Elizabeth Avenue Childcare Centre - 19/02/2019

1 Evaluation of Elizabeth Avenue Childcare Centre

How well placed is Elizabeth Avenue Childcare Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Elizabeth Avenue Childcare Centre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Elizabeth Avenue Childcare Centre is a privately owned service located in Upper Hutt. It provides all‑day education and care for 37 children, including 15 up to the age of two years. Of the 52 enrolled, eight identify as Māori. Two separate learning areas cater for the different age groups.

A head teacher is responsible for overseeing staffing and programme development. She is supported by two managers who report to the service provider. All seven permanently employed staff are registered teachers.

A recent change in leadership has occurred, with the long-term head teacher taking a management role for the service provider and a new leader appointed from existing staff.

The centre philosophy highlights the importance of respectful interactions, parent partnerships, child-led learning and family.

Progress has been made in addressing the areas identified for development in the March 2016 ERO report. These included: lifting the quality of teachers practice; provision of a culturally responsive curriculum; and reviewing policies and procedures.

The Review Findings

Leaders and teachers actively identify initiatives to promote ongoing improvement in outcomes for children. The philosophy guiding learning and teaching has been reviewed. Indicators of good practice have been created to support a shared understanding of teaching behaviours and desired child outcomes. The development of purposeful relationships with families is prioritised.

Good provision is made for children under two years. In the infants' area, consistent staffing and flexible routines, based on individual children's needs and rhythms, are in place. A good range of learning materials support play and exploration. Children are confident in their special space. 

Inclusive practice is evident. Teachers discuss and share information about children with additional needs. Interactions between children and teachers are respectful and positive. High levels of reciprocal engagement are sustained. Relationships are trusting and warm. Positive guidance is used consistently. Leaders agree a next step is to strengthen culturally responsive practice, particularly in relation to provision for Pacific children.

Learning environments are well resourced to support children's interests and engagement. Children have choices about their participation and show confidence as learners. They benefit from teachers' support and demonstrate a strong sense of belonging.

Positive changes to the programme include an increased focus on individual children's learning, emerging ideas and interests, and seeking parents' aspirations as a basis for planning. Comprehensive information about children is shared with parents. Teachers in the preschool area should continue to develop strategies that support child-initiated play and independent learning choice. 

Children's transitions into and through the centre are well supported. Targeted programmes prepare older children for school. Next steps, to enhance the transition-to-school process, are for teachers to develop a more deliberate approach to sharing information about individual children with new entrant teachers to support continuity of their learning.

Some progress has been made with the integration of a bicultural perspective into the programme. This has been supported by professional learning and development (PLD) for teachers. Leaders agree to continue to seek connections with local Māori and whānau to enrich the approach and support shared understanding of Māori cultural success as Māori.

Teachers have taken part in PLD to implement the revised early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki. Some aspects are now woven into centre planning and teachers' reflections on their practice.  Further work on identifying valued learning and developing a localised curriculum are next steps agreed by leaders. This work is planned in conjunction with the next review of the philosophy.

Programme evaluation supports collaborative reflection on teaching and learning. Developing more explicit measureable learner outcomes and teacher strategies to achieve these is a next step. This should assist teachers to better measure the effectiveness of their strategies and programmes for supporting children's learning goals and pathways.

The centre is well led. The team works cohesively and collaboratively in meeting responsibilities to drive improvement in outcomes for children. Regular visits and constructive feedback from managers promotes improved practice and accountability. Distributed leadership opportunities support teacher growth, learning and participation in decision making.

A recent review of appraisal has informed policy and procedure changes. Further development, clarification and consistency in implementation of centre appraisal procedures is needed to better support teacher professional growth. This should include:

  • strengthening teacher inquiries  
  • making teacher goals more measurable and explicit in relation to outcomes for children
  • involving teachers more in deciding the focus of observations of their practice, and exploring The Standards for the Teaching Profession in relation to their roles
  • extending the annual appraisal summary so that it better reflects teachers' strengths and next steps.

A collaborative team approach to review, and regular reflection support ongoing improvement and affirm practice. Next steps are for teachers to further develop shared understanding of the internal evaluation process to inform sustained centre improvement.

Effective governance and management are in place. A good range of recently reviewed policies guide practice and operation. Further development of strategic planning using measureable success indicators is a next step.

Key Next Steps

Priorities for leaders and teachers are to strengthen:

  • culturally responsive practice
  • local Māori perspectives and contexts in the curriculum
  • the consistency and rigour of the teacher appraisal procedures
  • understanding and use of internal evaluation

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Elizabeth Avenue Childcare 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.

Actions for compliance

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

  • secure heavy items likely to fall and cause an injury in the event of an earthquake
  • improve the soft-fall material around the infant slide.

[Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, HS6, PF14]

In order to improve current practice the service provider should ensure risk assessment for excursions is improved and extend the daily hazard check.

Since the on-site stage of the ERO review, the service has provided evidence to show these concerns have been addressed.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Elizabeth Avenue Childcare Centre will be in three years.

Alan Wynyard
Director Review and Improvement Services Southern
Southern Region

19 February 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

Upper Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

60366

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

37 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll

46

Gender composition

Girls 23, Boys 23

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

10
27
  9

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

1:9

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2018

Date of this report

19 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2016

Education Review

January 2013

Education Review

February 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 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.