Hummingbirds Early Childhood Centre - 16/12/2016

1 Evaluation of Hummingbirds Early Childhood Centre

How well placed is Hummingbirds Early Childhood 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

Hummingbirds Early Childhood Centre is a purpose built centre, in a light industrial area. It has been in operation since 2011. It is licenced to provide full day education and care for 120 children from babies to school age. This is the second ERO report of Hummingbirds.

The centre was purchased by Evolve Education Group (EEG), in 2014. EEG operates over 100 early childhood centres nationwide under a number of service brands. It provides professional development and curriculum assistance from the Professional Services Curriculum Managers.

The centre has experienced a significant staff turnover in the last two years for varying reasons and the centre manager has provided continuity over this time. She leads a team of 14 registered teachers.

The building is divided up into four age related rooms each with an outside area called Kiwi, Tui, Pukeko and Fantail. Within the Kiwi room there is a separate safe area for babies. A cook provides all meals in the centre. The centre has gained gold status menu awarded by the Heart Foundation.

The programme is based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum and is influenced by aspects of Reggio Emilia and respectful practices philosophies.

The 2013 ERO report commented positively on the way that the centre's physical and emotional environments supported children's learning and wellbeing. Teachers were building their capacity to provide aspects of a bicultural programme and to support children from diverse cultures. The centre was well led. Centre leaders and ERO agreed that areas for development included: evaluation, programme planning for groups and individuals, and enriching the environment. Progress has been made in these areas. 

The Review Findings

Children are confident and engage in the programme. They participate in sustained play for long periods, either independently or with teachers. Children have a strong sense of belonging.

Infants and toddlers physical environment is spacious, easily accessed and is adequately resourced to encourage exploration. As a result of internal evaluation teachers now provide a separate space that allows for uninterrupted play for infants who are not yet crawling. Children experience a low-stress environment and teachers' responsive caregiving supports the curriculum and the practice of respect.

Child-initiated learning and play is fostered in the programme. Competent and capable children show high levels of independence and engage in their learning with enthusiasm. Positive interactions are an intrinsic part of the programme. Older children take responsibility for themselves and their peers and are aware that teachers will assist their play. Teachers use a project approach to programme planning. They could now consider to what extent children's interests are driving the programme.

The environment is attractive, and well maintained. There is ready access to a range of open-ended resources and play spaces that encourage imaginative play. The natural flow of indoor and outdoor play engages children in a variety of learning experiences that foster creativity, exploration, and challenge. The outdoor space allows children to develop physically using a variety of challenging equipment and obstacle course experiences. The flexibility of being able to move toys and equipment between the indoors and outdoors further supports children’s play.

Parents appreciate the whānau concept of the centre and the support they receive from the teaching team and management. There is a high sense of trust by parents, of teachers and the programme they provide for children. Parents welcome teacher’s feedback about their children. They acknowledge the expertise amongst the teaching team and the professional enthusiasm in which teachers promote their work. Centre events are always well attended by children and their families.

Teachers are committed to improving their practice and expanding the programme. They use self review and personal teaching reflections to guide their practice and challenge their thinking. Teachers are dedicated to bicultural practice and some teachers use te reo and tikanga Māori frequently in the programme. They promote children’s sense of belonging in the programme. Children know their cultures are valued. It would benefit children in the centre if the teaching team were able to speak a wider variety of languages to further support children and their families.

Teachers place high value on displaying children’s work. They display children’s learning and participation in the programme through an electronic portal. Children can sometimes revisit their learning and engage in discussions with their peers and teachers through 'project work' books. Managers agree that the re-introduction of portfolio booklets will give children more of an ownership and access to contributing to their learning journey.

The centre is led by a loyal and dedicated manager, who mentors teachers to become more confident in using internal evaluation to progress centre values and aspirations. It is timely now for a more distributive leadership style shared among other leaders and teachers in the centre to support the centre manager.

Evolve managers are working collaboratively with the centre manager to support her leadership and operations of the centre.

Key Next Steps

Managers and head teachers agree that areas for continued development for positive outcomes for children include:

  • evaluating the impact of the programme on children’s learning and development
  • developing indicators of good practice guide the review of teaching practices and programme implementation against the service's philosophy statement.

Managers are active in promoting high quality systems. To help enhance these systems they could:

  • review policies and procedures so that they align to current requirements and are centre specific
  • implement and review the teacher appraisal process, to be more personalised and aligned to the centre philosophy, job description and strategic goals, including setting goals that further extend teachers’ professional practice and knowledge in meeting the Practicing Teachers Criteria
  • strengthen the annual evaluation and clarify strategic goals.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Hummingbirds Early Childhood 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 Hummingbirds Early Childhood Centre will be in three years. 

Graham Randell
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

16 December 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

St Johns, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

45626

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

120 children, including up to 48 aged under 2

Service roll

110

Gender composition

Girls 57
Boys 53

Ethnic composition

Pākehā
Chinese
Other

65%
17%
18%

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:9

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2016

Date of this report

16 December 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

May 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 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.