Greerton ECC (Toddlers & Young Children) - 30/06/2017

1 Evaluation of Greerton ECC (Toddlers & Young Children)

How well placed is Greerton ECC (Toddlers & Young Children) 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

Greerton ECC (Toddlers & Young Children), located in Tauranga, is a privately owned centre, providing education and care for infants to school-age children. It operates an all-day licence for 40 children, including up to eight under the age of two.

The centre has recently been re-licensed to include infants and toddlers after its nearby centre, under the same ownership, was closed for redevelopment. The amalgamation of both services has resulted in some changes to the layout of the Mitchell Street centre, which was previously licenced for children aged three to five years.

Through the philosophy, teachers aim to nurture curious learners, who are prepared to put effort and practice into their explorations. They encourage children to widen and deepen their knowledge and skills, through strength-based, dispositional learning.

The 2013 ERO review found the centre to be very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children. The centre continues to provide a high level of professional practice.

The Review Findings

Greerton ECC (Toddlers & Young Children) is very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

The highly-effective curriculum is implemented as a pōkeka (cloak), which embraces the whole child. The children drive the curriculum, through their interests, skills, knowledge and dispositions. Parents and whānau have many opportunities to contribute to learning. Children benefit from a broad, rich curriculum, which offers risk and challenge in response to their interests.

All areas of the holistic curriculum, including literacy, mathematics and science, are naturally incorporated into the programme in meaningful contexts for children. Teachers skilfully promote oral language development. Children and teachers access information and make regular trips into the local community to support interests and investigations. A feature of the programme for older children is the weekly farm visit that supports them to develop resilience and investigation skills. Children work together to plan their day and explore the natural environment. They benefit from participating in education within and outside of the centre, and continue developing skills for life-long learning.

Māori children are well supported to achieve success. Teachers place high value on the Treaty of Waitangi and this is strongly evident within the curriculum. Teachers ensure that children's mana, wairua, and mauri are acknowledged and enhanced. Māori concepts and values are fully integrated throughout the programme. Children's language, culture and identity, including Pacific children, are celebrated and affirmed.

Strong partnerships for wellbeing and learning are formed with children and their parents through the key teacher strategy. Children are well supported during transitions into, within, and beyond the centre. Tuakana /teina relationships have been strengthened with the amalgamation of the two centres. Children benefit from the new whānau setting, enabling them to learn, support and play alongside one another. Fairness is integral to the programme, encouraging children's developing social competencies and citizenship. Children and their families enjoy a strong sense of belonging at the centre.

Children who require educational support are identified, and teachers work in partnership with parents and external agencies. Highly-inclusive practice supports these children to experience positive learning outcomes.

Children up to the age of two years have settled well in to the new premises and have been well supported by a carefully considered move from their previous building. They have their own areas to explore, and a calm, settled environment has been created. Young children benefit from a high adult-to-child ratio. Their individual care needs are well met and they are given space and time to lead their learning.

Highly skilled and knowledgeable teachers support children to be capable and confident learners. They trust children to drive their own learning and through skilful questioning, they extend children's curiosity, exploration and problem-solving skills. Teachers scaffold children to take safe risks and set their own challenges, in meaningful contexts. Through careful observation, teachers know when to engage with children and when to give time and space for their own discoveries. The rhythms and rituals of the day allow time for uninterrupted learning. Children are well supported by teachers who value the importance of learning through play.

The strong assessment and planning practices are credit based and focussed on dispositional learning. Teachers work in depth with the principles and strands of Te Whāriki. Teachers are highly skilled at sharing educational theory, research and quality learning in early childhood with parents. Children's learning is documented in narrative learning stories, individual portfolios and digitally on-line. Assessment shows the depth and continuity of learning over time. Teachers skilfully weave Māori perspectives of the child, their world, and place in the world into learning stories, for all children. Child and parent voices are highly evident. Older children are further supported with a transition to school profile book which links Te Whāriki to The New Zealand Curriculum. Children's identities as confident and competent learners are richly documented. 

A shared leadership model amongst teachers, children and their families has developed a trusting and innovative centre culture. Teachers regularly engage in professional discussion. They attend, and also facilitate, professional learning and development, providing educational leadership within the wider early childhood community. The centre owner mentors other services and promotes current theory and best practice. The shared leadership model ensures a consistent focus on achieving positives outcomes for all children.

Teaching as inquiry is fully embedded and strongly linked to internal evaluation, assessment, planning, and appraisals. Centre processes and practices are closely linked and are highly effective in bringing about continual improvement. Teachers are reflective and use research to strengthen their practice in a culture where children are valued as capable, confident learners.

Key Next Steps

ERO is confident in the centre's ability to continue to identify, sustain and progress suitable initiatives and innovations to continually promote positive learning outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Greerton ECC (Toddlers & Young Children) 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 Greerton ECC (Toddlers & Young Children) will be in four years.

Lynda Pura-Watson
Deputy Chief Review Officer Waikato/Bay of Plenty

30 June 2017 

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

Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number

45009

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll

64

Gender composition

Boys 33

Girls 31

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Cook Island Māori

15
48
1

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2017

Date of this report

30 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

June 2013

Education Review

July 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.