Hutt Hospital Childcare Centre Inc. - 13/03/2014

1 Evaluation of Hutt Hospital Childcare Centre Inc.

How well placed is Hutt Hospital Childcare Centre Inc. 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

The centre is a long-established not-for-profit, community-based service situated on Hutt Valley District Health Board land, adjacent to Hutt hospital. A management committee made up of parents and two staff provides governance. A manager is responsible for day-to-day operation. It has a full day licence and caters for 24 children up to primary school age.

The philosophy guiding teaching and learning emphasises the importance of recognising the uniqueness of each child and empowering them by fostering their interests. Te Tiriti o Waitangi, partnership with parents and provision of a range of physical activities are considered key to the development of the learning programme.

All staff are registered teachers. The majority have been employed at the centre for many years.

The service moved into new purpose-built premises just prior to the February 2011 ERO review. Since that time a major focus has been developing the learning spaces in the building. The outdoor area continues to be a work in progress.

The Review Findings

A good quality environment supports teaching and learning. There is a wide range of resources freely accessible to children, suitable to support a variety of play experiences for all age groups. A positive and busy tone is maintained over time which is indicative of children's wellbeing and sustained engagement in learning. Children are cooperative, confident and motivated.

Teachers engage well with individuals to support their play and learning. Relationships between staff and children are close, comfortable and respectful. Parents’ participation and views are sought and valued. The mixed-age grouping fosters a sense of family. Older children are inclusive and caring with those who are younger.

There is good provision for children aged up to two years. Two teachers are designated specifically to work with these children. They are gentle, caring and improvement focused in their roles. Infants and toddlers are content and active participants in the programme. Teachers agree that increasing the range of resources and undertaking further specialised professional development linked to their roles, are key next steps.

A Māori perspective is becoming visible in the programme. Teachers express commitment to continued improvement in their understanding of te ao Māori and implementation of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. Links with a local marae are being developed. Up-to-date Ministry of Education publications have been accessed with the intention of supporting a team approach to improved provision for Māori learners.

The learning programme reflects the values articulated in the philosophy. It is mostly child initiated and led. Planning for learning is comprehensive and aims to support children's emerging interests and to cover a range of learning areas and needs. Literacy and numeracy are integrated in meaningful ways. Teachers record children's special learning moments in portfolios and on line for parents’ immediate access, supporting families’ input into, and feedback about, their children’s learning.

Teachers continue to develop their approach with a goal of making planning increasingly meaningful for children yet manageable as a process. Greater focus on illustrating individual children’s learning progress, developing opportunities for everyone to reflect on recent learning, and on determining next development steps in relation to the programme, should support improvement.

The teaching team is committed to providing effective support for children’s transition to primary school. Information linked to recent research and input from parents and children are contributing to the development of teachers’ approach. Further developing liaison with local schools to support sharing of information, and increasing the range of resource material available for parents and children have been identified as next steps.

Teachers work collaboratively and cohesively in the interests of children. They are well supported in their roles with professional learning opportunities and the expertise of an experienced leader. A redeveloped appraisal process supports teachers' reflection on a range of competencies linked to their roles. Further development of appraisal to include regular constructive feedback against specific goals should enhance this approach. A suitably rigorous appraisal to support the manager’s practice should be introduced.

Self review is valued as a tool to promote better outcomes for children and is undertaken by all staff. While teachers are reflective and improvement focused, they agree they need to further develop their understanding of the review process.

Parents on the governance committee are enthusiastic and committed in their roles. They work closely with centre leaders to ensure accountabilities are met. The committee is well informed about the day-to-day operation and very responsive to the parent community. A strategic plan outlines key issues and new initiatives to be implemented over the next two years. Agreed priorities for development are: firstly, building membership to ensure the collective governance structure can continue to effectively operate; and secondly, better defining governance and management roles and responsibilities to support sustainability and ongoing review of the effectiveness of the committee in its role.

Key Next Steps

  • To support ongoing improvement to teaching and learning, centre leaders and teachers agree they should continue to:
    • develop provision for priority learners , including Māori and those aged up to two years
    • review and strengthen programme planning to maximise learning opportunities for individual children
    • improve implementation of the teachers’ and manager’s appraisal processes
    • develop their understanding and use of evaluative self review.
  • To support the sustainability and ongoing review and development of the governance role, the management committee needs to:
    • build its profile and membership
    • better define governance and management roles and responsibilities.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Hutt Hospital Childcare Centre Inc. 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 Hutt Hospital Childcare Centre Inc. will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region (Acting)

13 March 2014

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

Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

60256

Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

24 children, including 8 aged up to 2

Service roll

23

Gender composition

Girls 3

Boys 20

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Other ethnic groups

2

14

7

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

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2014

Date of this report

13 March 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Supplementary Review

February 2011

 

Education Review

November 2009

 

Education Review

September 2006

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.