Home Graduates E.C.E Limited (Gold) - 20/02/2017

1 Evaluation of Home Graduates E.C.E Limited (Gold)

How well placed is Home Graduates E.C.E Limited (Gold) 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

Home Graduates ECE (Gold) provides three home-based education and care networks operating out of premises in Mt Wellington. It is licensed to provide an early childhood education and care service for up to 70 children from infancy to school age. Children enrolled in this network are from across South, West and East Auckland. Most children are of Pacific Island or Māori heritage. This is the first ERO review of the service, which was established in 2015 and has seen a fast growth in enrolments.

Educators provide programmes in their homes for up to four children at a time. Most of the educators are family members such as grandparents. Educators and parents can access extra resources or attend group events at the service office in Mt Wellington.

The service has five registered teachers, including three programme coordinators. They and other service personnel regularly visit educators in the home and support them to provide an educational programme for children as well as monitor health and safety. Ethnic leaders chosen from the educators represent the cultures of the families and educators in the service.

The service prioritises children learning in familiar environments through stimulating learning experiences. The curriculum is underpinned by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum and each educator has an individual philosophy and name for their own home.

The service is governed by a board made up of a director and four managers who are also the service provider contact persons for each network. The director is an experienced professional leader who works collaboratively with managers, coordinators, educators and families. The board has developed highly effective management and administration systems that align with the service's philosophy, vision and mission.

This review was part of a cluster of three home-based education and care network reviews in Home Graduates E.C.E Limited. 

The Review Findings

Children play and learn in home settings that affirm their culture, language and identity. Most of the educators speak in the home language of the child. The programme is underpinned by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum and te reo me ōna tikanga Māori are also included in everyday activities.

Children's emotional wellbeing and sense of belonging are well supported through nurturing individualised care. Documentation, including online electronic records show that children have fun and are encouraged to be curious. Children engage in a wide variety of experiences in the home and community. They are able to make connections with the community and wider world through excursions and service events. Learning through play in everyday activities, children's developing oral language, and positive relationship with others are documented clearly for parents.

Planning and assessment documents show educators have a good understanding of children’s interests and preferences. Coordinators model ways to identify children's learning, develop future directions for learning, and build on educators' knowledge in respectful, affirming ways

Coordinators have an in-depth knowledge of the educators and whānau in their network. They work in culturally responsive ways and have a sound knowledge of theories, practices and trends in early childhood education. They support educators to provide programmes that prioritise learning through meaningful everyday experiences. Building educator practice and understanding of the early childhood curriculum and legislation is evident through their reports. Coordinators work skilfully with educators to promote oral language and respond to infants' and toddlers' development, ideas and ways of learning. They also support them to maximise opportunities to include bicultural practices, literacy and mathematics in play

Coordinator practice, and health and safety systems are monitored regularly. Rigorous checks of safety requirements identify any maintenance or issues to be followed up. The service supports educators with resources, equipment, and training to ensure health and safety requirements in homes are being met.

Parents' involvement is encouraged, and their aspirations are noted and responded to. Parents and whānau are encouraged to provide feedback and share information with the educator, other parents and the service. This happens in daily conversations and increasingly in, online portfolios and social media.

Internal evaluation is very well understood. A sound process is used to evaluate practice and inform future direction. Strategic and annual plans clearly identify priorities that contribute to the service successfully achieving its goals. Meeting the learning needs and aspirations of children and parents is part of the service's strategic goals and overall direction. These goals and plans are carefully monitored with a focus on ongoing improvement.

A skilled director leads a capable team of managers, coordinators and administrators who take time to build respectful and trusting relationships with children, educators and whānau. Service leaders share a strong commitment to the service's vision and philosophy and they are clearly committed to the principles of equity and social justice. They work collaboratively, using group and individual strengths to foster positive outcomes for children, educators and whānau.

Service leaders are committed to building the capacity and skills of all staff. Professional development opportunities, including attendance at workshops and professional forums, are provided. Clear management roles, sound accountability practices and a comprehensive framework of policies and procedures define expectations for staff. Meaningful appraisal systems are being refined to strengthen alignment with the Education Council requirements.

Key Next Steps

The directors and management team agree that to enhance current practices they could continue to:

  • build educators' early childhood curriculum knowledge and capability

  • use internal evaluation to guide service provision, and evaluate the impact of improvements on teaching practices and children's learning
  • review transition practices to better support children and families as they move on to school.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Home Graduates E.C.E Limited (Gold) completed an ERO Home-based Education and Care 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 Home Graduates E.C.E Limited (Gold) will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

20 February 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 Home-based Education and Care Service 

Location

Mt Wellington, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

46800

Institution type

Homebased Network

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

70 children, including up to 40 aged under 2

Service roll

60

Standard or Quality Funded

Standard

Gender composition

Girls 33 Boys 27

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Tongan

Samoan

Niue

African

Cook Islands Māori

4

3

28

19

3

2

1

Number of qualified coordinators in the network

2

Required ratios of staff educators to children

Under 2

1:2

Over 2

1:4

Review team on site

December 2016

Date of this report

20 February 2017

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 the draft methodology for ERO reviews in Home-based Education and Care Services: July 2014

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.