Learning Adventures - 23/06/2015

1 Evaluation of Annie's Childcare Centre

How well placed is Annie's Childcare 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

Annie’s Childcare Centre is located in Otorohanga and is licensed to provide all-day education and care for 39 children, including up to 10 children from birth to two years of age. It is a privately owned centre, and a centre manager and head teacher oversee the management of the service. Currently, the centre has 80 % qualified staffing of whom most were involved in the previous review. The centre operates a mixed age family-like programme for children. The current roll of 35 includes 21 Māori children, most of whom have whakapapa links to Ngāti Maniapoto.

The 2013 ERO review signalled a return visit within two years. Areas identified for review and development included:

  • clarification of the roles and responsibilities of the director, centre manager and head teacher
  • strategic planning and self review
  • budget for the operation of the service
  • assessment practice
  • environment and resourcing

A number of actions relating to compliance were also identified.

Since the 2013 ERO review the centre has worked closely with the Ministry of Education and external professional development providers to address the identified issues including, the matters of non-compliance. This review by ERO acknowledges the significant progress made by the service in all areas.

The Review Findings

The centre director, manager and head teacher have established clearly defined roles and responsibilities for their positions and are providing effective leadership for the centre. They have developed and documented job descriptions, appraisal processes, rosters and expectations for themselves and staff. These documents are effectively guiding centre operations, communication between management and staff, and have led to improvements in curriculum implementation and teaching practices.

An extensive strategic plan has been written to guide centre development through to 2016. The plan covers centre operations including premises and regulations, staffing, management and governance, administration and financial management, parents and whānau involvement and curriculum and resourcing. Responsibilities are defined, a financial budget, and an action plan detailing how the goals will be implemented are included in this strategic document.

Centre staff have undertaken extensive, relevant and ongoing professional development since the 2013 ERO review. A priority for this learning has been on:

  • extending teachers knowledge and practice in relation to assessment, planning and evaluation
  • positive guidance
  • Te Ao Māori dimension
  • self review
  • interactions with children.

It is important that this focus on professional learning and development continues in order to sustain the improvements made, and further raise the quality of education and care children experience.

Significant improvements have been made to the indoor and outdoor learning environment. In addition, the increased range of opportunities teachers provide has enabled children to access a good range of equipment and resources for play and exploration. Physical changes to the indoor environment have resulted in more effective, attractive and spacious play spaces. ERO observed children happily playing with and alongside one another and engaged for sustained periods of time at play of their choosing.

The centre philosophy is reflected in a broad curriculum that is responsive to the needs and aspiration of children and their families. Teachers provide a play-based programme that gives children a wide range of choices, activities and experiences. The programme is developed through a family grouping model where older children play alongside younger toddlers. This contributes to natural flow and transitions. Important priorities for the programme include a focus on the inclusion of Ngāti Maniapoto tikanga and te reo Maori, science, literacy and numeracy.

Children are highly engaged in caring, warm and welcoming interactions with teachers and their families. Teachers have established close relationships with children who are happy, settled and confident in the centre environment. Children’s sense of belonging and well being is nurtured.

Key Next Steps

Areas for ongoing development include:

  • teachers' involvement in self review, including curriculum review
  • the implementation of ICT software to build on assessment, planning and evaluation and ensure it retains a focus on teaching practice and promotes children’s learning
  • implementation of the appraisal system to support teacher development
  • centres of learning in the environments to increase the range of learning opportunities
  • strategic planning process including check points for revisiting.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Annie's Childcare 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:

curriculumpremises and facilitieshealth and safety practicesgovernance, 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 Annie's Childcare Centre will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

23 June 2015

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

Otorohanga, Waikato

Ministry of Education profile number

30024

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

39 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll

35

Gender composition

Boys 23

Girls 12

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other

21

9

5

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

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2015

Date of this report

23 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

December 2013

 

Education Review

June 2010

 

Education Review

April 2009

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.