Juni Uni II Ltd - 02/03/2016

1 Evaluation of Juni Uni II Ltd

How well placed is Juni Uni II Ltd 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

Jun Uni II Ltd is a privately owned early education and care service located in Hamilton East, Hamilton. It is licensed for up to 50 children from two years to school age and open from 7.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday. The current roll of 54 includes 14 Māori and six children of Tongan descent. At the time of the previous ERO review in 2013, the centre was operating under the name Explorers Early Learning Centre. Since that time, and under new ownership, the roll has grown and there have been significant developments to both the buildings and outdoor areas. Most children attending come from the local area.

Children’s days consist of a balance of free play and structured routines, including both teacher-directed and child-initiated activities and experiences. The Juni Uni philosophy is based on helping children to develop a strong sense of self awareness, the confidence to believe in themselves, and the behaviours necessary to reach their full potential. As part of the daily programme children are encouraged to use computers as a learning tool.

Since 2013, most of the teachers are new to the centre. All have a recognised early childhood education qualification and are enthusiastic about working towards full teacher registration. The teaching team has undertaken externally facilitated professional development about children’s social competence, self review and, following the enrolment of a number of younger children, meeting the specific needs of toddlers.

The Review Findings

Teachers observed by ERO engaged with children using a wide range of sensitive and respectful interactions and strategies to support children’s wellbeing and development. In addition, children were confident to approach teachers to support their learning and ideas. Teachers are in the process of exploring the way they develop and deepen children’s interests during daily teaching interactions. The daily programme enables teachers to plan deliberate learning experiences while also ensuring resources are available to support children’s emerging preferences and interests.

Early literacy and mathematical learning experiences are integrated throughout each day during child-initiated activities and also undertaken during specific ‘focus times’, which teachers plan for short periods of time each day. The daily programme provides many opportunities for children to work and play independently, with a peer or as part of a wider group.

Teachers keep records of children’s involvement with learning in individual child portfolios. These documents are attractive and available for children to read during the day and to share with parents.

Teachers set up the environment so that children are able to choose independently from a selection of good quality resources and equipment. Learning areas are well presented and set up to invite children to become engaged with sustained learning and play. Significant developments to the outdoor area have enhanced opportunities for children’s play and exploration. Similar developments in the indoor areas, include upgrades to the kitchen and dining area and the establishment of a specific area where children use computers both independently and with support from teachers.

Centre routines are well managed and planned to minimise disruptions to children’s learning. Meal times are used to promote social and cooperative skills, reading and important mathematical learning. Regular baking with children also effectively reinforces ideas about concepts such as measurement, counting and comparing skills.

ERO observed teachers warmly welcoming children and parents into the centre. Families interviewed by ERO are supportive of teachers and appreciate the way the service communicates with parents. Centre leaders and teachers should now investigate ways to strengthen parent voice in programme planning and children’s assessments.

The owner is in the process of appointing a centre manager to a permanent position. She is providing clear direction for the development of the service and there is a planned approach to fostering emergent leadership. All teachers are active participants in centre appraisal processes. High levels of team work and collaborative ways of working are evident among teachers, who articulate a commitment to the centre philosophy and support for centre leadership.

The centre owner has a good understanding of the importance of continuous review and ongoing improvements to the quality of the service for children and families. A suitable range of policies and procedural guidelines contributes to a safe and healthy environment for children. Regular staff meetings and ongoing informal communications contribute to effective spontaneous review of aspects of centre operations. Although there is a useful framework for self review, important aspects of self review require strengthening.

Key Next Steps

Self review and strategic planning: A more planned approach to strategic planning and self review is needed. This approach should include:

  • a stronger priority on developments in curriculum development and teaching practice
  • documented links to professional development priorities and teacher appraisal goals
  • planned review of policies and procedures
  • clarity of alignment between the centre strategic direction, teacher professional learning, and teacher appraisal.

This approach to strategic planning is likely to provide a sound foundation for more systematic self review and developments covering all aspects of the service over time.

Intentional teaching: The new teaching team and leaders should work together to develop the way teachers add complexity to children’s learning and ideas through specific intervention and discussions during their daily interactions with children.

Programme assessment and planning: Learning story assessments currently include a range of attractively presently photographs and narratives about children’s experiences at the centre. The next step for the service is to work collaboratively to review current practice to ensure that these assessments more clearly show:

  • the learning that is taking place for individual children
  • the teaching and learning that is occurring in response to each child’s ideas and interest
  • how children are progressing with an interest, skill or disposition over time.

These developments are likely to strengthen teachers’ understanding about programme planning and assessment in an emergent curriculum.

Te reo and tikanga Māori: Some teachers are confident to use and model te reo and include aspects of tikanga Māori in daily interactions with children. The centre should now ensure that all teachers are able to build their confidence and competence to use te reo as a functional language with children during the daily programme.

Recommendation

ERO recommends that leaders and teachers access appropriate professional development to address the key next steps in this report.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Juni Uni II Ltd 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 Juni Uni II Ltd will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

2 March 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

Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

30343

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

54

Gender composition

Boys 28 Girls 26

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Tongan

Indian

Other

14

26

6

3

5

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

January 2016

Date of this report

2 March 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review (as Explorers Early Learning Centre)

May 2013

 

Education Review (as Explorers Early Learning Centre)

March 2010

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.