Hopscotch Early Learning Childcare Centre - 19/02/2016

1 Evaluation of Hopscotch Early Learning Childcare Centre

How well placed is Hopscotch Early Learning Childcare Centre 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

Hopscotch Early Learning Childcare Centre is a privately-owned, all-day education and care service located in Otorohanga. It is one of two sister centres in the town and has had a positive reporting history with ERO. The centre is licensed for 35 children from three months to approximately three-and-a-half years of age. The roll is currently 52, including 10 children who identify as Māori.

Since the 2012 ERO review, leadership has remained the same, with a small number of changes to the teaching team. This stability of leadership has resulted in positive and significant progress in the areas identified in the previous ERO report. Leaders and teachers have carried out an in-depth review of the centre philosophy and have also increased the way that te reo and tikanga Māori are integrated into centre operations and practices.

Teachers are being supported to complete their teaching qualifications and registration. At the time of this ERO review there were five qualified teachers, two in training and two non-qualified support staff. The centre owner/licensee and teachers have established strong relationships with the local community, parents and whānau. There is a positive and welcoming culture. Children are happily engaged, well supported and cared for, and confidently cooperate and communicate with one another.

The Review Findings

The centre owner, centre manager and head teacher effectively work together to manage the centre. They meet regularly to discuss and review professional practice and make decisions focused on improving outcomes for children. The centre manager and head teacher have built trusting relationships with staff, established an inclusive culture, and are modelling the effective practices they expect of others.

Strong systems and processes are in place to ensure the smooth running of centre organisation and procedures. Leaders are very engaged in centre activities and set high standards for education and care. They promote effective self-review processes to ensure that the centre continues to bring about improved outcomes for children. Collaborative relationships between centre leaders, teachers and staff are resulting in a collegial, team approach and shared understandings about the centre vision and direction.

Te reo and tikanga Māori are strongly promoted and made visible. Children learn waiata and karakia and are becoming familiar with local places of interest. Recent consultation with community and whānau has supported the centre in developing Te Whakapapa ō Hopscotch.

Rich literacy learning is evident on centre walls and in resources. Children have ample opportunities to experience mathematics, science, exploration, imaginary play and creative arts. Leaders have recognised the need for enhancement to aspects of the infant area, and goals to achieve this have been set in their strategic plan.

Children’s activities are captured in well-written stories that identify learning and make links to the dispositions in Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Teachers are documenting good quality assessment practices, and have numerous ways that children and parents can make contributions to their learning. Children are able to see their progress and achievements recorded in portfolios, which they can easily access. In addition, the centre, has recently successfully implemented ePortfolios to record and communicate learning as it happens. An extension of current assessment practices would be to document individual children's next learning opportunities.

Children experience a responsive programme and benefit from having opportunities to:

  • follow their interests and challenges in a child-initiated and play-based programme
  • develop skills in literacy, mathematics, science and creative arts in contexts that are meaningful to them
  • make friendships and develop relationships with other children in an inclusive environment that celebrates diversity and supports needs
  • explore, play and learn in the spacious and well-designed indoor and outdoor areas that feature a wide range of equipment and resources, fruit trees, vegetable gardens and significant grassed areas
  • access carefully presented equipment and resources, that are maintained throughout the day, with teachers fostering children’s sense of responsibility for the learning environment.

ERO observed high levels of sustained and meaningful play by individuals and small groups of children. Well-managed flexible routines support children to sustain their play throughout the morning. Children are happy, settled and benefit from the calm atmosphere created by teachers who foster a culture of care and respect. Teachers engage in play alongside children, adding depth to children’s play, ideas and learning through meaningful conversations, questions and responses.

ERO and centre leaders agree that future priorities for centre development include strengthening:

  • the presence of children’s culture and identify, and New Zealand’s dual cultural heritage in the learning portfolios
  • self-review practice
  • appraisal systems to include Education Council requirements.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Hopscotch Early Learning Childcare 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 Hopscotch Early Learning Childcare Centre will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

19 February 2016

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

Otorohanga

Ministry of Education profile number

30236

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

35 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Service roll

52

Gender composition

Girls 32 Boys 20

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other

Pacific

10

36

3

3

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

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2015

Date of this report

19 February 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2012

 

Education Review

June 2008

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.