Hazeldean Early Learning Centre - 12/02/2015

1 Evaluation of Hazeldean Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Hazeldean Early Learning Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

This service is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

The centre provides full-day education and care for up to 65 children from infants to school age in a stand-alone building in a business area near Hagley Park, Christchurch. Teachers make regular use of this park and other green spaces in the area, to extend children’s knowledge of, and interest in, the natural environment.

Children learn in three separate rooms, according to their ages and readiness, on the first floor of the building. Each room opens onto an outdoor area. The ratio of teachers to children is better than the Ministry of Education minimum requirements.

The centre’s philosophy has recently been reviewed to better reflect the increasing cultural diversity of children and their families. The philosophy strongly promotes the development of positive and supportive relationships.

A primary caregiver approach allows children to form a close relationship with one teacher who has the main responsibility for supporting their learning and wellbeing.

There have been several changes of managers since the 2011 ERO review.

The centre responded favourably to the 2011 ERO report. This is most evident in the way literacy is now integrated in the programme and improvements have been made to planning and assessment.

At the time of this review, staff were preparing for a change of ownership of the centre.

The Review Findings

Nurturing and caring relationships clearly reflect the centre’s philosophy. Teachers recognise and respect children’s individual strengths and needs. They believe that ‘doing with rather than to’ each child helps them gain a sense of themselves as competent and capable learners. Teachers make purposeful use of routines, particularly in the nursery, to foster children’s language and wellbeing.

The programme is child-led. Children have frequent opportunities to make decisions about the nature and direction of their learning. They are encouraged to learn and develop at their own pace. Children’s views are sought and used to plan the programme. As a result, learning is relevant and meaningful.

A wide range of learning experiences is provided for children within and outside the centre. Teachers help children to develop their social skills and have successful interactions with others. Other strengths of the curriculum include the ‘green fingers’ programme that raises children’s awareness of the natural environment, the varied musical experiences, and the regular integration of literacy learning. Teachers are aware that mathematics learning could be more specifically integrated into learning experiences.

The managers and teachers have introduced some worthwhile initiatives in planning and assessment. These include planning for each child, making children’s learning pathways visible through wall displays, and the sharing of summaries of learning with parents. Individual booklets showing children’s learning and involvement in activities are informative and attractively presented.

The managers and teachers work well together to share ideas and consider ways to improve the programme to benefit children. A well-developed culture of teacher reflection contributes positively to ongoing developments at the centre.

The centre manager and team leaders provide sound leadership. They are supportive of staff. They focus on improving teaching consistency and developing a shared understanding of the centre’s key values and beliefs. A deliberate effort is made to challenge teachers’ thinking and spread good practice across each room. This work is well supported by targeted professional development, including frequent readings of current research, and a thorough appraisal process.

The managers and teachers value the positive relationships they have with families. They encourage parent participation and provide opportunities for parents to express their views. A recent review of transition into the centre and across the rooms identified areas where this partnership could be strengthened. Leaders and teachers have taken some useful steps to keep parents better informed about the programme and increase parent involvement in children’s learning. This work is ongoing.

A well-considered long-term plan provides useful guidance for making ongoing improvements.

Key Next Steps

The centre managers have identified, and ERO agrees, that to further improve outcomes for children, leaders and teachers need to:

  • continue to increase the bicultural perspective in the programme
  • build on the steps already taken to more clearly recognise and value children’s different cultural backgrounds
  • continue to improve the quality and consistency of planning and assessment, in particular by making children’s next learning steps clearer for parents and the actions teachers will take to achieve these more explicit
  • further develop the outdoor areas, especially in the nursery.

While self review has been improved, the process could be clearer, more targeted and time bound so that improvements occur at an appropriate pace.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Hazeldean Early Learning 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Hazeldean Early Learning Centre will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer- Southern

12 February 2015

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

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

70141

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

65 children, including up to 20 aged under two

Service roll

83

Gender composition

Boys 42; Girls 41

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Asian

Pacific

Other ethnicities

11

45

15

4

8

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

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2014

Date of this report

12 February 2015

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

May 2010

 

Supplementary Review

October 2011

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.