Home2Grow Childcare - 18/08/2017

1 Evaluation of Home2Grow Childcare

How well placed is Home2Grow Childcare 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

Home2Grow Childcare is one of three home-based education and care networks owned by Home2Grow Limited. It provides an early childhood education and care service for up to 80 children from infancy to school age. Educators provide programmes in their homes for up to four children at a time. Children come from diverse cultural backgrounds. A high number of Samoan and Indian families use the service. Many of the educators are children's family members, such as grandparents.

Since the 2013 ERO report there has been significant growth in enrolments and Home2Grow has opened two additional networks. The service has maintained good systems and has improved management practices around strategic planning, self review and performance management.

The service is led by an owner/managing director, who works collaboratively with programme coordinators, administrators, educators and whānau. The managing director and programme coordinators are registered early childhood teachers. They regularly visit educators in their homes, support them to plan educational programmes for children and monitor health and safety provisions.

Key aspects of the service's philosophy are the provision of an environment that inspires and encourages learning, and respectful and trustful relationships between parents, educators and coordinators.

The Review Findings

Educators provide a culturally responsive curriculum, based on maintaining children's language and sense of cultural identity. The learning programme is underpinned by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and prioritises te reo and tikanga Māori. Educators keep good records of each child’s day and note activities that children enjoyed. Learning experiences include early literacy, mathematics and science and the use of creative and manipulative materials. There is a strong focus on oral language and encouraging children to engage in meaningful conversations.

Children's learning records show that they participate in day-to-day household activities and planned experiences, and have regular excursions in the community. They have fun, make choices and are confident in their language and culture. They are eager to learn and share ideas. Children's sense of belonging is affirmed and they are developing care and empathy for others.

Playgroups provide good opportunities for children to learn as part of a larger group. Playgroups also show educators how environments and equipment can be used to promote learning. They provide a venue for programme coordinators to model good practice and for educators to have leadership roles.

Educators appreciate coordinators' support and benefit from ongoing training. Children are carefully transitioned into educators’ homes and well supported as they move on to school. Educators are aware of the preferences and learning styles of infants and toddlers and provide individualised nurturing care. Parents give positive feedback on the education and care of their children and the communication that they receive from the service.

Service leaders have a strong commitment to inclusion and equity. A service-wide belief in the cultural and educational benefits of home-based learning for children and their families,underpins operations. Relationships between the service leaders, coordinators, educators and parents are respectful, responsive and trusting.

Programme coordinators use an individualised approach to affirm and support educators. They are respectful of each family's beliefs and values and aim to match educators and families that speak the same home language. Pacific children and families are well supported and valued. Displays in the centre reflect their culture and language and affirm their identity.

Leaders are proactive and improvement focused. Internal evaluation is purposeful and is supporting them to target areas to develop further. Improving educational outcomes for all children is at the heart of internal evaluation and service operations.

The owner, coordinators and administrators work collaboratively to manage the service. Clearly defined roles and expectations are guided by the service's vision and strategic direction. The philosophy and vision are evident across all practices and policies, including a rigorous system for recruiting new educators and matching families. Educators receive comprehensive documentation that provides clear guidelines and expectations about their role. Regular health and safety monitoring provide assurance that service expectations are being met. A more robust appraisal system, with more depth in evaluation and reflection would support coordinators to enrich their own professional practice.

Key Next Steps

ERO and the service leaders agree that key next steps for the service are to:

  • strengthen internal evaluation so it is more collaborative and evaluative and aligned with strategic planning and appraisal

  • more clearly document how coordinators guide educators' practice

  • ensure that documentation and systems are used consistently and aligned across Home2Grow networks to better support effective practices.

Key next steps for programme coordinators are to continue building on educator capability to:

  • plan in response to children’s individual emerging interests and ideas

  • make greater use of children's assessment portfolios to show continuity of learning

  • extend children’s learning and thinking to promote more complex, creative and imaginative play.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Home2Grow Childcare 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 Home2Grow Childcare will be in three years.

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

18 August 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

Botany, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

45288

Institution type

Homebased Network

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

80 children, including up to 80 aged under 2

Service roll

92

Standard or Quality Funded

Standard

Gender composition

Girls 46, Boys 46

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Indian
Samoan
Chinese
Fijian
South East Asian
Tongan
other

1
5
55
15
6
4
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

July 2017

Date of this report

18 August 2017

Most recent ERO report(s) 

Education Review

December 2013

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.