Fairy Godmothers Inc Ltd Network 3 - 16/06/2011

 

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Fairy Godmothers Inc Ltd provides a home-based education and care service for children and families on the Hibiscus Coast, Whangaparaoa, and some areas of the North Shore and north-west of Auckland. The service has experienced significant roll growth since its establishment in 2006 and now caters for 146 children across three networks, compared with 20 enrolled children at the time of the 2008 ERO reports. This ERO report comments on Network 3. Networks 1 and 2 have been reported on separately.

Fairy Godmothers Inc. operates as one organisation with a shared management structure and operational systems. The organisation employs five registered teachers to provide professional leadership and to ensure that regulatory requirements are met. Two support staff manage the administrative and financial aspects of the service. The management group provides effective leadership and demonstrates a strong commitment to home-based care and positive outcomes for children.

Care-educators work in their own homes to provide care and education for up to four children at any one time. In this network 24 educators care for 66 children. Useful systems are in place to promote children’s health and wellbeing and to ensure that good quality care is provided. Children benefit from the small group sizes and close family-like relationships formed in the home-based setting. Parents report that they are highly satisfied with the service.

Children’s learning and development are generally well supported. ERO observed some examples of high quality programmes where children’s knowledge and abilities were skilfully fostered. While the quality of education provided is dependent on the knowledge and experience of the care-educator, all educators use children’s interests to help determine their programmes. Good use is made of community facilities to enrich children’s experiences. Lead teachers provide care-educators with clear, affirming guidance around teaching and learning practices.

The director and lead teachers agree that as the service continues to grow, their challenge is to sustain the good quality practices that have been established and to make further improvements in the quality of provision. A key focus is to continue building care-educators’ understanding of, and responsiveness to, the different phases of children’s learning and development.

Future Action

ERO will review the service again in three years.

2. Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Fairy Godmothers Inc Network 3 was invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO. ERO also used documentation provided by Fairy Godmothers Inc Network 3 to contribute to the scope of the review.

The detailed priorities for review were then determined following a discussion between the ERO review team and the management and staff. This discussion focused on existing information held by the service (including self-review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to positive outcomes for children atFairy Godmothers Inc Network 3.

All ERO education reviews in early childhood focus on the quality of education. For ERO this includes the quality of:

  • the programme provided for children
  • the learning environment
  • the interactions between children and adults.

The Quality of Education

Background

This ERO review of Fairy Godmothers Inc. (FGI) is informed by the organisation’s documentation, visits to homes selected by FGI, observations of a playgroup, interviews with care-educators and FGI staff, and written feedback from parents.

In 2008 FGI had two networks, which together enrolled 20 children. There are now three networks for the service catering for 146 children. The staff of qualified, registered teachers has grown from three to five.

Areas of good performance

Professional leadership. The service is well led by the director, lead teachers and support staff. They have high expectations for the service and of their care-educators. Lead teachers meet regularly, share their expertise, and take collective responsibility for ensuring accountability and professional growth across the service.

Modelling and guidance. Lead teachers build care-educators’ understanding of children’s learning and development by demonstrating effective teaching practice and providing regular, specific feedback. They develop resources that help educators to expand the range of experiences they provide for children. Care-educators value the visits and their contact with lead teachers, and the regular professional development that is provided through the organisation.

Ongoing review. FGI staff reflect on the organisation’s systems and practices and make adjustments where needed. A current area of review is induction information, which should help to clarify FGI expectations for new care-educators. FGI makes ongoing improvements to the quality of the service provided for children, families and care educators.

Relationships. Very good levels of attachment were observed between children and care-educators. Children settle quickly, appear secure and trust that their needs will be met. Care-educators are warm, affectionate and affirming of children. Children’s behavioural and social needs are managed in calm and effective ways. Parents report a high level of satisfaction with the service and with the quality of care their children receive.

Supporting children’s learning and development. Children observed during this review were generally well engaged in learning. A development since the 2008 ERO review is a greater emphasis on children’s independence and self-management skills. Care-educators provide activities based on what they have noticed about children’s interests. Some care-educators are highly skilled at supporting children’s learning through responsive interactions and meaningful, challenging activities. These practitioners would provide good role models for less experienced educators.

Learning environments. For the most part, home environments are well resourced with play equipment and learning materials. FGI provides care educators with fixed equipment, such as cots, car seats and buggies, and has a library of educational equipment for loan. Programmes in care-educators’ homes are supplemented by the use of local facilities and amenities. Playgroups organised by FGI are well run and well attended. Children benefit from experiencing a variety of environments and a range of learning opportunities.

Promoting children’s health and wellbeing. Effective systems have been developed to help ensure that environments are safe. Lead teachers undertake regular checks in care-educator homes for safety and children’s wellbeing, and care-educators record information related to children’s health as required. External support is accessed if a parent, care-educator or lead teacher identifies a concern about a child’s development. Children with special needs are well catered for.

Developments in assessment. Children’s growing knowledge, skills and learning dispositions are well documented by lead teachers. All care-educators keep learning journals for children in their care, and some write high quality observations. Lead teachers are currently supporting care-educators to identify the learning that is occurring for the child, rather than just noting activities. They acknowledge that more work is needed in the area of assessment, planning and evaluation.

Areas for development and review

The director and lead teachers agree that priorities for development and review include:

  • strengthening communication and consultation with care-educators

  • providing further opportunities for parent input into the service

  • supporting care-educators to plan possibilities and opportunities to support children’s learning

  • developing a more robust appraisal process for lead teachers

  • improving documentation around self review and strategic planning.

Developments in these areas would assist Fairy Godmothers Inc to sustain the good quality practices that have been established and would support further improvements as the service continues to grow.

3. National Evaluation Topic

Overview

ERO provides information about the education system as a whole through its national reports. This information will be used as the basis for long term and systemic educational improvement.

Partnerships with whānau of Māori children in early childhood services

As part of this review ERO evaluated the extent to which:

  • this service understands and values the identity, language and culture of Māori children and their whānau, particularly when the child and whānau transition to the service
  • managers and educators have built relationships with whānau of Māori children
  • this service works in partnership with whānau of Māori children.

Findings

Across the three networks of Fairy Godmothers Inc, 22 children with Māori heritage are enrolled, representing 14 percent of the total roll.

As identified in the 2008 ERO reports, educators need to develop a greater knowledge of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. Lead teachers agree that they would also benefit from further learning in this area. Increasing their knowledge and understanding of Māori language and culture would help care-educators to support Māori children and to familiarise all children with the bicultural nature of Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Care-educators provide a welcoming environment for children, families and whānau. Daily conversations between parents and care-educators enable children’s progress and success to be shared. Understanding families’ cultural backgrounds and aspirations for their children is an area for development in the service.

It could be useful for the management team to consider and document how the service acknowledges and reflects the place of Māori as tangata whenua. The Ministry of Education’s strategy for Māori educational success, Ka Hikitia, may be a helpful reference point.

4. Management Assurance on Compliance Areas

Overview

Before the review, the management and staff of Fairy Godmothers Inc Network 3 completed an ERO Home-Based CareManagement Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they have attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • administration
  • health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial and property management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on outcomes for children:

  • emotional safety (including behaviour management, prevention of bullying and abuse)
  • physical safety (including behaviour management, sleeping and supervision practices; accidents and medication; hygiene and routines; travel and excursion policies and procedures)
  • staff qualifications and organisation
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

Health and safety matters raised in the 2008 ERO reports have been addressed. Minor safety matters identified during the current ERO reviews were discussed with the service arranger, who provided assurance that these matters would be promptly addressed.

5. Recommendations

ERO and the service arranger agree that a priority for the service is to continue to build care-educators’ understanding of, and responsiveness to, the different phases of children’s learning and development.

6. Future Action

ERO will review the service again in three years.

 

 

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

16 June 2011

About the Service

Licence type

Home-Based Care

Licensed under

Licensed under Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Roll number

66

Gender composition

Boys 35 Girls 31

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 51, Māori 8, British 4, Samoan 3

Review team onsite

May 2011

Date of this report

16 June 2011

Previous ERO reports

No previous reports for this Network

 

 

To the Parents and Community of Fairy Godmothers Inc Network 3

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report onFairy Godmothers Inc Ltd provides a home-based education and care service for children and families on the Hibiscus Coast, Whangaparaoa, and some areas of the North Shore and north-west of Auckland. The service has experienced significant roll growth since its establishment in 2006 and now caters for 146 children across three networks, compared with 20 enrolled children at the time of the 2008 ERO reports. This ERO report comments on Network 3. Networks 1 and 2 have been reported on separately.

Fairy Godmothers Inc. operates as one organisation with a shared management structure and operational systems. The organisation employs five registered teachers to provide professional leadership and to ensure that regulatory requirements are met. Two support staff manage the administrative and financial aspects of the service. The management group provides effective leadership and demonstrates a strong commitment to home-based care and positive outcomes for children.

Care-educators work in their own homes to provide care and education for up to four children at any one time. In this network 24 educators care for 66 children. Useful systems are in place to promote children’s health and wellbeing and to ensure that good quality care is provided. Children benefit from the small group sizes and close family-like relationships formed in the home-based setting. Parents report that they are highly satisfied with the service.

Children’s learning and development are generally well supported. ERO observed some examples of high quality programmes where children’s knowledge and abilities were skilfully fostered. While the quality of education provided is dependent on the knowledge and experience of the care-educator, all educators use children’s interests to help determine their programmes. Good use is made of community facilities to enrich children’s experiences. Lead teachers provide care-educators with clear, affirming guidance around teaching and learning practices.

The director and lead teachers agree that as the service continues to grow, their challenge is to sustain the good quality practices that have been established and to make further improvements in the quality of provision. A key focus is to continue building care-educators’ understanding of, and responsiveness to, the different phases of children’s learning and development.

Future Action

ERO will review the service again in three years.

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood service we encourage management to inform their community of any follow up action they plan to take. You should talk to the management if you have any questions about this evaluation, the full ERO report or their future intentions.

 

 

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT REVIEWS

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews. The purpose of each review is to:

  • improve quality of education for children in early childhood services; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the Government.

Reviews are intended to focus on outcomes for children and build on each service’s self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting is based on four review strands.

Quality of Education – including the quality of the programme provided for children, the quality of the learning environment and the quality of the interactions between staff and children and how these impact on outcomes for children.

Additional Review Priorities – other aspects of the operation of a service, may be included in the review. ERO will not include this strand in all reviews.

National Evaluation Topics – This strand contribute to the development of education policies and their effective implementation. The information from this strand is aggregated by ERO for its national evaluation reports. Topics for investigation are changed regularly to provide up-to-date information.

Compliance with Legal Requirements – assurance that this service has taken all reasonable steps to meet legal requirements.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to this service.

Review Recommendations

Most ERO reports include recommendations for improvement. A recommendation on a particular issue does not necessarily mean that a service is performing poorly in relation to that issue. There is no direct link between the number of recommendations in this report and the overall performance of this service.