Elim Early Learning Centre - 15/04/2019

1 Evaluation of Elim Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Elim Early Learning Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Elim Early Learning Centre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Elim Early Learning Centre is licensed to provide full-day education and care for 25 children, including seven under the age of two years. Children come from a diverse range of ethnic backgrounds, with some families having English as their second language. The centre is governed by a charitable trust and is situated within the Elim Church building in Christchurch.

The centre manager works with the head teacher to provide leadership for the curriculum and the daily programme. The head teacher was appointed in late 2018, and since the 2015 ERO review, there have been a number of changes in the teaching team. All teachers are qualified and registered early childhood teachers.

Leaders and teachers have made good progress in addressing the areas identified for improvement in the 2015 ERO report.

Key elements of the centre's philosophy include Christian values and aspects of Te Whāriki (2017), the NZ Early Childhood Curriculum. The philosophy also identifies what the centre values, such as:

  • caring, inclusive environments

  • strong relationships with children and their families

  • learning that inspires children to grow into competent, confident learners and communicators.

The learning priorities for children at this centre have been identified as early literacy and numeracy, technology, the visual arts, social competency, risk taking, resilience and healthy bodies.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from intentional teaching that extends their interests and learning. Teachers provide a rich curriculum and an environment that empowers children to explore, create and investigate many opportunities for meaningful learning. Children have quality learning interactions with their teachers that help them to make connections with their lives beyond the centre and deepen their thinking. Children's diverse cultures are reflected in assessment and planning for their ongoing learning.

Younger children in the nursery enjoy consistent caregiving and nurturing relationships with a primary caregiver. They experience close connections with a small number of familiar adults. Their routines are carefully monitored, shared with parents, and respectfully managed to provide continuity between the centre and home. Parents are kept well informed about their child's learning and wellbeing.

Teachers are focused on ensuring inclusive and equitable learning outcomes for all children. They work with families to access external support. Children with additional learning needs, are very carefully planned for and their progress is monitored.

Teachers know the children’s interests, strengths and dispositions of the children. Individuals' and groups' learning is well planned. Children benefit from the way teachers carefully listen to them, respond to their questions and ideas, and value their contributions. The centre manager has identified, and ERO agrees, that teachers’ assessment and planning could be more consistent.

The centre’s community partnerships enrich and extend children’s learning and knowledge of cultures. Community members and some parents share the knowledge, resources and expertise that reflect their different cultural backgrounds. Learning programmes also include elements of Māori culture.

Leaders have a strong focus on building professional practice and knowledge. Teachers' strengths and interests are recognised and utilised in ways that help to build leadership capacity across the centre. External professional learning opportunities undertaken by the board, manager, leaders and teachers are clearly linked to children's identified needs.

The centre manager has high expectations for teaching, learning, coaching and mentoring. Centre operations are very well managed. Internal evaluation is focused on continuous improvement and positive outcomes for children. Coherent strategic and annual planning clearly identifies the centre's priorities and goals for achieving the vision and are regularly monitored. Teacher appraisal is supporting teachers to continue to build and improve their professional practice.

Key Next Steps

Leaders have identified and ERO agrees that greater consistency in assessment, planning and evaluation of children's learning and their progress is needed.

It is now timely to evaluate how well the centre's curriculum is achieving its priorities for children's learning.

Further next steps for this centre are to continue to strengthen:

  • the distribution of leadership roles, team work and collaboration across the teaching team

  • home-centre partnerships that are focused on children's learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Elim 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.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services

Southern Region

15 April 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 Early Childhood Service

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

65164

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 7 aged under 2

Service roll

29

Gender composition

Boys 14

Girls 15

Ethnic composition

Pākehā
Other ethnicities

12
17

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:5

Meets minimum requirements

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2019

Date of this report

15 April 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

October 2015

Education Review

June 2013

Supplementary Review

March 2010

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

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.