Gladstone Park Early Childhood Centre - 04/05/2016

1 Evaluation of Gladstone Park Early Childhood Centre

How well placed is Gladstone Park Early Childhood 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

Gladstone Park Early Childhood Centre caters for up to 46 children from three months to five years of age. Younger children, up to the age to two, are grouped together and have valuable opportunities to play alongside their siblings and older peers for parts of the day. The service offers full day and sessional education and care with an emphasis on working respectfully with parents and whānau.

This centre is one of two centres operated and managed by the Parnell Community Trust. The Trust continues to provide governance, administration and professional support services. The centre is located at the edge of a public park and has a spacious environment for children to explore.

In January 2014 the ERO report highlighted ongoing concerns with the leadership and management of the centre including self-review practices and the quality of the programme provided. Teachers were also required to increase their responsiveness to children to improve the quality of education and care.

Since then, a new centre manager and several new staff have joined the teaching team. External professional development and support provided by the Ministry of Education has supported leaders to address the areas for improvement. The new Trust CEO has also provided leadership support to assist the new centre leader to promote more positive outcomes for children.

The Review Findings

The centre has made very good progress in improving the quality of education and care for children. Children benefit from positive interactions with teachers that support their confidence and feeling of belonging at the centre. They settle quickly. Younger children benefit from the sense of security and comfort provided by caring, responsive teachers.

Teachers now have a positive and optimistic teaching approach. They are working as a team to better support children's learning by encouraging and affirming children. The more positive working environment is helping to promote a culture that is child centred and family friendly. Teachers are collaborating with children to develop a programme that is engaging for the children. Children are better supported to make choices and decisions about their learning.

Leaders are continuing to extend opportunities and resources for children to experience a broader and more meaningful curriculum that challenges their thinking. Continuing to review the structure of the programme to offer children further opportunities to sustain or revisit their play is an area for further consideration. Finding ways to provide more complexity and challenge in the under-twos' environment is also an agreed priority.

Planning makes more effective use of children's interests to inform the programme. Children's individual portfolios are increasingly providing a record of their learning throughout the programme. Continuing to improve the consistency and quality documentation of individual children's learning and seeking more parent input should further strengthen planning and assessment practices.

Whānau have more opportunities to participate and offer their input through improved consultation and communication. Teachers are responding to parent aspirations for older children by providing time together to work collaboratively and explore their ideas in relevant ways.

The centre is well led. The centre manager, team leaders and teachers work effectively as a team. Centre leaders and Trust senior managers acknowledge the importance of continuing to build leadership capability across the centre. Self review is now well established and focussed on improving outcomes for children.

The Parnell Community Trust provides effective governance and management oversight to centre leaders. The Trust strategic plan provides long-term goals for the centre.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre leaders agree that, to continue to improve outcomes for children, it would be useful to:

  • find ways to distribute teacher leadership roles in order to enhance children's literacy, mathematical and science exploration within meaningful play contexts

  • increase the ways teachers respond to children' home language, culture and diverse background, providing further opportunities to develop children's bilingual language

  • use strategic planning to consolidate centre improvements and use measurable indicators to evaluate centre progress toward meeting goals that enhance children's learning

  • continue to strengthen performance management processes and the quality of teachers' evidence to meet Education Council requirements relating to teachers' practising certificates.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Gladstone Park Early Childhood 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.

To improve current practice, the early childhood service management should:

  • ensure that items that could fall and injure in the case of an earthquake are secured

  • find ways to maintain the adequate spacing of cots and beds

  • improve the shade over the outdoor play area, particularly for children under two.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Gladstone Park Early Childhood Centre will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

4 May 2016

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

Parnell, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

10044

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

46 children, including up to 16 aged under 2

Service roll

48

Gender composition

Girls 25 Boys 23

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Chinese

Russian

other

37

7

2

2

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

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

January 2016

Date of this report

4 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Supplementary Review

January 2014

Education Review

March 2013

Education Review

November 2009

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.