Leaps and Bounds Preschool - 08/11/2016

1 Evaluation of Leaps and Bounds Preschool

How well placed is Leaps and Bounds Preschool to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Leaps and Bounds Preschool Rangiora is well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.

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

Background

Leaps and Bounds Preschool is a privately-owned Early Childhood Centre. It provides education and care for infants, toddlers and preschool children.

The centre operates from two adjacent premises. There are three learning areas and each area has a separate playground to cater for children at various stages of development.

The centre's philosophy integrates a blend of Montessori beliefs and Te Whāriki, the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum.

The teaching team is made up of experienced and newly-qualified teachers. Most teachers have, or are currently training to have, an additional qualification in Montessori.

There have been recent changes in the management structure which have brought about a greater clarity of roles and responsibilities.

The recommendations from the 2013 ERO report have been mostly met. The centre owner and the teachers continue to develop bicultural perspectives in the programme and centre self-review, particularly related to the quality of teaching practices.

The centre is part of the Rangiora Learning Cluster.

The Review Findings

Teachers provide children and their families with a warm and welcoming environment. The positive and inclusive relationships between teachers and children, and parents supports children's wellbeing and sense of belonging.

Relationships across the centre are focused on supporting, encouraging and affirming children's ongoing learning and development. Teachers take time to talk with parents about their children’s interests, strengths and abilities. Together they develop shared and purposeful learning goals.

Children have easy access to a wide range of resources and activities that encourage their physical, imaginative and creative play. The programme provides a balance of child and teacher initiated activities. Literacy and mathematics are naturally integrated into learning activities.

Teachers use practices that effectively support and extend children's knowledge, thinking and problem solving skills. There are some very good examples of children's learning and progress over time in learning stories.

Transitions into the centre, and between the nursery and the preschool, are well planned and personalised to meet the needs of individual children and families.

Infants and toddlers benefit from a calm, settled nursery environment. They are well supported by teachers' nurturing and sensitive interactions. Teachers are responsive to the individual needs and preferences of these young children, particularly developing their oral language skills.

Good use is made of individual teacher's skills and professional learning to enhance the programme offered to children. The use of internal evaluation is beginning to contribute to improved outcomes for children.

The managers and leaders have implemented some key guiding documents and processes that are supporting the centre's future direction. These changes have been implemented to ensure a shared understanding of new systems and practices.

Key Next Steps

The centre managers have identified, and ERO agree, that their next steps are to:

  • increase the understanding, and integration of bicultural components in programmes and practices
  • develop teachers' confidence and use of in-depth self-review of teacher practices and appraisal
  • strengthen strategic planning to include clear alignment to the centre's philosophy and practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Leaps and Bounds Preschool completed an ERO Home-based Education and Care 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 Preschool will be in three years.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Te Waipounamu Southern

8 November 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

Rangiora

Ministry of Education profile number

65015

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

56 children, including up to 6 aged under two

Service roll

57

Gender composition

Girls 25; Boys 32

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other Ethnicities

5

45

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

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2016

Date of this report

8 November 2016

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

September 2013

Education Review

June 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.