Learning Unlimited Childcare Centre - 27/05/2020

1 Evaluation of Learning Unlimited Childcare Centre

How well placed is Learning Unlimited Childcare Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Learning Unlimited Childcare Centre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Learning Unlimited Childcare Centre is licensed to provide full-day education and care for 62 children, including 12 aged under two years. Children are grouped according to age in two neighbouring properties. Small numbers of Pacific children attend the service.

The service is privately owned and co-led by the owner and a centre manager. There are two head teachers who oversee the infant and toddler centre and the preschool. Four other qualified teachers and three support staff complete the teaching team.

The centre philosophy highlights the principles of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Learning dispositions of perseverance, curiosity, optimism and independence are promoted. Infants and toddlers are encouraged to explore and make new discoveries.

The 2016 ERO report noted areas for further development that included planning, assessment and evaluation, promoting child-led learning and teacher appraisal. Good progress has been made in these areas.

The Review Findings

Children are settled in the centre programme. They make friends and engage in positive interactions with other children. Children are empowered to make choices about where and how long they play.

Infants and toddlers benefit from teachers who are very responsive to their needs. Individual children's interests and abilities are the focus of the newly developed curriculum plan. Infants and toddlers receive very good individual care and are well respected.

Teachers support children's developing social competence. They role model appropriate language and strategies to foster positive relationships. They respond to and celebrate children's achievements. The cultures of the teaching team reflect those of the families attending. They use children's home languages in conversation with them and whānau, promoting a sense of belonging.

Programme planning for older children is more teacher-led with a focus on transitioning to school. Teachers now need to plan children's learning programmes based on their interests, strengths and abilities to promote continuity and develop complexity in children's learning.

Teachers' practices and centre documentation reflect aspects of te ao and tikanga Māori. There is a commitment by teachers to deepen and embed bicultural practices across the service. Centre leaders and staff have a well-considered plan to support Pacific children and their families.

A relevant policy framework and a cycle of review is established. It is timely with a new team in place to review the centre's philosophy to ensure that it is evident in practice. Leaders have recently implemented a framework for internal evaluation. This has supported a shared understanding of the purpose and use of evaluation for ongoing centre improvement.

The leadership team is focusing on enhancing curriculum planning and introducing mentoring for teachers. Strategic and annual plans are aligned and future orientated. It would be useful to align internal evaluation to these plans to achieve ongoing and sustained improvements.

Key Next Steps

The centre leaders agree to continue engaging with Te Whāriki to develop programme planning to ensure:

  • learning opportunities are child-led and inclusive of children's language, culture and identity

  • a focus on children's interests, strengths and abilities that emphasises continuity and progress in learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Learning Unlimited 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:

  • 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.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services (Northern)

Northern Region - Te Tai Raki

27 May 2020

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

Northcote, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20566

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

62 children, including up to 12 aged under 2 years

Service roll

63

Gender composition

Boys 32 Girls 31

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Chinese
Indian
South East Asian
other ethnic groups

10
23
5
4
21

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2020

Date of this report

27 May 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2016

Education Review

April 2013

Education Review

April 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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.