Hummingbirds Early Childhood Centre - 23/05/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

With ongoing internal and external professional development, the service is well placed to sustain and continue building on current good practices.

Context

Hummingbirds Early Childhood Centre opened in 2011 in purpose-designed premises in St Johns, Auckland. The service is licensed to cater for up to 112 children, including up to 48 infants and toddlers. Programmes are provided for five separate age groups in the Kiwi babies, Kiwi toddlers, Tui, Pukeko and Fantail rooms.

One of the owners is the centre director and is a qualified early childhood teacher. A centre manager provides leadership for the five teaching teams. Two of the five head teachers and three additional staff are fully registered teachers. Many other staff are working towards full registration. The owners make a particular effort to ensure that ratios of adults to children exceed minimum requirements, especially for younger children.

Centre owners have a vision of providing a high quality service and have established organisational values and a clear philosophy statement. They have a five-year strategic plan to explore and implement aspects of the Reggio Emilia philosophy as a basis for ongoing development. The centre has made good progress in the two years since it opened.

Review Findings

The centre has been carefully designed. Well landscaped outdoor learning areas are separated by wooden posts, allowing a sense of connection between the groups. Covered deck areas are well used and teachers create flexible spaces within each room. In some rooms, teachers have also created particularly inviting spaces for children to explore.

Teachers have focused on creating calm learning environments. Their knowledge and learning about quality programmes for infants and toddlers is evident in their practices. Children in the Kiwi rooms benefit from a settled atmosphere, nurturing relationships and positive interactions with adults. Transitions, as children move to the next rooms, are well managed in consultation with parents.

Children are encouraged to care about each other and relationships amongst the older children are friendly and cooperative. There are good examples of effective teaching practices where teachers skilfully engage with children as they play. They often have prolonged, respectful conversations with children that encourage their contributions. Children are confident to approach adults and some are developing skills for collaboration with others. They are ready to be supported to expand their ideas and develop more complicated play.

Some teachers use te reo Māori naturally as part of their conversations with children during the course of the day. Others are building their confidence and understanding about implementing bicultural programmes. A current focus is on celebrating the diverse cultures of children’s families. Increasing recognition of cultural connections and abilities with languages other than English in children’s assessment records would support this focus.

Teachers have established a regular cycle of programme planning and evaluation. They use effective processes for reviewing particular aspects of their programmes. Learning stories in individual portfolios are well written, often include parent contributions and provide good information for parents about children’s learning. Families have electronic access to these stories and to a wide range of information about the centre and early childhood education. The centre is beginning to make links with the schools that children will attend and teachers have implemented several strategies to help children have a successful transition to school.

Centre owners and the manager have established good management systems, and a sound policy base and annual plans to guide centre operations. They emphasise respectful, professional relationships and practice. The owners show a high level of commitment to staff professional development and the manager and head teachers are well supported to develop their leadership capabilities. Teachers are provided with opportunities to discuss their practice and share teaching strategies. They are currently discussing the organisation’s core values and philosophy, and considering how these are enacted in practice. Indicators of good practice arising from this review would be a useful tool for ongoing self review.

Key Next Steps The centre owners and manager agree that they should continue to use self review and both internal and external professional development to build on and further refine progress to date. Their next steps include:

  • enriching environments to better reflect teachers’ view of children as capable and competent learners, and to give children easy access to a wider variety of resources and creative materials that will extend their thinking and increase choices
  • continuing to develop documentation to show teachers’ planning for diverse individual and group interests and for fostering more complex child-directed play
  • reviewing the length, purpose and content of group times and adapting these sessions so they are more responsive to children’s varied interests and needs
  • deepening self review and critique about all aspects of centre operations and refining the analysis of self-review findings to inform centre-wide planning for continual improvement.

2 Legal Requirements

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.Click here to enter text.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

23 May 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

St Johns, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

45626

Licence type

All Day Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

112 children, including up to 48 aged under 2

Service roll

141

Gender composition

Girls 59% Boys 41%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Other European

Chinese

Other Asian

African

Pacific

Other

65%

4%

12%

5%

5%

2%

3%

4%

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Exceeds minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:8

Exceeds minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2013

Date of this report

23 May 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports 

 

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.