Hopscotch Preschool - 30/06/2015

1 Evaluation of Hopscotch Preschool

How well placed is Hopscotch Preschool 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 Preschool is a privately-owned, all-day education and care service located in Otorohanga. It was established in 2008 and has had a positive reporting history with ERO. The centre is licensed for 30 children from two to five years of age and is under the same ownership as the nearby Hopscotch Early Learning Centre that caters for younger children. The roll is currently 45, including 5 children who identify as Māori.

Since the 2012 ERO review, there has been a change in centre leadership. The centre manager resigned and two new supervisors, acting in a joint role, were appointed. They have already had a positive effect on assessment, planning and evaluation, communication with parents, and transition- to-school processes. 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 four qualified staff, one in training and three 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 each other.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from respectful, caring and supportive relationships with adults and with one another. Teachers allow children to take the lead and initiate their own learning activities. They quietly support children, comment on their play, and extend their thinking and learning experiences. Children are competent communicators who play collaboratively and independently. They confidently make their wishes known, access resources, and set up their own learning and play.

Teachers are responsive to children’s emerging interests and initiatives. They join children in play, supporting and promoting their learning. They identify and discuss children’s interests and ideas, contribute their own ideas, and prepare the environment to stimulate learning. A recent development has involved teachers in more in-depth planning for individual children. This has proven to be a valuable way to enhance outcomes for the identified children, as well as more closely engaging parents in the process. Transitions into and from the centre are sensitively and carefully managed, and children are well prepared for school.

Children experience known routines in which their sense of belonging and independence are fostered. They benefit from whole-centre excursions and projects that relate to the local environment and community.

Te reo and tikanga Māori are strongly promoted and made visible. Children learn waiaita 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 the centre walls and in the resources. Children have ample opportunities to experience mathematics, science, exploration, imaginary play and creative arts. Leaders have recognised the need for an upgrade to aspects of the outdoor environment 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. The supervisors are modelling good quality assessment practices, and are increasing the way 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.

The centre owner/licensee and supervisors effectively work together to manage change for improvement. They meet regularly to discuss and review professional practice and make decisions focused on improving outcomes for children. The new supervisors have built trusting relationships with staff, established a more inclusive culture, and are modelling the desired practices they expect of others. Their leadership of professional learning and development (PLD) and the appraisal process is having a positive impact. Supervisors have already made significant improvements to assessment, planning and evaluation, and are leading the focus on embedding bicultural practices throughout the centre.

Strong systems and processes are in place to ensure the smooth running of centre organisation and procedures. The owner/licensee is very engaged in centre activities and sets high standards for education and care. She promotes robust self-review processes to ensure that the centre continues to bring about improved outcomes for children. There are collaborative relationships with centre leaders, teachers and staff. These are resulting in a collegial, team approach and shared understandings about the centre vision and direction as outlined in the philosophy and strategic plan.

Key Next Steps

The centre leaders agree that important next steps for improvement are to:

  • further acknowledge children’s culture and identify, and New Zealand’s dual heritage in the learning portfolios
  • further extend the high-quality assessment processes that focus on individual children’s learning and their next learning opportunities
  • continue to engage parents more in partnerships focused on their children’s learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Hopscotch Preschool 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 Preschool will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

30 June 2015

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Otorohanga

Ministry of Education profile number

30322

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including 0 aged under 2

Service roll

45

Gender composition

Girls 28

Boys 17

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Other

5

36

4

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2015

Date of this report

30 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

September 2012

 

Education Review

November 2009

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.