Elim Christian Early Learning Centre - 11/03/2015

1 Evaluation of Elim Christian Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Elim Christian Early Learning Centre 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

Elim Christian Early Learning Centre serves families and children from the Whangarei District.

At the time of the 2012 ERO review, the centre was called New Beginnings Early Learning Centre. The change of name denotes the strengthened relationship with Elim Church and its business and education support network.

This centre offers full time and sessional education and care for 59 children up to five years, including up to 15 children aged up to two years of age. Infants and toddlers have a separate area to interact and play. Forty percent of the children who attend the centre are Māori.

Teachers plan programmes that reflect Christian values and the principles of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. The centre’s philosophy emphasises the importance of children becoming confident and competent learners and of teachers valuing the uniqueness of each child and their spirituality.

Centre leaders have responded positively to the 2012 ERO report. They have implemented its recommendations by providing children with richer learning opportunities and improving planning and assessment. Improved self-review processes and targeted professional learning and development have helped address these and other areas for development identified by centre management.

The Review Findings

Teachers warmly welcome children and their parents/whānau to the centre. The calm, positive tone contributes to children settling to their play and connecting well with each other and their teachers. Trusting relationships between adults and between adults and children, contribute to good quality learning interactions. Children have a strong sense of belonging. They are confident and cooperate well to support each other’s play.

Active participation of parents in the life of the centre is encouraged and well supported by teachers. Parents report that their perspectives of their children are valued by teachers. Records of children’s learning show that parent input is increasing. The centre is strengthening the extent to which its partnerships with parents and whānau are focused on children’s learning.

Children’s transitions to and within the centre are well managed. The centre has established successful partnerships with local schools and this is enhancing older children’s experience of transitioning to school.

Children experience good quality literacy and science learning opportunities in the centre’s richly resourced environment. The centre management team has appropriately identified mathematics as an area for further development. The team is also considering how to make some of the centre’s resources more available to children to support their active exploration.

Provision for children less than two years of age is well considered and nurturing. Teachers are sensitive to children’s preferences and requirements. They interact with infants and toddlers in a calm, unhurried way. Centre management has identified how to support teachers to further promote young children’s exploration.

Māori children’s culture and identity are well promoted. Teachers enact the bicultural principles of Te Whāriki by taking time to get to know Māori children and their whānau. As a result of findings from recent self review, managers now plan to increase the visibility of Māori culture in the centre’s environment and support staff to be more confident and capable in contributing to a bicultural curriculum.

The centre manager provides strong centre direction focused on improving outcomes for children. She has the trust and support of supervisors and staff. Teachers appreciate the way their views and contributions are valued by centre managers.

Very good support from Elim Church, the centre’s umbrella organisation, helps to ensure that governance and management are efficient and effective. Operational systems and processes are well connected and support a professional culture that is focused on what is best for children. Self review is used for ongoing centre improvement. The management team plans to strengthen review processes by including more ideas and contributions from parents, whānau and children.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre managers discussed the following key next steps to support ongoing improvement:

  • refining appraisal to help teachers reflect on ways they could extend children’s learning
  • forming shared centre expectations that outline what effective teaching looks like for different age groups.

ERO is confident that the centre has the capacity and capability through its good quality leadership and effective long-term planning to sustain its development.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Elim Christian Early Learning Centre 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 Elim Christian Early Learning Centre will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

11 March 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

Morningside, Whangarei

Ministry of Education profile number

10427

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

59 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll

98

Gender composition

Boys 52 Girls 46

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

South East Asian

other

40

38

4

16

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

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2015

Date of this report

11 March 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2012

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.