Home2Grow Childcare - 11/12/2013

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Home2Grow Childcare is a small home based education and care network. It has thirty five educators from diverse backgrounds who cater for children from birth to school age. The network operates in Auckland’s North/West, Botany and Mt Roskill areas. This is the service’s first ERO report.

Effective operations and systems are in place. The network is managed by the owner who employs experienced, approachable co-ordinators. The focus on continual improvement and the increased use of self review is helping to improve the quality of education and care for children.

Children benefit from individualised care routines. They show a strong sense of belonging and interact confidently with each other and adults. Effective communication between administrators, co-ordinators, educators and families promote respectful relationships.

A good range of learning activities and experiences support children’s development. Educators make very good use of community facilities. They provide frequent opportunities for children to explore local environments.

Children’s assessment records are attractive and useful documents which families, whānau and aiga appreciate. Social media is well used to share information with families. Home2Grow is well positioned to further promote learning partnerships with families.

The owner and leaders have identified that strategic planning is a priority as they consolidate plans for the future. Increasing the level of training for educators and expanding bicultural approaches would further benefit all children in the service.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO will review the service again within three years.

2 The Focus of the Review

All ERO education reviews in early childhood focus on the quality of education. For ERO this includes the quality of:

  • the programme provided for children
  • the learning environment
  • the interactions between children and adults.

The Quality of Education

Background

The service was first established in 2010. In 2013, a new owner, a fully registered teacher with early childhood education qualifications, purchased the network. Over the past eight months, she has worked as both a managing director and an education co-ordinator to expand the service and improve the management systems.

One experienced coordinator, who began with the service in 2010, has maintained continuity through the change in ownership. The collaborative management team is supported by an administrator with complementary skills.

Areas of good performance

Positive interactions and caring relationships. Children’s social and emotional competence is effectively supported. Respectful relationships and a focus on the individual needs of children are evident. Children benefit from caring educators who know them and their families well.

Wider educational experiences. Educators provide a diverse range of learning experiences for children and make good use of the local community. Playgroups offer frequent opportunities for children to learn together and develop valuable social skills.

Communication with families. Highly effective approaches are used to communicate with families. Ongoing review has led to innovative systems that work well for the type of service. Families receive frequent information about the engagement of their children in activities and some useful evaluation about their children’s learning.

Support for Educators. Educators are well supported by knowledgeable coordinators who offer useful advice and guidance. A programme of induction of new educators provides clear guidance on their roles and responsibilities. Opportunities for educators to share ideas and approaches are used to increase educator’s expertise. Useful support material helps educators plan meaningful learning experiences.

Philosophy. The philosophy is clearly understood and communicated by educators. Ongoing work to review the philosophy is planned. Indicators are to be developed to increase educators’ use of self review to determine how effectively they enact the philosophy. Educators and service leaders provide useful resources, aligned to the philosophy. They use the philosophy well to guide decision making. Ecological sustainability and care for the environment feature prominently.

Leadership. Leaders are effective, professional and reflective. They have a good understanding of the role and use of self review. They align self review to outcomes for children and are beginning to implement self-review systems with educators. Leaders are highly engaged in professional learning and make very good use of new learning to improve service operations.

Areas for development and review

Educator practice. Educators bring a range of skills and strengths to their role. To improve the consistency of educators’ education practices, it would be helpful to:

  • provide professional development to further support Māori children’s language, culture and identity and increase the bicultural focus throughout the service
  • support greater use of more open questions that promote children’s’ thinking
  • develop high quality indicators of effective education practices to guide educators’ self review.
  • Planning, assessment and evaluation. To improve the consistency of quality across the network, it would be useful if service leaders worked with educators to:
  • document the connection between educator planning and children’s emergent interests
  • evaluate children’s learning to show their progress and next learning steps
  • increase the documentation of parents’ aspirations and find ways to show how educators respond to parent and whānau contributions.

Governance and management. To continue to improve the quality of outcomes for children, it is timely for service leaders to:

  • develop strategic and annual plans that focus on improving the quality and consistency of education practices throughout the network
  • implement self-review approaches with educators that evaluate outcomes for children
  • use external expertise to develop robust performance management systems aligned to the registered teacher’s criteria for registered teachers
  • develop sustainable personnel management approaches to address the network expansion.

3 Management Assurance on Compliance Areas

Overview

Before the review, the management and staff of Home2Grow Childcare completed an ERO Home-Based Education and Care Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • curriculum standard
  • premises and facilities standard
  • health and safety practices standard
  • governance management and administration standard.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on outcomes for children:

  • emotional safety (including behaviour management, prevention of bullying and abuse)
  • physical safety (including behaviour management, sleeping and supervision practices; accidents and medication; hygiene and routines; travel and excursion policies and procedures)
  • staff qualifications and organisation
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

During the review one area of non-compliance was identified. Service leaders must:

  • ensure teachers are appraised annually against legislative requirements[s 77C State Sector Act 1988; NZ Gazette and relevant Collective Employment Agreement].

In order to improve practice service leaders should increase the frequency of health and safety reviews and ensure the recommendations from reviews have been actioned.

4 Recommendations

ERO and service leaders agree that to improve the quality of education, leaders should develop a detailed strategic plan which guides annual plans and incorporates the key findings from the review.

5 Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO will review the service again within three years.

Dale Bailey National Manager Review Services Northern Region

11 December 2013

About the Service

Location

Dannemora, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

45288

Service type

Homebased Network

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Service roll

74

Gender composition

Boys 38 , Girls 36

Ethnic composition

NZ European

Māori

Indian

Chinese

other

41

3

21

2

7

Review team on site

September 2013

Date of this report

11 December 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports