Leaps and Bounds New Plymouth - 04/04/2014

1 Evaluation of Wrinkles Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Wrinkles Early Learning 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

Wrinkles Early Learning Centre is well established, privately owned and adjacent to Taranaki Base Hospital. The service offers education and care to children from birth to five years of age. Of the total roll of 50 children, 13 are Māori. The centre is licensed for 38 children.

The centre philosophy recognises shared and responsive relationships as the basis for supporting learning. The manager and two supervisors manage the day-to-day operations of the service.

The March 2011 ERO report noted that assessment for learning required further development. The centre manager responded by accessing whole-centre professional learning and development to improve both self review, assessment practice and strategic planning. Teachers acknowledge that they should further reflect on the impact and evaluate their teaching practice of children’s learning.

The Review Findings

Children participate in a curriculum based on their interests and ideas. Information gained from individual and group assessment is used to guide the programme. A new planning format has been developed to enable teachers to identify how they will respond to children’s identified interests.

Learning stories and photographs strongly focus on children’s enjoyment and involvement in activities. These are displayed on centre walls and contained in portfolios. Developmental milestones are recorded and celebrated. Parents’ participation in their children’s learning is valued and encouraged, fostering close bonds between the centre and families. Infants and toddlers are described as curious explorers and their early communication is given importance.

Children frequently hear basic te reo Māori. Wall displays reflect children’s cultural identity. Leaders and teachers should build on centre bicultural practice. By increasing their professional knowledge they should develop strategies that best support Māori children and whānau to achieve success as Māori.

Children are gaining awareness that literacy is a means for sharing ideas, thoughts, feelings and amusement. They are positively supported in their introduction to mathematical concepts.

Children and aiga of Pacific heritage are welcomed and their cultures are valued and visible. Teachers should continue to increase their knowledge of Pacific contexts and acquaint themselves with the Pasifika Education Plan 2013 - 2017.

Teachers’ interactions with children are warm and nurturing. Responsive care giving supports infants’ and toddlers’ need for strong and secure attachments. Consistent nurture enables teachers to respond sensitively to each child’s needs and preferences.

Children are given positive feedback that acknowledges their efforts and success. Teachers foster children’s language development using a variety of appropriate strategies. They recognise, however, their need to become clearer in how they extend and challenge learners’ thinking and problem solving.

Individuals with identified learning needs receive appropriate support and encouragement to maximise their contribution. Teachers are dedicated to establishing a setting where all children are positively included.

Children’s sense of belonging is nurtured as they transition into and within the service, and when moving to school. Teachers recognise that they need to communicate more with schools to ensure the continuity of children’s learning is supported.

Leadership is beginning to be shared and become more collaborative. Supervisors and teachers have opportunities to take responsibility and initiate ideas. Whānau willingly share their knowledge and link home experiences and routines to centre practice. Children lead their learning by following their interests and making choices about their involvement.

Planned changes to the physical environment should support leaders to provide children with a more responsive curriculum.

Key Next Steps

Self-review and appraisal practice require strengthening to better evaluate the impact of the centre’s curriculum and teaching practice on children’s learning and experiences. Developing shared expectations of effective practice and building teachers’ collective capability to use evidence are next steps. Such developments, when considering improvement, should increase their responsiveness to each child’s individual learning needs.

Leaders and teachers should investigate ways to improve their understanding of current approaches and best practice for infants and toddlers.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

4 April 2014

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

New Plymouth

Ministry of Education profile number

50533

Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

38 children, including 15 aged up to 2

Service roll

50

Gender composition

Girls 25,

Boys 25

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Samoan

Niuean

13

33

3

1

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:5

Meets minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2014

Date of this report

4 April 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

March 2011

 

Supplementary Review

March 2008

 

Education Review

November 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.