Learning Steps Childcare Centre - 20/08/2012

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Aunty Marias Childcare Ltd is located in Glendene, west Auckland. This privately owned centre offers full-day education and care services for up to 50 children from infancy to school age. The centre has had four ERO reviews over the last four years reflecting major concerns about centre operations and the quality of education provided for children. This report acknowledges the good progress made in these areas.

In 2011, ERO noted that the licensee, with the assistance of advisory support, had made improvements in the centre environment, programme planning, teaching practices and self review. These improvements were beginning to impact positively on the programme provided for children. However, ERO also noted ongoing concerns about the quality of education and care, management and strategic planning.

The centre owner is committed to improving the quality of education and care for children. A new manager appointed in April 2012, is providing effective leadership and making significant improvements. Using a collaborative approach, the owner and manager are establishing a strategic direction that is promoting positive outcomes for children.

Children are settled and engage respectfully with other children and their teachers. The design and layout of the centre has been changed to allow children a greater range of areas of play within more natural surroundings. Children have access to a range of resources and activities that provide them with opportunities for a wider variety of physically active, quiet and creative play.

The new centre manager is supporting teachers to strengthen their relationships with parents, whānau and children, and to engage with children in their play. These expectations have helped to enhance the culture of respect and care in the centre.

Effective self-review systems are being developed to support ongoing centre improvements. ERO recommends that managers and teachers continue to access external professional development to support ongoing improvement in outcomes for children.

Future Action

ERO will review the service again as part of the regular review cycle.

2. Findings

Background

A new centre manager was appointed in April 2012. The current teaching team consists of two supervisors who have been at the centre for a number of years and new and experienced teachers with a range of qualifications.

ERO’s 2011 report has been used by the manager to improve centre management, self review and strategic planning. Professional development has been provided to help improve the quality of programme planning and teaching practice.

Areas of progress

Spontaneous play. Children are settled and engage respectfully with other children and their teachers. The design and layout of the centre has been changed to allow children a greater range of areas of play within more natural surroundings. This provides more spontaneous opportunities for children to be creative, quiet or physically active. Extra resources have also been added to the environment to increase children’s opportunities to make choices and enable them to pursue and extend their interests.

Culture of respect and care. The manager is supporting teachers to strengthen their relationships with parents, whānau and children. Teachers respond to children and engage with them in their play. These practices are enhancing respect and care in the centre culture.

Managing children’s behaviour. The centre has successfully completed a review of teacher practice and children’s behaviour. Teachers are now implementing consistent and appropriate strategies to support children in managing their behaviour. Children are beginning to relate well to one another, adults and their environment.

Planning for children’s interests. Teachers are using strategies to observe and notice children’s emerging interests and themes in their play. This is supporting teachers to identify possible learning outcomes that are significant and relevant to children.

Learning environment. There have been significant improvements in the centre’s environment. The centre is now more attractive and accessible to children and their whānau. The centre owner and manager continue to make the centre more inviting for children and welcoming for families and whānau.

Strategic approach. The new manager is providing effective leadership and making systemic improvements. Through a collaborative approach, and with external support, the owner and manager are establishing the centre’s strategic approaches. These include:

  • implementing new job descriptions and a staff appraisal process
  • documenting a staff handbook
  • employing more teachers
  • establishing a more professional culture.

Areas for further improvement

The centre manager has appropriately identified areas for further development. These include:

  • continuing to improve all teachers’ nurturing skills and interactions with children
  • expanding and bringing depth to team planning, ensuring that teachers notice and respond to the interests of all children
  • encouraging reflective practices to improve teachers’ programme evaluation
  • continuing to use external professional support to build teachers’ confidence and embed effective practices.

In addition ERO suggests that

  • greater recognition be given to the cultures of the children who attend the centre
  • teachers seek contributions to programme planning from parents and whānau.

Self review. The centre manager is establishing systems of self review. Teachers have been involved at different levels in reviews focused on programme planning and the centre environment. These reviews are helping to improve the quality of education and care. Teachers should also use self review to improve outcomes for children, particularly in the infant and toddlers area.

Professional leadership. The centre owner and management have identified the need to appoint a professional supervisor to build teachers’ capability and to improve educational leadership and teaching and learning practices. This should help to promote positive outcomes for children.

3. Recommendations

ERO recommends that: managers and teachers continue to access external professional development to:

  • improve staff understanding of high quality teaching practices
  • continue to develop programme management systems
  • relicense the centre under Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008
  • support ongoing improvements in outcomes for children.

4. Future Action

ERO will review the service again as part of the regular review cycle.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

20 August 2012

About the Centre

Licence type

All Day Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 10aged under 2

Roll number

58

Gender composition

Boys 33

Girls 25

Ethnic composition

Māori 20,

NZ European/Pākehā 3,

Tongan 6,

Cook Island Māori 6,

Samoan 5,

Asian 5,

Middle Eastern 5,

African 3,

Indian 3,

other 2

Review team on site

July 2012

Date of this report

20 August 2012

Previous ERO reports

Supplementary Review, August 2011

Supplementary Review, March 2010

Supplementary Review, May 2009

To the Parents and Community of Aunty Marias Childcare Ltd

This supplementary review evaluates the quality of education and care received by the children and the performance of the centre’s management in relation to specific terms of reference.

The Education Review Office [ERO] evaluation of Aunty Marias Childcare Ltd follows.

Aunty Marias Childcare Ltd is located in Glendene, west Auckland. This privately owned centre offers full-day education and care services for up to 50 children from infancy to school age. The centre has had four ERO reviews over the last four years reflecting major concerns about centre operations and the quality of education provided for children. This report acknowledges the good progress made in these areas.

In 2011, ERO noted that the licensee, with the assistance of advisory support, had made improvements in the centre environment, programme planning, teaching practices and self review. These improvements were beginning to impact positively on the programme provided for children. However, ERO also noted ongoing concerns about the quality of education and care, management and strategic planning.

The centre owner is committed to improving the quality of education and care for children. A new manager appointed in April 2012, is providing effective leadership and making significant improvements. Using a collaborative approach, the owner and manager are establishing a strategic direction that is promoting positive outcomes for children.

Children are settled and engage respectfully with other children and their teachers. The design and layout of the centre has been changed to allow children a greater range of areas of play within more natural surroundings. Children have access to a range of resources and activities that provide them with opportunities for a wider variety of physically active, quiet and creative play.

The new centre manager is supporting teachers to strengthen their relationships with parents, whānau and children, and to engage with children in their play. These expectations have helped to enhance the culture of respect and care in the centre.

Effective self-review systems are being developed to support ongoing centre improvements. ERO recommends that managers and teachers continue to access external professional development to support ongoing improvement in outcomes for children.

Future Action

ERO will review the service again as part of the regular review cycle.

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood centre we encourage management to inform their community of any follow-up action they plan to do. You should talk to the management or licensee if you have any questions about this evaluation, the full ERO report or their future intentions.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the centre or see the ERO website, http://www.ero.govt.nz.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)