Grow Early Education Ltd - 30/08/2018

1 Evaluation of Grow Early Education Ltd

How well placed is Grow Early Education Ltd 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

Grow Early Education is a privately owned early learning service located in the residential area of St Kilda, Cambridge. The centre was opened in February 2017 in a purpose-built facility. It is licensed to provide all-day education and care for children from birth to school age. The centre roll of 81 includes 11 Māori children. The centre operates two aged-based rooms for children up to the age of two years, and the other for older children.

The centre owners undertake the roles of centre manager and professional leader. The centre manager has extensive experience in educational leadership and the professional leader is an experienced early childhood practitioner. They have recruited and retained 11 qualified teachers that have a breadth of experience in education between them.

The centre’s philosophy upholds the core values of Mana Mokopuna, Mana Wairua, and Mana Tangata as being critical for providing quality care and education to grow competent and confident learners. It acknowledges Māori as tangata whenua and makes a commitment to providing authentic learning experiences that reflect Māori culture and diversity. The philosophy makes a commitment to building strong partnerships with whānau and the wider community, and providing a learning programme that is responsive to the individual needs and interests of children.

This is the first ERO review of Grow Early Education. During its 18 months of operation, systems and practices to support the provision of high quality education and care have been developed. Leaders and teachers are continuing to embed these.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from positive and respectful relationships fostered between whānau, teachers and centre owners and this underpin all aspects of the centre. Teachers work collaboratively in the best interests of children. They involve themselves alongside children to support sustained play. Teachers skilfully use open-ended questions to promote children’s ability to problem solve. They have supportive, caring and respectful relationships with children and whānau. Positive guidance strategies are well used to support children’s social competence. Teachers ensure all children's care needs are well met. Some teachers naturally integrate te ao Māori into the programme and physical environment. Further development is required to ensure that this becomes embedded practice throughout the centre.

Children participate in a broad and rich curriculum. The programme is responsive to children's interests with set routine times that provide children with a sense of security and structure. Mathematics, literacy and science are naturally integrated through play. The programme is extended through excursions into the local and wider community. Comprehensive assessment, planning and evaluation focuses on dispositional learning and shows children’s development over time. Children have access to a wide variety of high quality resources in the environment. This allows children to initiate purposeful activities and extend their physical skills.

Children up to the age of two years, experience caring and nurturing relationships with their teachers. They learn and play in calm and unhurried environments. Teachers are responsive to parent care preferences for young children to ensure practices from the child's home are reflected in the centre where possible. This supports babies and toddlers to build a strong sense of belonging at the centre.

The centre has an inclusive approach to supporting children with additional health and learning needs. Centre owners and teachers work closely with parents and whānau to ensure these children's needs are responded to while at the centre. The service accesses appropriate external expertise and guidance to support these children to be fully included in the centre programme.

Centre owners provide effective governance and leadership. They have high expectations for providing positive outcomes for children. Leaders maintain low children to teacher ratios, high levels of qualified and experienced teaching staff and access relevant professional learning for teachers. A robust appraisal system is contributing to building teacher capability. Centre owners have established useful partnerships, including participating in the Te Puna o Kemureti Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako and making connections with the local Māori community. A comprehensive policy and systems framework has been developed to guide centre operations. A useful self-review process has been developed by the centre owners to inform decision making and guide future direction. This is contributing to the positive outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

The centre is well placed after 18 months of operation to continue to embed high quality practice. A key next step is that the effective practice identified at this early stage is sustained and enhanced by ongoing internal evaluation for continuous improvement.

The owners and teachers should also continue to develop a consistent centre-wide approach that supports the unique position of te ao Māori to support all children in developing an understanding of the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Grow Early Education Ltd 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?

Providing leadership and ownership remain stable, ERO will return in four years.

Adrienne Fowler

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

30 August 2018

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

Cambridge

Ministry of Education profile number

47175

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

73 children, including up to 16 aged under 2

Service roll

81

Gender composition

Boys 48 Girls 33

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other

11
62
8

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

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2018

Date of this report

30 August 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports

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.