Leaps and Bounds Early Learning Centre - 14/03/2017

1 Evaluation of Leaps and Bounds Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Leaps and Bounds Early Learning Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Leaps and Bounds Early Learning Centre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for all children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

Leaps and Bounds is a large, purpose-built centre catering for babies to children of school age. The centre has four separate classrooms for different age groups and two outdoor areas. Infants and toddlers share one outdoor area, and the older children the other outdoor play space. Each classroom has direct access to an outdoor area.

Nearly all the teachers have early childhood qualifications and are registered teachers. The manager has been in the position for a number of years and staffing is stable. The centre is part of the Evolve Education Group.

Since the 2013 ERO review, the managers have made good progress in meeting the recommendations outlined in the ERO report. The philosophy has been reviewed to better reflect the centre's values and beliefs. Strategic goals are more closely linked to centre priorities and internal evaluation has become more regular and useful. However, it remains an area for further refinement.

The Review Findings

Te reo and tikanga Māori are well integrated into learning and teaching. Teachers regularly participate in useful professional development in this area. Māori families readily support teachers in their learning and many also learn beside the teachers and children about Māori language and culture. Children are confident and enthusiastic. Māori children are proud to be Māori and leaders in their culture.

Children are settled, confident and engaged in their learning. They have positive relationships with their teachers, are respectful of others and willingly include them in their play. Teachers are purposeful in the way they support learning, listen, ask questions and provide suggestions.

Infants and toddlers learn and develop in a calm and happy environment. They have secure relationships with their primary caregivers and regularly seek them out when they need extra support. Primary caregivers have an in-depth knowledge of each child that they use well to extend learning and support emotional wellbeing.

Teachers in the four classrooms make effective use of their primary caregiving roles to share information about children and families. This is helping to support each other in the programme to best meet the needs of individual children.

Children enjoy a wide range of experiences based around their interests. They make effective use of the environment to extend their learning. Dramatic play, science and physical activity are special features of the programme and well used by teachers and children to extend learning, exploration and enjoyment.

Transitions into, within and beyond the centre are well managed to meet the needs of children and their families. Teachers have made appropriate use of internal evaluation to improve practices in this area. Close links between Te Whāriki and the New Zealand Curriculum are also being made to ensure transitions to school are seamless and recognise the individuality of each child.

Managers have high expectations of teachers and their role in children's learning and wellbeing. They make very good use of strategic priorities, plans and monitoring practices to improve teachers' professional practice and the ways they work with children, parents and each other. Teachers are motivated, focused on the work they do and are proud of their centre.

Key Next Steps

The Evolve Education group are reviewing their management structures, refining roles and responsibilities and establishing new positions to better support the centres. The new positions are to focus more on the curriculum and improving outcomes for children. These developments should help ensure the centre manager and teachers receive the support they need to make:

  • assessment and programme planning more useful in guiding teaching and learning and involving parents more in decision making about their children's learning

  • internal evaluation reporting more detailed and focused on the quality of learning and teaching

  • appraisal more focused on evaluating the quality of teaching practice.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Leaps and Bounds Early Learning 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 Leaps and Bounds Early Learning Centre will be in three years.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

14 March 2017 

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

Blenheim

Ministry of Education profile number

45457

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

83 children, including up to 31 aged under two

Service roll

108

Gender composition

Boys 61; Girls 47

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other ethnicities

11

87

10

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

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2017

Date of this report

14 March 2017

Most recent ERO report 

Education Review

December 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.