Learning Tree Childcare Apollo - 13/11/2018

1 Evaluation of Learning Tree Childcare Apollo

How well placed is Learning Tree Childcare Apollo 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

Learning Tree Childcare Apollo opened in November 2016 and is licensed for 100 children, including 35 up to the age of two years. Small numbers of Māori children attend the service. The centre operates from a purpose-built facility located in the Rosedale business area. It is organised into three age-related areas. Each age-related area has two rooms and its own outdoor space.

The centre philosophy advocates respect for children's capabilities and the importance of positive parent, caregiver and whānau partnerships with teachers. It upholds the provision of high quality early childhood education practice, and the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand. The centre's curriculum is influenced and guided by Pikler, Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE) and Reggio Emilia philosophies, and reflects the principles and strands of Te Whāriki, the early childhood education curriculum.

The centre director oversees four family owned and operated centres, with another centre opening in late 2018. The experienced centre manager works closely with the centre director and other centre managers in the organisation to develop policies and implement procedures that are personalised to Learning Tree Childcare Apollo.

The Review Findings

Children are confident and capable learners. They have a strong sense of belonging and ownership of their environment. Children settle quickly when arriving for their day and are very well supported by teachers. Children are encouraged to follow their curiosities and develop their own working theories about the world. In the indoor and outdoor environments there are good opportunities for children to be creative, imaginative and physically challenged.

Teachers provide a high-quality curriculum that is well designed and responsive to individual children's interests, strengths and abilities. Children are involved in leading and contributing to the programme. They enjoy a variety of experiences that allow them to be creative and imaginative and build their independence. Learning in core curriculum areas, such as literacy, is enriched through meaningful and interesting opportunities. The environment includes a range of natural materials and high-quality resources that encourage exploration.

The programme is child-focused and child led. Teachers are actively involved in learning. They create a variety of opportunities to extend children's language and promote positive peer interactions. Teachers converse with children about their ideas and respond to their requests for help. They provide extra resources to support children's play. Children have many opportunities to problem solve, extend their thinking and lead their own learning.

Teachers' relationships with children and whānau are respectful and responsive. They value and make time for the contribution that whānau can make to children's learning. They use highly effective teaching practices that enhance each child's sense of themselves as successful learners. Children under the age of two experience nurturing, calm interactions with teachers who know them well, in an environment that promotes exploration and supports their development.

Te ao Māori is reflected well in the programme and environment. Teachers empower children to use te reo Māori and their own culture and identity as part of their learning. Children are valued, celebrated and affirmed for who they are. Teachers and leaders ensure that their practice reflects the rights of all children to high quality and inclusive early childhood education.

Centre leadership is highly effective. The centre manager promotes a collaborative and inclusive culture that supports high levels of trust and professionalism amongst staff. The centre is well governed. The business and centre directors make employment and resourcing decisions based on what is best for all children. Centre leaders and teachers are well supported to work positively to meet the needs of their children, parents, whānau and community.

Internal evaluation is very well understood and is used effectively to inform ongoing improvement. The centre has a very good policy framework and systems that guide its overall operation.

Key Next Steps

Teachers have self-identified next steps for sustaining good practice. These include continuing to develop te reo Māori and bi-cultural practices throughout the centre.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Learning Tree Childcare Apollo 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 Learning Tree Childcare Apollo will be in three years.

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

13 November 2018

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

Rosedale, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

47082

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

100 children, including up to 35 aged under 2

Service roll

110

Gender composition

Boys 61 Girls 49

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Chinese
Korean
other ethnic groups

6%
39%
42%
7%
6%

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:5

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:10

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2018

Date of this report

13 November 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports

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.