes.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Edukids Styxmill 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 Edukids Styxmill will be in three years.

Alan Wynyard Director Review & Improvement Services 

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

30 October 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

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

70011

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

72 children, including up to 22 aged under 2

Service roll

57

Gender composition

Boys: 34

Girls: 23

Ethnic composition

Māori 3

Pākehā 39

African 5

Other ethnicities 10

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

September 2018

Date of this report

30 October 2018

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

March 2015

August 2011

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.